As Wisconsin GOP Defends Outgoing Walker, Subsidy to Foxconn a Sore Subject
As Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker leaves office, he is looking to shore up his legacy on labor and trade. Walker, who was defeated by a Democratic upset in November, and had a reputation as a union-busting “jobs governor” in the heavily Trump-voting state. In recent weeks, Republican Wisconsin lawmakers have fought hard to limit the powers of incoming Governor Tim Evers, who campaigned on countering Walker’s failed economic promises. One of Walker’s biggest legacies is a $4.1 billion subsidy towards Foxconn, the Taiwanese tech manufacturer infamous for its labor practices as China’s largest private employer. Walker planned to have Foxconn build a factory near Kenosha, on the road between Milwaukee and Chicago. But the contract didn’t include much in the way of securing local labor. Experts doubt that there are enough “knowledge workers” in Wisconsin to fill Foxconn’s 13,000 empty posts, and many locals are expecting a large influx of foreign engineers into Wisconsin. Wisconsin will have spent nearly $100,000 per-job created, at the expense of $1,774 per Wisconsin household, in an investment that would take until at least 2043 to break even. Joining us to discuss is John Nichols, national affairs correspondent for The Nation.