Brookfield, WI –Regardless of party affiliation, most Wisconsin politicians agree that bringing industry to the state is a worthy cause. Big business is always looking for a tax break in exchange for creating jobs. Democrat Tom Palzewicz, running for the Fifth Congressional District seat, looks at the Foxconn project and only sees what could have been.
What was promised, and what was delivered are not the same. The groundbreaking came three years ago, but the promised jobs didn’t happen. The tax credits they wanted also won’t happen. Big business did not come through for Wisconsin workers. GDP and reality are not the same. The 10,000 jobs were an attractive selling point, but nothing else. The municipalities had to provide the infrastructure, which can be useful, but what does that mean for the workers who need jobs once all of that has been completed?
“Foxconn did a tremendous job of vetting a whole bunch of local businesses that were going to be able to grow and be involved in this automated manufacturing supply chain, through improving manufacturing through technology,” Palzewicz explained. “It was going to fundamentally change the way that we did business in Southeast Wisconsin. The problem is they didn’t do it. It’s not so much that we’re going to lose money from the tax credits because they’re not going to get the tax credits. We have a group of municipalities in Southeast Wisconsin that have built this infrastructure that isn’t going to be used for Foxconn. And I think the challenge now is how do we use it? How do we use the roads they built? How do we use the infrastructure that’s been built, and for what can we use it?”
“It’s not a coincidence that Amazon came and created a distribution hub right behind it, because they knew what this was–a prime place to do it cause it’s right in between O’Hare and Mitchell Field. And you know, that the whole corridor is going to grow substantially. But as Wisconsin, we don’t have a game plan on how we want it to grow or if we even want it to grow. ”
“Foxconn completely fell down during the execution and it’s not a surprise. Foxconn promised this to a number of different communities and has yet to get to deliver. We were promised an awful lot. Now we also did a of construction and a lot of those construction jobs, at least some of them were local. So some of the money went back into the community. But a lot of the companies they hired were not local community, local construction companies. They were national construction companies. So a lot of the profits went out of the state. My guess is it’ll still get utilized in some way, shape or form. They were never going to employ the number of people they said they were because they were building a factory of the future.”
Palzewicz is pro-business but strongly feels business has an obligation to labor. That means creating good-paying jobs and bringing business into partnership with Wisconsin.