The Foxconn “Long March” Experience in Brazil

Foxconn, known also as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd., is among the biggest manufacturers of electronic equipment in the world. The following infographics presents some vital information about this company.

Foxconn is originally a Taiwanese company, but its production bases are spread around the world. It has its facilities in many countries, including China (around 1 mln workers), Brazil, Mexico or Malaysia. Major clients of Foxconn are HP, Nintendo, Microsoft, Google, Apple and Amazon.

The largest factory of Foxconn is located in Longhua, Shenzhen, where more than 230 thousand workers live in their own separated city, with every kind of necessary infrastructure. The company is also the biggest private employer in China. Recently, it started to develop its production base in another growing smartphone market: in Brazil.

https://www.examinechina.com/blog/foxconn/

Let us examine the recent Foxconn Experience in Brazil:

April 13, 2011:

iPhone-maker Foxconn considers $12 Billion Brazil expansion move

Foxconn factory_Foxconn set on $12 Billion Brazil expansion move

Foxconn factory_Foxconn set on $12 Billion Brazil expansion move (image courtesy ibtimes.com)

The Taipei-based Taiwanese company, Foxconn, popularly known for being Apple’s iPhone and iPad maker, is considering spending around $12 billion over five to six years towards expanding by setting up production facilities in Brazil.

This information, regarding Foxconn’s intentions, was released in a statement made by Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s President. If this comes through, Foxconn’s expansion move to Brazil would constitute the Taipei-based company’s overseas biggest investment.

In addition to Apple, Foxconn currently also manufactures products for other tech giants like HP and Dell.

South American Tablet-makers Paradise

“Make South America’s biggest economy Brazil a global tablet-production hub” is what the Brazilian Government seems to be thinking, given the tax incentives announced by the Government for tablet-manufacturers.

Aloizio Mercadante, Brazil’s Science and Technology Minister said in Beijing that Foxconn’s planned facility would go a long way in employment generation, by creating over 100,000 jobs. HE further added that to go ahead with the proposed expansion plans, Foxconn would need state infrastructure guarantees such as energy supply, broadband Internet and access to airports.

The tax breaks announced by Brazil for tablet manufacturers are also being put to good use by domestic companies.

According to reports, MXT, a Brazilian electronics producer based in Betim, Minas Gerais, started manufacturing the first Brazil-based tablet in February and is likely to expand production after the tax incentives take effect.

A Visit to Foxconn’s Not-So-Secret iPhone Factory in Brazil [Exclusive]

A view of Foxconn's new iPhone plant. Photo: Alessandro Salvatori, Blog do iPhone.
A view of Foxconn’s new iPhone plant. Photo: Alessandro Salvatori, Blog do iPhone.
Jundiaí, Brazil – Foxconn’s iPhone and soon-to-be iPad factory about 45 miles north of Sao Paulo is an open secret; despite all the conjecture, it’s exactly where it’s supposed to be and three curious reporters had no problems poking around.On Oct. 31, the Brazilian telecommunications document agency ANATEL issued the OK for Foxconn to start producing mobile phones for Apple. Although the government started talks for a Foxconn plant back in April 2011, this was the first official document wedding Apple’s name with Foxconn in Brazil.

January 31, 2012

Foxconn to set up five manufacturing facilities in Brazil, each employing 1,000 workers [UPDATE: Foxconn denies]

Apple and Foxconn are continuing to work on bringing that $12.5 billion iPad plant in Brazil online (there have been no iPads “Made in Brazil” seen yet, unlike iPhones). Meanwhile, the country’s Secretary of Planning and Development of the State of São Paulo Julio Semeghini revealed today that Apple’s favorite contract manufacturer will build up to five factories in Brazil with a thousand employees each.

According to a local report by Folha.com, Foxconn of Taiwan (also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co.,) will leverage the additional plants to build notebooks and PCs, electronic components, connectors, batteries and precision machine elements. The plants should be located in Jundiai; São Paulo and business negotiations will resume when the Chinese New Year wraps up, according to the secretary.

The development could indicate plans to assemble an even greater portion of Apple products in Brazil, not just iPads and iPhones. Even so, poor machine-translated text suggested the secretary said, “The parts produced here will also help in the assembly of Apple products,” as “the company starts to import kits for assembly in Brazil iPad and iPhone.”

Foxconn already burned an estimated $300 million during the 2010 to 2011 timeframe on the Jundiai, São Paulo plant that is expected to employ 1,400 people assembling iPads. Why is Apple moving manufacturing to Brazil? Tax incentives. News of Foxconn’s expanding operation in Brazil arrives as Apple finds itself lambasted left and right for not bringing overseas jobs to the United States. More worrying than this, however, Foxconn and Apple both found themselves under fire for unfair labor practices and grueling working conditions at the former’s manufacturing facilities in China. But in spite of difficult working conditions, thousands prospective employees recently lined up to apply for the positions at Foxconn’s plants in China. Contrasting this, consumer group SumOfUs said over 35,000 people signed their “Stop Worker Abuse” online petition in just 24 hours.

April 12, 2012

New Address Of Foxconn In Brazil: Steve Jobs Avenue

As someone who truly walked the path, Steve Jobs would be pleased to know that his name is being honoured through an avenue that was named after him in the city of Jundiaí, southeast Brazil. The ‘Steve Jobs Avenue’ (Avenida Steve Jobs, in Portuguese) was first formulated and presented as a bill last October, one day after Jobs’ passing, and approved by Jundiaí’s city council on March 27.

Previously named after Miguel Moubadda Haddad, a former mayor of Jundiaí, the avenue is one of the routes that connects Jundiaí to São Paulo. It’s also the address of Foxconn in Brazil, the Taiwan-owned company with giant assembly facilities in mainland China that supply much of Apple‘s most popular products. Foxconn already produces iPhones in Jundiaí and they are already planning to soon start making iPads there.

Forbes’ Kenneth Rapoza explains why:

Brazil’s first place finish is due to its high tax load and import tariffs. When Apple goods are imported, the importer is charged a transaction tax known as ICMS, then social security taxes of around 9%, plus industrial production taxes, and on top of that, import duties. Then there is the famous logistic bottlenecks of shipping iPads and iPhones from the South and south-eastern ports to the cities a few hours away, at least, by truck.

That could change in the future, as the Foxconn subsidiary in Jundiaí is expected to reduce product costs and turn Brazil into a hotspot for exports in Latin America of the Brazilian made Apple devices.

April 26,2012

Foxconn Brazil workers reportedly threaten strike over working conditions

Factory workers at a Foxconn plant in Jundiaí, Brazil are complaining of overcrowded buses, poor food and a lack of water and have threatened to strike unless the issues are resolved by May 3.

According to a report by Brazil’s Tech Guru (Google Translation), over 2,500 Foxconn employees have complained about conditions at the factory. Workers reportedly met last Monday to raise the concerns and have given the company 10 days to address them.

Problems at the factory have been exacerbated by the recent hiring of more than a thousand employees. Foxconn was said not to have increased its transport infrastructure with the new hires. The company reportedly had to hire water trucks to bring in water for its employees.

A representative for the employees was optimistic that an amicable solution could be reached with Foxconn without resorting to a strike.

Foxconn Brazil workers

September 20, 2012

Foxconn invests more in Brazil

MAJOR EMPLOYER:The company has hired 6,000 Brazilians and plans to raise that to 10,000, and is spurring the development of an electronics manufacturing center

Foxconn Technology Group (富士康科技集團) yesterday said it planned to spend 1 billion reais (US$494 million) to build new factories in Brazil that will be tasked with manufacturing Apple’s iPhones and iPads, among other electronic components, making it the group’s latest overseas investment.

The announcement came 15 months after group chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘) revealed that Foxconn was in talks with Brazil’s government to build factories to make tablet computers.

Gou said the group would collaborate with its clients in search of new growth in emerging markets such as Brazil, Russia and South Africa, which is part of the group’s five-year program to spur growth.

With the 1 billion reais investment, Foxconn will open five factories in an industrial park in Itu, a city near Sao Paulo, said Simon Hsing (邢治平), spokesman of Foxconn’s flagship company Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd (鴻海精密).

The new facilities are scheduled to crank out their first batch of products in 2014 and are expected to reach full capacity by 2016, Foxconn said, confirming a report by the Agencia Estado news agency on Tuesday.

Foxconn said it also planned to manufacture cables, cameras, touch-sensor glass, LED products, printed-circuit boards (PCBs) and other components.

The investment will create 10,000 jobs, Gou told shareholders, adding that Foxconn had already hired about 6,000 workers in Brazil.

Foxconn now assembles Apple products at a plant in Jundiai and operates four other plants in Sao Paulo and three plants in other states of the Latin American country.

Foxconn’s Brazil unit chief executive officer Henry Cheng (鄭家純) is set to sign a memorandum of understanding with Luciano Almeida, president of Investe Sao Paulo, at the Palacio dos Bandeirantes, Hsing said.

Investe Sao Paulo is the gateway for foreign companies that intend to settle their operations in the state of Sao Paulo. Hsing said the technology group would not benefit from special tax incentives from the state government of Sao Paulo.

Gou said in June last year that he was in discussion with the Brazilian government to help the country build a technology center and build an electronics supply chain. He said 14 Taiwanese companies, including Acer Inc (宏碁) and Asustek Computer Inc (華碩), had agreed to join this program.

September 29,2014

Victory for Foxconn workers in Brazil

Workers at Foxconn’s second plant in Jundiaí, Brazil have succeeded in attaining the same salary and career opportunities as employees in the company’s other major plant in the city.

The victory came in a deal between Foxconn and the Metalworkers Union of Jundiaí following a five-day strike involving 3,700 workers.

The implementation of the new salary structure will take a year to be finalized, but from September 2014 workers at plant two will get an equal wage to those working in plant one.

Foxconn, a Taiwanese electronics multinational, has also agreed to give the workers full pay for the period of the strike, which ended on 18 September.

Foxconn launched its largest factory in Brazil in Jundiaí in 2007. The site specializes in manufacturing computers, notebooks and motherboards. In 2011, the company opened its second production unit in the same city, which is the only facility outside China to assemble iphones and ipads for Apple.

April 13, 2015

Foxconn angers Brazilian officials with slow manufacturing ramp-up

Taiwanese contract manufacturer Foxconn, one of Apple’s closest partners, is under fire in Brazil as officials in the South American nation are displeased with the company’s slow rate of progress on what was initially sold as a major investment to modernize the Brazilian manufacturing industry.

Foxconn Brazil

Foxconn’s Jundiai, Brazil manufacturing plant

While some believed that Foxconn’s 2011 expansion to Brazil would bring as many as 100,000 jobs and $12 billion in capital investment, the company currently has fewer than 10,000 employees in its 5 Brazilian factories, according to Reuters. One of those facilities is reportedly dedicated to production of Apple’s iPhone 5s.Despite a public commitment to invest at least $325 million in a new industrial park in Itu, outside of São Paulo, the site is not yet operational, though Foxconn did say it should come online by the end of 2015. The lack of headway has been cause for consternation among city officials.

“People are really frustrated,” Itu city councilor Givanildo Soares da Silva said. “We were expecting all these jobs by now and it’s still just empty promises.”

Of the jobs that Foxconn has brought, many pay little more than minimum wage. Acceptance testers at the Brazilian iPhone plant, for example, bring home just $80 per week and lack access to the same training and advancement opportunities that their counterparts in Foxconn’s Chinese facilities receive.

Workers have held at least three strikes at the iPhone factory, and a union representative said they were planning another. Such labor flare-ups have angered Foxconn founder Terry Guo, who infamously slammed Brazilian labor in 2010.

And…

Brazil’s iPhone investment falls short on promises of jobs, lower prices

When Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Group agreed in April 2011 to make Apple products here, President Dilma Rousseff and her advisers promised that up to $12 billion in investments over six years would transform the Brazilian technology sector, putting it on the cutting edge of touch screen development. A new supply chain would be created, generating high-quality jobs and bringing down prices of the coveted gadgets.

Four years later, none of that has come true.

Foxconn has created only a small fraction of the 100,000 jobs that the government projected, and most of the work is in low-skill assembly. There is little sign that it has catalyzed Brazil’s technology sector or created much of a local supply chain.

The iPhones now rolling off an assembly line near São Paulo, the only ones in the world made outside China, carry a retail price tag of nearly $1,000 for a 32-gigabyte iPhone 5S without a contract – among the highest prices in the world and about twice what they sell for in the U.S.

That Brazil has so little to show for the Foxconn investment underscores the shortcomings of its industrial policy, defined by costly tax incentives that have driven a widening government budget deficit without spurring growth. The economy currently hovers close to recession and the productivity of Brazil’s workforce is stagnant.

June 22, 2017

Foxconn set to discontinue Brazil manufacturing operations

The firm appears to be giving up on the country following promises of $12bn investment.

Foxconn is set to cease its manufacturing activities in Brazil, according to sources close to the Taiwanese company.

The company’s staff have been working on shutting down the facility located in Jundiaí, a city in the metropolitan region of São Paulo, and assisting on the deactivation and sale of machinery, according to Brazilian business magazine IstoÉDinheiro.

Foxconn had a second facility in the same business park, which is already empty. The idea is to only keep a limited local set-up intended for parts replacement and maintenance, according to the article.

The news Foxconn is stopping its manufacturing activities in Brazil is a far cry from all the noise the firm caused a few years ago: back in 2011, the company had pledged to invest $12bn in the country and create 100,000 local jobs within six years.

AND

Foxconn plans to leave Brazil

Back in 2011, Foxconn promised to create 100,000 jobs in Brazil within six years, also pledging to invest no less than $12 billion in the country. However, the company also required 30 percent of that sum from the Brazilian government, and to bring in a private investor as well. Sadly, both failed to materialize, and now Foxconn is close to shutting down its manufacturing facilities in Brazil for good.

According to the local press, the facility located in Jundiai is shutting down, and the machinery is being deactivated and sold. Another Foxconn facility in the area is already empty, and it seems that Foxconn will only keep a small set-up for parts replacement and maintenance.

When contacted by ZDNet, Foxconn declined to comment. However, insiders familiar with the matter confirmed that Foxconn is getting ready to shut down all its manufacturing operations in Brazil. On the other hand, they told the local press they have no plans to downsize.

2017

Foxconn’s Long Con

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Foxconn CEO Terry Gou and President Trump recently announced a plan to bring 3,000 jobs to Wisconsin at what appears to be a flat screen manufacturing plant.

The political press ate it up, alternatively excoriating the program for costing too much in tax breaks and crowing a win for Wisconsin’s conservative governor, Scott Walker.I wouldn’t encourage either party to hold their breath.

Gou is in the habit of promising big and rarely delivering. Four years ago business journals crowed about a plan to bring a Foxconn flat screen manufacturing plant to Pennsylvania in 2013. The result? Foxconn opened an empty office in Harrisburg and nothing further has been done.

This behavior is not new. Foxconn has signed letters promising to build factories in Indonesia (2013), Vietnam (2007), and Brazil (2011). None of these were completed according to the original pie-in-the-sky spec. Reuters had this to say about the Brazil adventure:

When Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Group agreed in April 2011 to make Apple products here, President Dilma Rousseff and her advisers promised that up to $12 billion in investments over six years would transform the Brazilian technology sector, putting it on the cutting edge of touch screen development. A new supply chain would be created, generating high-quality jobs and bringing down prices of the coveted gadgets.

Four years later, none of that has come true.

Foxconn has created only a small fraction of the 100,000 jobs that the government projected, and most of the work is in low-skill assembly. There is little sign that it has catalyzed Brazil’s technology sector or created much of a local supply chain.

The current Wisconsin deal involves a $10 billion investment by Foxconn and a planned tax abatement of “$200 million to $250 million a year for up to 15 years.” This amounts to a taxpayer cost of $230,000 per worker – if Foxconn keeps hiring.

Trump, for his part, is as optimistic as he was when he tried – and failed – to save jobs at Carrier.

“I’d see Terry and say, ‘You’ve got to give us one of these massive places,” he said. “If I didn’t get elected, he definitely wouldn’t be spending $10 billion.”

But politics isn’t a business. Foxconn is in the business of making and shipping products from its massive factories in China. It is not in the business of helping beleaguered economies. End of story. They are more than happy to explore employee investment, robotic assembly lines, and amazing manufacturing techniques in Shenzhen and will pay lip service – but never really come through – on expansion if it suits the company politically. I realize this is a cynical view especially when there are midwestern jobs on the line, but it’s something that Wisconsin and Walker will need to face.

It makes no economic sense to build massive factories in Wisconsin if the export taxes and other assorted costs are wildly higher in the U.S. than they are in China, further, rural Wisconsin would never be able to support anything like the 200,000 employees housed at some Foxconn facilities. Finally, human manufacturing is shrinking while the use of industrial robots is rising. This means you could run a massive factory with fewer workers and each of those workers would need a higher education to manage the intricacies of a robotic assembly line. None of this is addressed in the proposal and I suspect, soon, it won’t really matter.

“It’s not a promise. It’s a wish,” said Gou in January when the idea of a US factory was first floated. I worry that this announcement, too, is a “wish.” Either way, Foxconn – and not the state – wins.

October 20, 2018

Don’t Be Conned by Foxconn

From The Progressive: An illustrated journey into the dark heart of a really bad deal.

This piece will appear in print in the next issue of World War 3 illustrated magazine, NOW is the time of MONSTERS: A graphic discourse on predatory capitalism, available November from AK Press.

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Otis Redding performs the aptly named song  Shama Lama Ding Dong – for the Tools and Fools who govern SE WI. PARTY ON! MTP President David DeGoof!

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Hey – SE WI! You’ve been Fox-Scammed!

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Let’s Do the Math

From a Better Mount Pleasant: https://www.facebook.com/abettermtpleasant/

MESSAGE FROM VILLAGE PRESIDENT
Seasons Greetings!

This year, we’ve continued our work to move the transformational Foxconn project forward and have celebrated numerous milestones. Site preparation and utility and road work is underway, as is vertical construction on the first of many buildings on what is becoming the Wisconn Valley Science and Technology Park. We are already seeing the positive results of Foxconn’s investment in our community, including new jobs and business for local companies, increased opportunities for area residents who have been connected with employment and training and the announcement of significant new developments right here in Mount Pleasant.

The medical segment has certainly taken notice of us with expansion announcements from Ascension, Aurora and Froedert South. The Lake Park bluff erosion project was completed and will go a long ways towards protecting vulnerable residents as well as Village infrastructure. The Pike River pathway is nearly completed, which is a wonderful quality-of-life enhancer.

Many thanks go to our incredibly talented Village staff for the amazing work they have done this past year. This is the first full year on the job for Administrator Murphy, and we recently extended her contract. With her help, we have changed the face of Mount Pleasant. We have filled key staff positions of Finance Director and a new Accountant. Our books are balanced and our budget was approved with a drop in the Village tax rate portion of our tax bill. The goal is always to balance the needs of the Village with what our taxpayers can afford. We have added a new Human Resources Director, and adopted a pay plan and performance review process. We have bolstered the ranks of our protective services with new hires.

On behalf of the Village Board, best wishes for a happy and prosperous 2019.

David DeGroot
Village President

So according to MTP Village President, along with many other SE Wisconsin and Racine County Residents – Foxconn will employ 13,000 people being paid an average of $53,000 per year.

13,000 employees times $53,000 = $689,000,000 – per year!

So what is the price point which Foxconn must sell those LCD TV’s at  to at least break even? (This does not take into consideration WI tax credits or Pollution credits) Foxconn’s  actual cost to produce LCD TV’s is not able to be determined at this time – so we will have to deal with raw numbers – based upon projections provided by MTP Village President David DeGroot…..

Let us assume a price point of $250 per LCD TV – does that sound reasonable?

So we have 13,000 employees times $53,000 = $689,000,000 – per year divided by $250 LCD TV’s sold annually. Remember that this amount does not allow for profit – or consider what is the actual price point at which Consumers can afford to purchase the LCD TV’s in the quantity required to be produced…..

Which comes to: 2,756,000 TV’s which must be sold annually. But we still haven’t actually determined the cost to manufacture the LCD TV’s due to the cost of raw materials and production. Along with distribution and handling.

While producing 2,756,000 TV’s in 12 months = 645 LCD TV’s per day – if the factory is operating 7 days a week. Working anything less only increases demands for increased productivity per hour/day . At what point is the Worker – “over worked”? What happens when a bathroom break interferes with production?

Raising the price point only increases the demand for less wages to be paid with hopes for increased efficiency and less cost for labor/materials per unit.

The bigger question is – what will it actually cost to manufacture a LCD TV to sell in large enough quantities to make the Foxconn WI Valley project profitable, pay on the debt and associated costs, while allowing base level workers to thrive and other Businesses to prosper? The most likely answer is that: IT CAN’T FEASIBLY BE DONE.

In Asia, workers usually labor 12 hours a day, 7 days a week – so $53,000 per year comes to 365 X 12 divided by $53,000 =  $12.10 per hour. Which is way far more than Foxconn pays it’s Chinese and Indian Workers! And Foxconn has already stated that it didn’t take into account the higher US wage requirements, which it won’t pay….

Workers in Asia and India sleep in shifts at Company owned dorms – often only earning $2.50 day Compare that with taxpayer subsidized section 8 housing in Racine – which starts at $460/month. Who says Republicans hate State sponsored taxpayer funded welfare – they are it’s biggest beneficiaries. Take from the productive – to give back to “US” – your Rulers, Overlords, Landlords and Taxing Authorities.

TROUBLING INDEED!

In addition, every Consumer of the Foxconn manufactured product must be able to afford the cost of the (usually) subscribed TV service. While in areas where subscribed TV service is unavailable – the LCD TV will be….. worthless.

And what happens when the technology becomes obsolete? Residents will have to live with the consequences – which usually means abandoned buildings and polluted areas – ala Machinery Row…

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker pauses as he speaks at a news conference Monday, Sept. 21, 2015, in Madison, Wis., where he announced that he is suspending his Republican presidential campaign. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Maybe Snotty Scottie Walker will express his sympathy and condolences for the left behind workers of SE WI. *HEY* Good Luck!

*BONUS* say goodbye to Lordstown….

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors will lay off 14,700 factory and white-collar workers in North America and put five plants up for possible closure as it restructures to cut costs and focus more on autonomous and electric vehicles.

The reduction includes 8,100 white-collar workers, some of whom will take buyouts and others who will be laid off. Most of the affected factories build cars that won’t be sold in the U.S. after next year. They could close or they could get different vehicles to build. They will be part of contract talks with the United Auto Workers union next year.

Plants without products include assembly plants in Detroit; Lordstown, Ohio; and Oshawa, Ontario. Also affected are transmission factories in Warren, Michigan, as well as Baltimore.

More than 6,000 factory workers could lose jobs in the U.S. and Canada, although some could transfer to truck and SUV plants.

https://www.cleveland.com/business/2018/11/gm-to-slash-14700-jobs-in-north-america-lordstown-plant-faces-closure.html

While Collapse is stalking the land….

The Christmas present nobody wants sits under the tree: a worldwide finance crisis along with an establishment that appears to be coming apart at the seams.

The status quo is unraveling from all sides, at the top especially, where managers cannot conceal their panic:

steve from virginia @econundertow

When the captain of the ship starts taking the covers off the lifeboats there is a problem. https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2018/12/23/treasury-secretary-makes-unusual-pre-christmas-call-top-bank-ceos-amid-market-mayhem/ 

Treasury secretary startles Wall Street with unusual pre-Christmas calls to top bank CEOs

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin called the heads of the biggest U.S. banks on Sunday to confirm they are financially sound and not experiencing excessive financial stress, a highly unusual outreach…

washingtonpost.com

Oops!

“Every banker knows that if he must prove he is worthy of credit, however good might be his arguments, in fact his credit is gone.”

— Walter Bagehot

https://www.economic-undertow.com/2018/12/25/collapse-something-or-other/

OOPS – Indeed. Color me pissed off – Yellow Vests!

If French president Emmanuel Macron is hoping for some holiday respite from the anti-government pro citizen/anti elite protests which have rocked France, he might want to avoid the presidential retreat along the Mediterranean coast.

Around 40 “yellow vest” demonstrators on Thursday tried to storm the medieval fort of Bregancon that serves as Mr Macron’s summer retreat before being turned back by police, the mayor of nearby Bormes-les-Mimosas, Francois Arizzi, told AFP on Friday.

https://www.news.com.au/world/europe/yellow-vest-protesters-target-macrons-vacation-hideaway/news-story/8461b95521d038445cfcc6bc76a06b03

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Will Foxconn Lift Up SE WI or Lead to Its Collapse?

A lesson from history, as it seems to repeat. The WPA is reborn  via Foxconn, Amazon, and other large scale Corporate interests as governments borrow money to finance private ventures with the hopes of employment for the masses and a future payout so that they can maintain the status quo for grossly overpaid/compensated Bureaucrats, and those fortunate enough to be employed in taxpayer financed public/private ventures and non-profits.

The Works Progress Administration (WPA; renamed in 1939 as the Work Projects Administration) was the largest and most ambitious American New Deal agency, employing millions of people (mostly unskilled men) to carry out public works projects, including the construction of public buildings and roads. In a much smaller project, Federal Project Number One, the WPA employed musicians, artists, writers, actors and directors in large arts, drama, media, and literacy projects.

Almost every community in the United States had a new park, bridge, or school that was constructed by the agency. The WPA’s initial appropriation in 1935 was for $4.9 billion (about 6.7 percent of the 1935 GDP).

Headed by Harry Hopkins, the WPA provided jobs and income to the unemployed during the Great Depression in the United States, while developing infrastructure to support the current and future society. At its peak in 1938, it provided paid jobs for three million unemployed men and women, as well as youth in a separate division, the National Youth Administration. Between 1935 and 1943, when the agency was disbanded, the WPA employed 8.5 million people. Most people who needed a job were eligible for employment in some capacity. Hourly wages were typically set to the prevailing wages in each area.Full employment, which was reached in 1942 and emerged as a long-term national goal around 1944, was not the goal of the WPA; rather, it tried to provide one paid job for all families in which the breadwinner suffered long-term unemployment.

BAU (Business As Usual) must continue at all costs – residents, environment, resources, and basic decency will not be allowed to interfere with progress.  The battle for the radical change of learning to live with less and create truly Sustainable Communities, recognizing that resources on Planet Earth are finite,  has been lost.

by Ugo Bardi

About 2,000 years ago, the Roman philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca wrote to his friend Licilius noting that “growth is slow, but ruin is rapid”. It was an apparently obvious observation, but one of those observations that turns out to be not obvious at all if you just think a little about it.

Understanding the real message that LTG sent to us in 1972, and that it is still sending, takes a certain effort. First, you have to free your mind from the layers of legends that have accumulated around it over four decades, but that is not enough. You have to free yourself also from the common attitude that prevents us from understanding how complex systems behave. There is no fixed future for systems such as the world’s economic system, only trends. But these systems still obey physical laws: the limits of natural resources, the finiteness of the world system, the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. And there are the constants of human behavior: mainly our tendency of preferring immediate satisfaction to a future one, a phenomenon known as “discounting the future.

All together, these factors push the world system to follow a well defined path. We cannot determine exactly what the future will be, but we can produce a “fan” of trajectories that show to us where the system is heading to. The original 1972 LTG study had already identified the main factors that have been dominating the behavior of the world’s economy. The combined effects of resource depletion and pollution accumulation (seen today mainly in terms of climate change) have been gradually reducing the ability of the industrial system of accumulating capital and of fuelling growth. These factors will, eventually, cause the world’s industrial and agricultural systems to start a decline that could be defined as “collapse” which, later on, will involve also the collapse of the world’s population.

Reality has been transcended by television programming and the smartphone – a phone for dumb people; which is why it is the smartphone.
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IF Foxconn could readily employ 13,000 at a minimum of $53G each, as the Politicans of WI claim, then why can’t other local private Employers?
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If being paid $53G – and does that include the non-taxable fringe? – is such a great thing – then why are the halls of local government filled with Bureaucrats making $100G plus a year, Tax -free fringes well in excess of $25G, and early retirements, providing opportunities for a second double dipping career in the non-productive World of Management? The only thing Bureaucrats farm is TAXES!
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From Journal Times:

Proposal to review city positions paying over $100,000 stalls

RACINE – A proposal to review vacant high-paying city positions in hopes of finding cost-saving opportunities failed to move past the Finance and Personnel Committee on Monday.

Under the proposal, any position vacant due to retirement or resignation that typically pays more than $100,000 in salary and benefits would be reviewed by the committee and City Council before any hire, said Alderman Eric Marcus, who proposed the idea.

In some cases, he said, the responsibilities of a currently unfilled position may be divided among other employees or the committee could decide to reduce a position’s salary.

“I think it’s an opportunity to see if there is some way we can combine positions in an era of real fiscal responsibility,” Marcus said.

There are about 150 city positions that are paid, through salaries and benefits, more than $100,000 a year.

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Too often, these same Bureaucrats then flee Racine County, even the State of Wisconsin, to establish residence in a State without income tax and lower property tax rates! They become tax-evading Snow-Birds! But still they demand more yearly increases while they avoid paying the taxes which fund their retirements, benefits, and increases!

Tax planning is a cornerstone of retirement planning. But by focusing on Uncle Sam, many retirees overlook the state-tax bite. States vary across the map on how they tax everything from retirement income to retail purchases. If you’re thinking of relocating, be sure to know how potential retirement destinations compare with your current state when it comes to taxes.

ERoEI for Beginners

See: http://euanmearns.com/eroei-for-beginners/

The Energy Return on Energy Invested (ERoEI or EROI) of any energy gathering system is a measure of that system’s efficiency. The concept was originally derived in ecology and has been transferred to analyse human industrial society. In today’s energy mix, hydroelectric power ± nuclear power have values > 50. At the other end of the scale, solar PV and biofuels have values <5.

It is assumed that ERoEI >5 to 7 is required for modern society to function. This marks the edge of The Net Energy Cliff and it is clear that new Green technologies designed to save humanity from CO2 may kill humanity through energy starvation instead. Fossil fuels remain comfortably away from the cliff edge but march closer to it for every year that passes.

But in the end, Industrial Civilization, predicated upon a civilization dependent upon an infinite supply of cheap petroleum, will spectacularly fail because there are limits to growth on a finite Planet.
By Gail Tverberg:

The world economy seems to be seriously ill. The problem is not overly high oil prices, but that does not rule out energy as being a major underlying problem.

Two of the symptoms of the economy’s malaise are slow wage growth and increasing wage disparity. Tariffs are being used as solutions to these issues. Radical leaders are increasingly being elected. The Bank for International Settlements and the International Monetary Fund have raised concerns about the world’s aggregate debt levels. The IMF has even suggested that a second Great Depression might be ahead if major banks should fail in the manner that Lehman Brothers did in 2008.

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The above graph courtesy of: https://beforethecollapse.com/2018/06/25/the-cost-of-civilization/

Essentially, this is the Cost of our Civilization, and it is on an exponential curvature;

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And an exponential curve works like this…… a doubling every time…… 1 to 2 to 4 to 8 to 16 to 32 to 64 to 128 to 256 to 512 to 1024…. to infinity.

Politicians LIE for a living.

Politicians have to lie, because it is their only means of support.

They justify endless wars, instill fear, demand endless tribute, and bully the productive. Their ranks multiply until they become a unstoppable swarm whose insatiable demands exceed the capacity of the productive, rapes the land, and creates societal collapse. Soon to be coming to SE WI and beyond.

666

]

*UPDATED* – Oily Stuff Blog sends:

There Appears To Be No End To US LTO Growth

ALL OF THIS GROWTH WILL OCCUR ON DEFERRED DEBT, OR NEW DEBT. MOST, IF NOT ALL OF THIS NEW GROWTH WILL GET EXPORTED TO FOREIGN  COUNTIES. MORE LTO PRODUCTION = LOWER PRICES (now down 18% in <5 weeks),  NO PROFIT… AND WILL FURTHER REDUCE THE SHALE OIL INDUSTRY’S ABILITY TO PAY BACK DEBT OR REFINANCE DEBT AS MATURITIES LOOM.

 

While SRSrocco Reports:

The situation at Canada’s Alberta Tar Sands Operations has gone from bad to worse as the super-low oil price is now costing the industry billions of dollars each month. Unbelievably, the price for the Western Canadian Select heavy oil fell to a gut-wrenching $14.65 yesterday down from a high of $58 in May. Tar sands oil is now selling at an amazing $40 discount to U.S. West Texas Oil which is trading at $56.

In a recent article from EnergySkeptic.com titled, Why tar sands, a toxic ecosystem-destroying asphalt, can’t fill in for declining conventional oil, a review of the book, Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent, stated the following four important points:

Many “energy experts” have said that a Manhattan tar sands project could prevent oil decline in the future. But that’s not likely. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Reaching 5 Mb/d will get increasingly (energy) expensive, because there’s only enough natural gas to mine 29% of tar sands (and limited water as well). Using the energy of the tar sand bitumen itself would greatly reduce the amount that could be produced and dramatically increase the cost and energy to mine it.
  2. Since there isn’t enough natural gas, many hope that nuclear reactors will replace natural gas. That would take a lot of time. Kjell Aleklett estimates it would take at least 7 years before a candu nuclear reactor could be built, and the Canadian Parliament estimates it would take 20 nuclear reactors to replace natural gas as a fuel source.
  3. Mined oil sands have been estimated to have an energy returned on invested of EROI of 5.5–6 for mined tar sands (perhaps 10% of the 170 billion barrels), with in situ processing much lower at 3.5–4 (Brandt 2013). Right now, 90% of the reserves being developed are via higher-EROI mining, yet 80% of remaining oil sands reserves are in situ, so the remaining reserves will be much less profitable.
  4. Counting on tar sands to replace declining conventional oil, with an EROI as high as 30 will be hard to accomplish, especially if it turns out to be the case that an EROI of 7 to 14 is required to maintain civilization as we know it (Lambert et al. 2014; Murphy 2011; Mearns 2008; Weissbach et al. 2013)

I believe the biggest problem with the sustainability of tar sands if we ignore the nasty environmental issues, is the low EROI – Energy Returned On Invested.  As point (4) states, a minimum of 7-14 EROI is needed to maintain civilization.  However, I believe the realistic range of a minimum EROI to sustain our modern societies is likely 10-12 EROI.  So, shale oil at an EROI of 5/1 or less (probably much less) and tar sands at 4-6/1, these are not sustainable energy sources.

666

Impoverishing the masses is merely conservation by other means.

Everything You Need To Know About the Fox-Scam Grand Illusion In a Simple Paragraph

“There are more questions than answers right now,” said Haas. “Right now, if they don’t even know what they want to make … they don’t really know what to tell me.

Full Comic available at the following link: https://progressive.org/dispatches/don-t-be-conned-by-foxconn-181020/

From the JT:

Water use and Foxconn discussed at community meeting

“There are more questions than answers right now,” said Haas. “Right now, if they don’t even know what they want to make … they don’t really know what to tell me.”

“There are more questions than answers right now,” said Haas. “Right now, if they don’t even know what they want to make … they don’t really know what to tell me.”

“There are more questions than answers right now,” said Haas. “Right now, if they don’t even know what they want to make … they don’t really know what to tell me.”

The only thing Governor Scott Walker and the Republican Party of WI desires is for the citizens of SE Wisconsin to continue voting for the Republican Criminals who have turned a blind eye to the plight of the Common Citizen and have offered them the false hope of future employment at a fraction of the wages and benefits which the Politicos who rule SE WI reward themselves with!

“There are more questions than answers right now,” said Haas. “Right now, if they don’t even know what they want to make … they don’t really know what to tell me.”

As William Catton so succinctly observed:

The Industrial Revolution made us precariously dependent on nature’s dwindling legacy of non-renewable resources, even though we did not at first recognize this fact. Many major events of modern history were unforeseen results of actions taken with inadequate awareness of ecological mechanisms. Peoples and governments never intended some of the outcomes their actions would incur.

To see where we are now headed, when our destiny has departed so radically from our aspirations, we must examine some historic indices that point to the conclusion that even the concept of succession (as explored in previous chapters) understates the ultimate consequences of our own exuberance. We can begin by taking a fresh look at the Great Depression of the 1930s, an episode people saw largely in the shallower terms of economics and politics when they were living through it. [1] From an ecologically informed perspective, what else can we now see in it?

The Great Depression, looked at ecologically, was a preview of the fate toward which mankind has been drawn by the kinds of progress that have depended on consuming exhaustible resources. We need to see why it was not recognized for the preview it was; this will help us to grasp at last the meaning missed earlier.

We did not know we were watching a preview because, when the world economy fell apart in 1929-32, it was not from exhaustion of essential fuels or materials. From the very definition of carrying capacity—the maximum indefinitely supportable ecological load—we can now see that non-renewable resources provide no real carrying capacity; they provide only phantom carrying capacity. If coming to depend on phantom carrying capacity is a Faustian bargain that mortgages the future of Homo colossus as the price of an exuberant present, that mortgage was not yet being foreclosed in the Great Depression. Even so, much of the suffering that befell so much of mankind in the 1930s does need to be seen as the result of a carrying capacity deficit. The fact that the deficit did not stem from resource exhaustion in that instance makes it no less indicative of the kinds of grief entailed by resource depletion. Accordingly, we need to understand what did bring on a carrying capacity deficit in the 1930s.

 

“There are more questions than answers right now,” said Haas. “Right now, if they don’t even know what they want to make … they don’t really know what to tell me.”

Please join Cindy and I is JUST SAYING NO to allowing Wisconsin’s very own Gang of Four, Governor Scott Walker, Racine County Executive Jonathan Delagrave,  City of Racine Mayor Cory Mason & MTP President David DeGroot to violate the Wisconsin Constitution (and their Oath of Office) by granting special rights to Corporate interests, stealing people’s property, destroying multi-generational Farms alongside an entire long established Community, loosening environmental protections, permitting heavy metals water pollution, instituting slave labor wages, providing taxpayer subsidies to multi-billionaire Corporations, and politician overreach.

“There are more questions than answers right now,” said Haas. “Right now, if they don’t even know what they want to make … they don’t really know what to tell me.”

“There are more questions than answers right now,” said Haas. “Right now, if they don’t even know what they want to make … they don’t really know what to tell me.”

Foxconn Abandons it’s $12 Billion Investment in Brazil, Shutting Down Operations and Selling Off Equipment Due to Costs

Dazed and Confused Politicians in SE Wisconsin simply don’t understand that Foxconn is in the business of making money, while keeping their labor costs low, so profits are maximized. Politicians never have to worry about labor costs or selling price points because they have the power of taxation – imposing the collection of taxes at the point of a gun, versus the private sector, which must sell consumers a manufactured product.  Which in Wisconsin Foxconn’s case is a LCD TV.

SE Wisconsin residents need to be particularly concerned as Foxconn has recently decided to discontinue it’s $12 Billion investment in Brazil!

Foxconn angers Brazilian officials with slow manufacturing ramp-up

While some believed that Foxconn’s 2011 expansion to Brazil would bring as many as 100,000 jobs and $12 billion in capital investment, the company currently has fewer than 10,000 employees in its 5 Brazilian factories, according to Reuters. One of those facilities is reportedly dedicated to production of Apple’s iPhone 5s.

Despite a public commitment to invest at least $325 million in a new industrial park in Itu, outside of São Paulo, the site is not yet operational, though Foxconn did say it should come online by the end of 2015. The lack of headway has been cause for consternation among city officials.

“People are really frustrated,” Itu city councilor Givanildo Soares da Silva said. “We were expecting all these jobs by now and it’s still just empty promises.”

Of the jobs that Foxconn has brought, many pay little more than minimum wage. Acceptance testers at the Brazilian iPhone plant, for example, bring home just $80 per week and lack access to the same training and advancement opportunities that their counterparts in Foxconn’s Chinese facilities receive.

Workers have held at least three strikes at the iPhone factory, and a union representative said they were planning another. Such labor flare-ups have angered Foxconn founder Terry Guo, who infamously slammed Brazilian labor in 2010.

“Brazilian workers’ wages are very high. But Brazilians, as soon as they hear ‘soccer,’ they stop working. And there’s all the dancing. It’s crazy,” he said at the time.

Manufacturing Apple devices in Brazil also has not had the desired effect of lowering local prices, which are inflated by as much as 30 percent on imported goods thanks to various taxes and tariffs. iPhones and iPads routinely sell for twice as much in Brazil as they do in the U.S., which does not surprise local residents.

“If we’re buying it at that price, then why would they bring it down?” one shopper told Reuters. “I don’t even know what the next iPad does, but I know I need it.”

Meanwhile, ZD Net reports that  Foxconn, in addition to ceasing it’s manufacturing operations in Brazil,  is closing it’s facilities, and selling off the manufacturing equipment.

Foxconn set to discontinue Brazil manufacturing operations

The firm appears to be giving up on the country following promises of $12bn investment.

Mark & Joyce Sonday *WIN* the Land Speculation Lottery as Village of Mount Pleasant Pays Them $400,300 Per Acre!

 

A Better Mount Pleasant notes:

FOR SALE BY OWNER:

The village has listed a property parcel they purchased in Sturtevant just a few weeks ago, located at HWY 11 and HWY H. The village purchased the property for $784,000 saying they HAD to buy the entire parcel for road widening.

At the time, the fair market value of the parcel was $135,000. Sources confirmed to us the high purchase price was most likely because the village had no authority to impose eminent domain in another jurisdiction – so the seller got a great deal.

The village will tear down the long vacant house and will only entertain offers above $550,000.

Um, let’s all hope that get significantly more than that. #weareintherealestatebusinessnow

The Village of Mount Pleasant actually purchased 2 acres, comprised of one full parcel, and one partial, for a total of $800,600! Or, $400,300 per acre. From the legal description:

Parcel 2 of Certified Survey Map No. 2076, recorded August 17, 1998 in Volume 6 of Certified Survey Maps at Page 363, as Document No. 1641481, and being part of the Southwest ¼ of Section 21, Township 3 North, Range 22 East, in the Village of Sturtevant, County of Racine, State of Wisconsin. EXCEPTING THEREFROM land conveyed for highway purposes by Deed recorded in Volume 3318 of Records, Page 18, as Document No. 1804499. Address: 2925 105th Street, Sturtevant, Wisconsin Parcel No. 181-03-22-21-036-020 AND Part of Parcel 181-03-22-21-036-030 2941 105th Street, Sturtevant,  Wisconsin Fee Title in and to the following tract of land in Racine County, State of Wisconsin, described as:  (see the below PDF’s for the entire legal description)

For those who wish to view the complete Transfer Return, it consists of two pages and is available by clicking on the links to the PDF viewer:

Mark Sonday

Joyce Sonday

The land purchased is within the red outline borders:

 

From the Transfer Return:

While the Village of Mount Pleasant paid $800,600 for two acres, of only which a partial strip was needed, these lands were only assessed for a combined total of $156,000.

2925 105th Street was zoned commercial with a land value of $67,000 and an improved value of $42,400, for a total of $109,400.

 

While 2941 105th Street was zoned Residential with a land value of only $46,600.

 

Note that the Attorney representing the Village of Mount Pleasant is Alan Marcuvitz. From the Transfer Return:

In addition, Attorney Alan Marcuvitz is also Mount Pleasant’s property acquisition attorney and expert. The below is from screenshot which clearly indicates the level of conflict between Residents and Elected/Appointed Officials as the Village forces Residents off with Eminent Domain, Blight, low-ball offers, threats and intimidation.

From his on-line Profile: Alan Marcuvitz

While Mr. Marcuvitz currently represents the Village of Mount Pleasant, in the not too distant past he has represented Mount Pleasant Land Speculation Lottery Winners, Mark & Joyce Sonday, as Plaintiffs in these cases:

Kenosha County Case Number 2009CV000007 Mark S Sonday et al vs. Wisconsin Department of Transportation et al

Link to PDF Viewer: Mark Sonday v WI DOT

Kenosha County Case Number 2004CV000749 Mark S Sonday et al vs. Village of Pleasant Prairie Community Development Authority

Link to PDF Viewer: Mark Sonday v PPCDA

Interestingly enough, while Mark Sonday initially lost his land to the Pleasant Prairie CDA, he won a major arbitration award in 2006. Cheated Mount Pleasant residents need to pay attention!

Military museum reopens after long fight

Though still a work in progress, the owners hope the new venue will attract tourists

October 03, 2007|By John Dobberstein, Special to the Tribune

In 2002, Pleasant Prairie used eminent domain to condemn hundreds of acres, including the museum site and Mark Sonday’s van-conversion business, to make way for development along I-94. Village officials said the museum doubled as a military scrap yard and didn’t fit in with the corporate image they wanted their municipality to project.

In 2006, an arbitrator awarded Mark Sonday a $3.9 million settlement, ending the condemnation process and giving the family enough cash to move the museum and pay $160,000 in legal fees.

Does Mark Sonday and MTP Attorney Alan Marcuvitz know something which cheated,  blighted,  condemned, and displaced  Residents of MTP don’t know? Perhaps.

Cheated and Beaten Mount Pleasant Residents should really enjoy the irony:

Review: Russell Military Museum

This past Sunday we had the opportunity to spend a few hours at the Russell Military Museum.  This privately owned museum sits just south of the border between Illinois and Wisconsin about an hours drive north from Chicago.  The museum is situated right off the highway and is easy to get to.  A somewhat battered looking M3 Stuart light tank marks the entrance to the museum parking lot, a former car dealership lot converted into a museum in 2007.

Museum owner Mark Sonday has been building his collection over several decades, originally showcasing them at a previous location in Pleasant Prairie Wisconsin (which wife Joyce Sonday now refers to as “Unpleasant Prairie”.)  Forced to move due to Pleasant Prairie using eminent domain to clear land for a retail development, the Sonday family became embroiled in a long legal fight to gain fair compensation for the theft of their land by the state.  For more on the legal battle and move, read this Chicago Tribune article.  (Why a community would prefer an outlet mall to a collection of historic armored vehicles and aircraft is a complete mystery to us!)

But Mark Sonday sold yet another partial parcel to the Village of Mount Pleasant as Russell Military Museum LTD:

From the MTP Village Board Meeting Agenda Minutes for July 9, 2018:

This one acre parcel was part of a 6.99 total parcel and sold for the low, low price of only $64,830. The original 6.99 acres had a value of $236,400 for the land ($33,820 per acre) with an improvement assessed at $1,287,300 for a total of $1,523,700.

For those who wish to view the complete Transfer Return, it  is available by clicking on the links to the PDF viewer:

Russell Military Museum

From the Transfer Return:

Just as Joyce Sonday refers to Pleasant Prairie as “Unpleasant Prairie“, Mount Pleasant has morphed into “Mount Unpleasant“, and continues to beat and cheat Residents:

Properties in Foxconn ‘blighted area’ await their fate

MOUNT PLEASANT — Kim and Jim Mahoney say they have not heard from the Village of Mount Pleasant since it made its offer to buy their home back in April.

They say they have not heard from the village since it voted on June 4 to blight the area they live on, and the clock might be ticking for the village.

The Mahoneys live on a 1.8-acre parcel within Area I and have been negotiating with the village to sell, but things have gotten quiet.

“It’s our position that the blight area designation means nothing for our property,” Kim Mahoney said. “And we literally have not heard anything from the village since their initial offer back in the beginning of April.”

The Mahoneys got their own appraisal for their land, which they said the village “rejected it outright.”

So they let the village send its own appraiser, Pitts Brothers and Associates, to value their land.

According to the Mahoney’s, the village made a “lowball” offer to them based on the average of the two appraisals multiplied by 1.4 percent of the property value.

Kim Mahoney declined to say what their appraisal number was, but said the village came in significantly under their initial appraisal.

“That offer was about $215,000 less than what we believe it will cost to get exactly what we have now with the same exact mortgage that we have now,” Kim Mahoney said, adding they have not responded to the village’s offer. “We pretty much ignored it.”

 

Please join Cindy and I is JUST SAYING NO to allowing Governor Scott Walker, Racine County Executive Jonathan Delagrave,  City of Racine Mayor Cory Mason & MTP President David DeGroot to violate the Wisconsin Constitution (and their Oath of Office) by granting special rights to Corporate interests, stealing people’s property, destroying multi-generational Farms alongside an entire long established Community, loosening environmental protections, permitting heavy metals water pollution, instituting slave labor wages, providing taxpayer subsidies to multi-billionaire Corporations, and politician overreach.

Residents also demand to be treated fairly with respect and dignity! 

 

 

 

Mount Pleasant Imposes Eminent Domain for Foxconn

A Better Mount Pleasant sends:

BREAKING – MT. PLEASANT IMPOSES EMINENT DOMAIN FOR FOXCONN

They did it. They finally pulled the trigger on their own residents.

A lawsuit has been filed in Racine County against the Village of Mt. Pleasant in response to a jurisdictional offer (the first step in the taking of property through eminent domain condemnation) filed on August 22nd against the first Mt. Pleasant property owner in the Foxconn area.

We have requested a copy of the lawsuit and will post it as soon as we get it it. Please share this post.