Category Archives: Economy

Foxconn Will Only Benefit Southeast Wisconsin

Oh, wait

Foxconn Technology Group is buying a historic downtown Eau Claire building and space in the Haymarket Landing building as part of an expansion that will create 150 jobs.

The company announced it is expanding its Wisconn Valley Innovation Network to west-central Wisconsin as part of its initiative to spur innovation, attract talent and connect with supply chain partners, according to a statement. Foxconn plans to close on these properties later this year and open new operations in early 2019.

The new centers, to be named Foxconn Place Chippewa Valley, will create at least 150 high-tech jobs in Eau Claire. Employees will work with companies that will become part of Foxconn’s extensive supply chain and contribute to the development of the AI 8K+5G ecosystem that Foxconn is building in Wisconsin.

“We are excited to expand our Wisconn Valley footprint to the Chippewa Valley and west-central Wisconsin. Our goal in establishing Foxconn Place here is to help inspire innovative ideas, attract talent and catalyze cutting-edge solutions in this part of the state,” said Alan Yeung, Foxconn’s Director of U.S. Strategic Initiatives and President of FEWI Development Corporation. “Foxconn Place Chippewa Valley will play a key role in building a vibrant AI 8K+5G ecosystem in the U.S., with Wisconsin at the center of this vision.”

I will remind the gentle reader that every single Democrat running for governor has spoken against the Foxconn deal. I actually think that if one of them would break with the pack and champion Foxconn, they would stand a better chance of winning the general election, but it would kill them in the primary.

Last Sears in Chicago to Close

Speaking of disruption

The Six Corners store, on the edge of Chicago’s Portage Park neighborhood, will shut its doors for the last time Sunday, two months shy of its 80th anniversary. The closure is part of Sears effort to turn around its business after years of losses and declining sales, but when the store rings up its final sale, the city will lose one more link to a hometown company that used to be the world’s largest retailer.

Down to One Blockbuster

As a former employee of Blockbuster, this makes me sad. Blockbuster is the perfect example of the technological disruption of an industry and a company that was too slow to adapt. There was a small window of opportunity where Blockbuster could have leveraged its brand to dominate the fledgling streaming media business, but they were too fat, happy, and slow to do it. Of course, hindsight is 20/20. This disruption continues unabated. I’ve seen projections that as much as half of the Fortune 500 won’t be on the list in 10 years. I believe it.

This week, there are three stores remaining, but by next week there will only be one store open for business — in Bend, Oregon.
Alaska’s last two Blockbuster stores — one in Anchorage and another in Fairbanks — announced they would officially close on Sunday.
Sandi Harding, the Bend store’s general manager, told CNN she was surprised her store was the last one open.
“It’s pretty exciting that we are the last holdout,” she said.

A bit of nostalgia

Bend’s Blockbuster looks just like stores from years ago — yellow on the inside and employees sporting blue shirts. They even have floppy disks and old computer systems, Harding told CNN.
After Sunday, this video store in Bend, Oregon, will be the last remaining Blockbuster in the US.

“It’s very nostalgic,” she said. “We have a bunch of 19-year-olds working here — it’s fun explaining to them what a floppy disk is.”

Foxconn Expands in Green Bay

Great.

GREEN BAY – Foxconn, the Taiwanese tech company building a sprawling manufacturing plant in southeastern Wisconsin, will become the new owner of The Watermark building in downtown Green Bay.

Foxconn Technology Group CEO Terry Gou was joined by Gov. Scott Walker on CityDeck Friday to announce the company’s pending purchase of the building, the former Younkers department store at 301 N. Washington St.

Foxconn plans to open an innovation center in the building by the end of the year. It will be part of a network supporting its Racine County manufacturing plant. More than 200 people are expected to work at the Green Bay location.

Gou said the Green Bay center will focus on developing applications for the AI 8K+5G display technology it is developing, as well as applications for the education, medical, health care, entertainment, sports and security industries.

Foxconn Awards $14 Million in Contracts for First Building

Great!

Foxconn Technology Group and M+W|Gilbane awarded $14 million in contracts to eight prime subcontractors for the construction of the first building at Foxconn’s planned LCD manufacturing campus in Mount Pleasant.

Four of the contracts for a 120,000-square-foot multipurpose building went to companies based in metro Milwaukee. Those firms included precast work by Waukesha-based Spancrete Inc., concrete by Butler-based Superior Masonry Builders Inc., electrical work by New Berlin-based Pieper Electric Inc. and mechanical, plumbing and fire protection work by Pewaukee-based Total Mechanical Inc.

“We are pleased that a team of companies with strong track records in Wisconsin has been assembled to support the development and construction of our first building in the Wisconn Valley Science and Technology Park,” said Alan Yeung, Foxconn director of U.S. strategic initiatives and president of FEWI Development Corp.

All eight firms have a Wisconsin presence. Schofield-Tased Merrill Steel is providing structural steel and miscellaneous metals work and the Milwaukee offices of Pennsylvania-based Bright View Landscape Development Inc. and Connecticut-based Otis Elevator Co. will handle landscape and elevator work respectively.

SCOTUS Rules Against Forced Union Dues

Excellent. Forced unionization has been a century-long stain on the freedom of association.

WASHINGTON—The Supreme Court has barred public-employee contracts requiring workers to pay union dues, dealing a severe blow to perhaps the strongest remaining redoubt of the American labor movement.

The 5-4 vote, along conservative-liberal lines, overruled a 1977 precedent that had fueled the growth of public-sector unionization even as representation has withered in private industry. More than one-third of public employees are unionized, compared with just 6.5% of those in the private sector, according to a January report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The impact is likely to stretch far beyond the workplace, sapping resources from unions like the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the National Education Association that have provided funds, resources and activists largely in support of Democratic candidates.

[…]

Under that theory, it would violate the First Amendment for government to condition a job on subsidizing political speech a worker may oppose—and therefore public-employment contracts including union-security clauses would be unconstitutional. The court majority has now accepted that argument.

Foxconn Considering Venture Capital Fund for Wisconsin Startups

This would be most welcome. Wisconsin lags the nation in attracting venture capital and an infusion of funds would be a boon for startups.

Several Wisconsin and Milwaukee-area entrepreneurship and venture capital sources have told BizTimes Milwaukee that Foxconn Technology Group is working on forming a large venture capital fund – some have pegged it at $100 million – to invest in Wisconsin startups.

The Taiwanese LCD screen manufacturer, which is building a massive campus in Mount Pleasant, already invests in startups via its HCM Capitalprivate equity arm, which currently has nine portfolio companies in China, California, Massachusetts and New York. Last month, it invested in a $7 million Series A round for Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Cambridge Blockchain.

Foxconn could potentially house portfolio companies from the Wisconsin venture capital fund in its new North American headquarters in downtown Milwaukee, where it has previously said it will provide office space for startups. The headquarters will include the Wisconn Valley Innovation Center, a hub for the 8K+5G “ecosystem” the company is trying to foster in Wisconsin and the U.S.

In response to previous questions about its plans to invest in Wisconsin startups, Foxconn referred to the Innovation Center: “The facility will house incubators, accelerator labs, venture capital activities and startup initiatives, and support Foxconn’s goal of cultivating a new class of vertical solution providers for advanced manufacturing processes and technologies, as well as for industries such as education, medical and health care, entertainment and sports, security, and smart community.”

Harley Shifts Production Overseas

This is one of the costs of tariffs.

Harley-Davidson plans to shift some motorcycle production away from the US to avoid the “substantial” burden of European Union tariffs.

Last week, the EU imposed retaliatory tariffs on US goods, including bourbon, orange juice and motorcycles.

The measures are a response to new US duties on steel and aluminium imports.

Wisconsin-based Harley-Davidson said the increased cost from the tariffs threaten its international sales, which it has been trying to expand.

The company has assembly plants in Australia, Brazil, India and Thailand as well as in the US.

It said it would raise investment in its international plants, though it did not say which ones.

“To address the substantial cost of this tariff burden long-term, Harley-Davidson will be implementing a plan to shift production of motorcycles for EU destinations from the US to its international facilities to avoid the tariff burden,” the company said.

Unions Using Dirty Tricks to Skirt Law

Typical.

In Wisconsin, for instance, United Steelworkers Local 2-482 makes workers wait up to 13 months before the union will stop grabbing dues from their paychecks.

That’s the subject of an ongoing legal battle led by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation on behalf of Donald Dillabough, an employee at the Clearwater Paper Corp. plant in Neenah. 

In December, Dillabough emailed the SteelWorkers local informing officials there that he was resigning from the union and revoking his authorization for the union to automatically collect dues from his paycheck. Easy enough under Wisconsin’s right-to-work law, right? 

Wrong. 

Union officials denied the request. They claimed it was not submitted during the union’s self-created “window period.” The labor organization had established a 13-month waiting period in between windows in which employees are able to withdraw their membership, according to the foundation. 

Patrick Semmens, vice president of Public Information for the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, said the prolonged waiting period is just one of many tricks unions have pulled in emerging right-to-work states like Wisconsin, which became the 25th state to adopt a worker freedom law more than three years ago.

“What we see are these union policies where they go, ‘Okay, you’re allowed to resign your union membership at any time, but you have to keep paying union dues, except when you revoke in this small, little window,” Semmens told MacIver News Service this week on the Vicki McKenna Show, on NewsTalk 1130 WISN. “This is something we are seeing all around the country.”

Foxconn to Announce New HQ in Downtown MKE

Excellent!

MILWAUKEE — Foxconn officials on Friday, June 15 will announce plans for a new corporate headquarters in downtown Milwaukee.

According to a news release, a Friday morning news conference will include Dr. Louis Woo, special assistant to Foxconn Founder and CEO Terry Gou; Alan Yeung, Foxconn director of strategic U.S. initiatives; Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett; Milwaukee Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton; and Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele.

It will take place near Van Buren and Wisconsin Avenue.

The news release says the announcement information about “hundreds of new jobs in downtown Milwaukee.”

Unemployment Remains Steady in WI

It looks like some people are coming off the sidelines to take some of those jobs.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Wisconsin’s unemployment rate remained at a record-low for a second straight month in May.

The state Department of Workforce Development released data Thursday that shows the unemployment rate held at 2.8 percent last month.

The labor force participation rate increased to 68.9 percent in May, up from 68.8 percent in April. DWD estimated 3,090,200 people were employed in May while 89,200 were unemployed.

The state added 600 government jobs between May and April but lost 5,300 private sector jobs overall.

More Jobs than Jobless

Interesting things happening in our economy.

The jobs market has reached what should be some kind of inflection point: there are now more openings than there are workers.

April marked the second month in a row this historic event has occurred, and the gap is growing.

According to the monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Surveyreleased Tuesday, there were just shy of 6.7 million open positions in April, the most recent month for which data are available. That represented an increase of 65,000 from March and is a record.

The number of vacancies is pulling well ahead of the number the Bureau of Labor Statistics counts as unemployed. This year is the first time the level of the unemployed exceeded the jobs available since the BLS started tracking JOLTS numbers in 2000.

As of April, the total workers looking and eligible for jobs fell to 6.35 million, a decrease from 6.58 million the previous month. The number fell further in May to 6.06 million, though there is no comparable JOLTS data for that month.

There are only a few things that could cause this. First, employers may not be paying enough to lure workers off of the unemployment line. Then again, perhaps our benefits for people who are able to work, but choose not to, are too generous. Second, too many of the people who are out of work may not be able to get a job because they can’t pass the drug test. Third, the people looking for work don’t have the skills for the jobs available, in which case, employers should be investing in job training programs.

It is certainly a combination of all of the factors, but something will have to give pretty soon.

Obamacare Premiums Expected to Explode (again)

This is why the Republicans’ failure to repeal Obamacare is such a travesty. Real Americans will pay the price of their failure.

(CNN)Brace yourselves — it looks like Obamacare premiums could jump by double digits again next year.

Insurers in several states have requested large rate hikes for 2019, with many pointing to steps taken by President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress as the main reasons why.
New York insurers want to hike rates by 24%, on average, while carriers in Washington are looking for a 19% average premium increase. In Maryland, CareFirst is asking for an average 18.5% rate bump for its HMO plans and a 91% spike for its PPO policies (which have far fewer enrollees), while Kaiser Permanente wants to boost premiums by more than 37%, on average.
Many insurers cite two key drivers of the increases: Congress’ elimination of the penalty for the individual mandate — which requires nearly all Americans to have coverage or pay up — and the Trump administration’s expected expansion of two types of health plans that don’t have to adhere to Obamacare’s regulations.
In other words… the fact that healthy people are no longer being coerced by government to buy a product they don’t want coupled with the availability of better options for people means that there are fewer, more unhealthy, people to buy Obamacare policies.

Liberal Activists Organize Against Foxconn

From Matt Kittle at the MacIver Institute.

MADISON, Wis. – Left-wing activists committed to doing whatever it takes to stop Foxconn Technology Group’s massive manufacturing campus in southeast Wisconsin are planning to rain on the tech giant’s ground-breaking picnic.

Organizers held a conference call Sunday evening to talk about their plans for a rally and demonstration on June 28, the day Foxconn is scheduled to hold its ground-breaking ceremony on its proposed $10 billion plant in Mount Pleasant. MacIver News Service obtained the call-in information and covered the planning session.

The idea, organizers say, is to assemble a coalition of diverse progressive groups – from environmental organizations to civil rights leaders to Foxconn-hating politicians. While each group will bring its own social and environmental complaints to the table, they will all rally around their abhorrence of the Foxconn economic development plan, according to the coalition-building plan.

“We want to stop it in any way we can,” a coalition member told participants on the call. “If we can’t stop it, we want to give them bad publicity. We want to be able to, like, make them aware that the community is aware. We want to show that, ‘Hey, we’re not going to give you an easy fight here.” 

“Take a stand against Foxconn. For our fellow Wisconsinites, join the effort and help us SHUT FOXCONN DOWN,” a progressive coalition Facebook alert states.

The short-term goal is to stop Foxconn. The long-term mission is to fire up the liberal base to take out Republican Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-controlled Legislature that championed the largest development deal of its kind in U.S. history. 

Let’s think this through… the focus of these liberal activist groups doesn’t appear to be anything specific about Foxconn. In fact, they admit that they all have different issues that range from opposition to corporate welfare to generic environmental issues to… whatever. The driving force of organizing is political opposition to Scott Walker and an attempt to drive turnout for whichever Democrat wins the chance to challenge him.

So there you have it. Liberals in Wisconsin are organizing to try to blunt the greatest single economic development in Wisconsin in a generation for the purpose of ousting the governor who had the temerity to foster economic activity in the state. They don’t give a darn about all of the construction workers, landscapers, HVAC workers, quarry workers, truck drivers, etc. who will build the $10 billion facility – much less the thousands of future Wisconsin workers who will fill those jobs with an average wage of $53k.

Boom! goes the economy

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online. Here you go:

When I was in business school during the previous millennium, I remember sitting in a class listening to a professor drone on about the unemployment rate, wage pressures, labor participation and the notion of full employment. Full employment is when everyone who is willing and able to work is employed. Full employment does not mean that the unemployment rate is 0 percent. An economy is traditionally considered to be at full employment when the unemployment rate is between 4 percent and 6 percent because there will always be a percentage of people transitioning between jobs and times when workers’ skills do not match the jobs available.

By any account, the U.S. and Wisconsin, and especially in West Bend, are in a state of full employment. The most recent employment reports indicate that the U.S. has an unemployment rate of 3.8 percent. Wisconsin is beating the rest of the nation by a full point with an unemployment rate of 2.8 percent. West Bend has an astonishing unemployment rate of 2.3 percent.

On the micro-level, the evidence of hyper-employment is overwhelming. A short walk around West Bend will find a “help wanted” sign at almost every business. Several businesses have large signs advertising starting wages for entrylevel jobs at $10, $15 or more per hour — and those businesses are struggling to find good employees.

At the macro-level, a Bureau of Labor Statistics report says that while 223,000 jobs were created in May, the number of unemployed persons dropped by 6.1 million people. That means that nearly 6 million people entered the national workforce to fill jobs that were already open. This has the labor participation rate — the total number of Americans employed — increasing to 62.7 percent. That still is not as high as it once was, but it is finally steadily increasing after being in steady decline since it peaked in early 2000.

There really is no longer any excuse for every ablebodied adult to get a job. Anyone with a pulse and a modicum of work ethic can, and should, get a job. This is an economic truth that policy makers should bear in mind when debating things like welfare and education.

While high unemployment creates a litany of societal and economic problems, full employment presents a set of problems. They are better problems, but problems nonetheless. First and foremost, American businesses are struggling to attract and keep good employees. In particular, entry-level jobs and skilled jobs are difficult to fill. There are still plenty of lawyers and middle-managers out there, but finding a good roofer or hotel front desk clerk has become a challenge.

The inability to find good workers has undoubtedly retarded our nation’s potential economic growth.

The inability of some businesses to find good workers is partially their own fault. Fearful of the future, too many American businesses have been slow to increase wages to attract workers off of the economic sidelines and into jobs. We are finally seeing some significant wage increases in fits and starts. Some employers and industries are offering substantial wage increases to attract workers.

While overall private sector wages have increased between 2.5 percent and 2.9 percent since last year, wages for construction workers are growing at 3.8 percent — and that does not include the ample amount of overtime pay available to willing workers. Residential construction workers’ wages are growing at an even faster 5 percent. According to the National Federation of Independent Business, 35 percent of small business owners reported increasing wages to attract and retain employees. And some of America’s largest employers like Walmart, Costco, Walgreens, Publix, Tyson Foods and many more have increased wages.

Increasing wages, which always lag in a growing economy, are finally here, but that will drive another economic metric — inflation. As wages increase, the cost of goods and services will increase to pay for them. While rampant inflation destroys economies, moderate inflation in a growing economy is quite healthy. Thanks to sustained economic growth since President Ronald Reagan was in office and the Federal Reserve’s almost irrational fear of inflation for the past decade, Americans have not experienced significant inflation in a generation. Barring more unnatural manipulation by the Federal Reserve, the American economy should expect higher inflation over the next economic cycle as the value of the dollar reconciles with the value of labor.

It was only a few short years ago when President Barack Obama and Governor Jim Doyle were trying to convince us that America’s best economic days were behind us and we needed to adjust to the new normal of a European-style economy. Thankfully, they were wrong. America’s, Wisconsin’s and West Bend’s economies are booming and all of us are seeing the benefits.

Shortage of Truck Drivers

The move to online retailing is driving demand in other industries. This shortage will also drive the innovation to autonomous trucks.

America has a massive shortage of truck drivers. Joyce Brenny, head of Brenny Transportation in Minnesota, increased driver pay 15 percent this year to try to attract more drivers. Many of her drivers now earn $80,000, she says, yet she still can’t find enough people for the job.

About 51,000 more drivers are needed to meet the demand from companies such as Amazon and Walmart that are shipping more goods across the country, according to the American Trucking Associations. The driver shortage is already leading to delayed deliveries and higher prices for goods that Americans buy. The ATA predicts that it’s likely to get worse in the coming years.

Many trucking companies are so desperate for drivers that they are offering signing bonuses and pay raises. So why don’t more Americans want this job? We asked truck drivers who have been doing the job anywhere from four months to 40 years for their views.

Most said the answer is simple: The lifestyle is rough. You barely see your family, you rarely shower, and you get little respect from car drivers, police or major retailers. Michael Dow said he has been divorced twice because of trucking. Donna Penland said she gained 60 pounds her first year from sitting all day and a lack of healthful food on the road.

A few drivers told The Washington Post that they earn $100,000, but many said their annual pay is less than $50,000 (government statistics say median pay for the industry is $42,000). As for the bonuses, driver Daniel Gollnick said they are a “complete joke” because of all the strings attached.

Despite the hardships, half said they would recommend the job to friends and family, chiefly because, as Gollnick said, “it’s the easiest money you can get without a college degree.”

Record Employment

Great news

2-3

Foxconn Development Spurs New Medical Center

Great!

The Foxconn Technology Group campus under development has triggered its first growth-related project. On Thursday, Advocate Aurora Healthannounced its plans to construct a new hospital and medical office project in Mount Pleasant. Expected price tag is $250 million.

The health care company has been on an upward growth curve since the Advocate Health Care-Aurora Health Care merger in April. It has set its sights on expanding in the growing communities of southeast Wisconsin and northeast Illinois.

The Mount Pleasant hospital will be Advocate Aurora Health’s first move into Racine County. In February, however, pre-merger Aurora announced plans to build a surgery center and medical office building in Pleasant Prairie, which is expected to cost $130 million.

An Advocate Aurora Health executive told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the new hospital will be smaller than Aurora-built hospitals of the past decade in Grafton and Summit. Several new clinics in the Racine area are also part of the planned expansion.

Congress Pulls Back Dodd-Frank

In a bipartisan vote, no less.

The House on Tuesday passed a plan to roll back banking regulations passed in response to the 2008 financial crisis, sending the bill to President Trump to sign.

The measure leaves the central structure of the post-financial-crisis rules in place, but it would make the most significant changes to weaken the Dodd-Frank banking regulations since they were passed in 2010. It would exempt some small and regional banks from the most stringent regulations, and also would also loosen rules aimed at protecting the biggest banks from sudden collapse.

The measure is nearly certain to become law after its passing in the House, 258 to 159, on Tuesday with nearly all House Republicans and 33 Democrats voting for it. The Senate approved the bill in March with bipartisan backing, and White House officials said that Trump plans to sign it in the coming days.

The bill’s supporters say it provides needed relief for community and local banks withering under Washington’s regulations. But critics charge it opens the financial system back up to the abuse and risky behavior that brought the U.S. economy to its knees a decade ago — and does so at a time when financial firms are posting record profits.

This law was a classic legislative over-reaction to a crisis.

Foxconn begins to deliver on its promise

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online. Here you go:

While there is still a long way to go before Wisconsinites can evaluate the full impact of the Foxconn development, so far it is proving to be the economic boon for Wisconsin that Gov. Scott Walker and other supporters of the deal predicted. The official groundbreaking ceremony will be June 28, but the work has already started.

When Walker announced the deal with Foxconn, it marked the largest economic deal the state of Wisconsin had ever struck. Liberals vacillated between bemoaning corporate welfare and declaring that Wisconsin should have gotten a better deal. Conservatives cringed at the massive amount of tax dollars involved to lure one company to Wisconsin. Walker touted the deal as a transformational economic development that would benefit Wisconsin for generations. It is possible that everyone was right, but certainly Walker deserves credit for getting it done.

Before the first shovel could be put in the ground, nearly 500 subcontractors, suppliers, service providers, vendors and other companies attended an information session hosted by Foxconn for the projected $10 billion construction project. These businesses came from all over Wisconsin and the world for the chance to participate in one of the largest construction projects in United States history.

Late last month, Foxconn began announcing the contractors that they would use. True to their word, Foxconn officials strongly favored Wisconsin companies. Ninety percent of the contracts so far have been awarded to Wisconsin companies.

In just the first phase of the project, 27 Wisconsin companies and one Illinois company are sharing $100 million to do the preparation work for the site including excavation, erosion control, soil and water testing and stormwater management. A $100 million project would already be one of Wisconsin’s largest construction projects, and that is only 1 percent of what Foxconn is planning to spend to complete the project. Furthermore, as Walker predicted, the economic benefits are not limited to southeast Wisconsin. One of those Wisconsin companies already working is a Black River Falls construction company which has been tasked with moving about 325,000 dump truck loads of dirt and installing 120,000 linear feet of sewer. That company, Hoffman Construction, has indicated that they will need to hire about 150 additional seasonal workers to handle the work.

MJM Truckin’ LLC of Nekoosa, Wood County, Panacea Group LLC of Seymour, Outagamie County, and other businesses throughout the state are already seeing money flow from Foxconn into their businesses.

The reason that all of Wisconsin will benefit from Foxconn is simple. The Foxconn project is just so incredibly huge that southeast Wisconsin does not have the people or material necessary to complete it. Not only will Foxconn need to bring in workers from all over Wisconsin, they will have to bring people from all over the world to Wisconsin to work.

A study by the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce estimates that Foxconn’s new Wisconsin plant will contribute about $51 billion to the state’s economy over the next 15 years. Calculating the exact economic impact of the massive Foxconn development is inherently difficult, but Wisconsin is already seeing a ripple effect spread across the state.

All of this positive development makes the stance of some of the Democratic candidates for governor even more puzzling. While some may disagree with the deal that Walker struck with Foxconn, it is done. The contracts are signed and both sides are obligated to honor their side of the agreement. Yet some of the Democratic candidates are hoping to see it all fail and rip a hole in Wisconsin’s economy as it does.

Rep. Dana Wachs has said “we will find a way to end it.” Matt Flynn said that he will end the deal, “no matter what.” Madison Mayor Paul Soglin and Rep. Kelda Roys want to renegotiate the deal — whatever that means. Try to imagine a world in which one of these Democrats wins the governor’s chair and uses it to douse the Foxconn economic fire with a vat of cold water. Not only would it hobble the Foxconn economic juggernaut, but it would neuter Wisconsin’s ability to attract business for decades to come. What company CEO in his or her right mind would make a long-term commitment to Wisconsin if all it takes is a new governor to tear up the contracts?

The argument over whether or not the Foxconn deal was a good one for Wisconsin will be decided in the years to come. One would hope that whatever one thought about the terms of the deal, we could all root for it to live up to its promise. Fortunately for our state’s economy, so far it has.