As state legislators prepare to debate the Foxconn deal, the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute today is releasing the analyses of three economists and a technology reporter with words of both caution and encouragement.
In introducing the essays, WPRI President Mike Nichols provides a synopsis of the potential costs and benefits of the deal that “raises unprecedented questions about everything from job creation and impacts on economic growth … to how free markets and economies work best, most fairly and efficiently, for everyone in the long term.” Read more
Andrew Hanson, associate professor of economics at Marquette University, lists five reasons Wisconsinites should “view the deal with a high degree of skepticism.” Read the entire commentary
Noah Williams, director of the Center for Research on the Wisconsin Economy and a University of Wisconsin-Madison economics professor, notes that it is generally better to enact broad policy changes affecting all firms equally but that “Foxconn has the potential to generate broad gains that go far beyond the official job estimates and tax revenue costs that have dominated the recent discussion.” Read more
Ike Brannon, a visiting fellow at the Cato Institute and president of Capital Policy Analytics, writes that while he would “very much like for Foxconn to create thousands of high-paying manufacturing jobs” in the state, he thinks the deal is “an unwise expenditure by the government.” Read Brannon’s piece here
Finally, Robert S. Anthony, a New York-based technology journalist, assesses the future of LCD panels that are used in TVs, computers, auto dashboards and other devices. “At a minimum,” he writes, “a U.S.-based LCD panel plant solves many of the transportation and distribution issues that Foxconn’s many brands and customers suffer from when importing components from overseas.” He quotes Rosemary Abowd, a senior analyst and LCD panel expert at PMA Research, who says, “Foxconn is going to have its work cut out for it,” but adds that when it comes to evolving technologies, Foxconn usually has a plan. Read the entire article
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