Lawrence Tabak

Putting the Con in Foxconn Wisconsin: How Commercial Studies Have Justified the Transfer of Wealth from Taxpayers to Corporations

This summer, the roar of bulldozers replaced the sound of tractors over thousands of agricultural acres outside of Racine in southeastern Wisconsin. Road, water, and electricity infrastructure construction was well under way for a new industrial complex for Foxconn, the Taiwan-based technology giant. In the project’s master plan, Foxconn will eventually own 4.5 square miles of once-prime Wisconsin farmland, an expanse about a fourth the size of the city limits of nearby Racine, population 77,000. The main 24-inch water main will have the capacity to deliver more than 20 million gallons a day of high-quality Great Lakes water (home to 21 percent of the world's remaining supply), although initial usage has been promised to be much less. Foxconn has pledged to be good environmental stewards, even as Wisconsin has waived many of its basic environmental regulations in order to expedite the project.

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