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#132 Negative Mount Pleasant


A small town in Wisconsin becomes the site of a completely unprecedented experiment. 

A Better Mount Pleasant

Let's Make A Better Mount Pleasant

Journalist Larry Tabak's Series on Foxconn in Wisconsin

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This episode is brought to you by better for him a new podcast from eighty people. In each episode Francesca Ramsay talks to visionaries in business leaders about mistakes. They ve made how they work their way through them and came out better for it. Listen on sport, fi or wherever you get your podcast. This episode is brought to you by a Sana. A saga is an app designed to help teams, plan, organise and execute all the work they do together. It helps you it sure nothing falls through the cracks, so you can focus on the work that matters most learn more. Try Osanna for free visit, asano dot com to get started, that's a ass, a dot com. from gimlet require impeach ever so there's this tiny town in Wisconsin called Mount pleasant populations
twenty six thousand people tangley to village and life amount. Pleasant is usually is quite as you'd expect their supper of routine of melted, milk and site of some America's artist cabbage farms, but that's the city now presents the suburb place where nothing really happens until last year, when the village became the sight of completely unprecedented massive international experiment, surely Berman anything to tell a story. This far I went to my pleasant to meet this woman named Gallagher Romanian she lives in I ve covered split level house. My home is local. It about a little bit over a mile from from Lake Michigan, so sire did you see I just like that. It's really beautiful out here by Racine its it has a very light blue, almost like a caribbean vibe to its it. It's all about the light. I think it's magical. I think, even like how the lake looks on my gps, that that I get that much Kelly has been here for thirty,
and she used to be an art educator, but now she's, basically retired. When did you start getting involved in kind of more? I don't want to know what to call it activism or just kind of village. What would you call it? Well, don't or if there is a name of it. I think other people A lot of name is wrong for what I do, but not enough the way. I wonder why probably wouldn't care to repeat the polite name that Kelly's detractors might use for. Her is busy body she's, an extremely vocal participant in the towns, local democracy and her main stage is this place. Called village hall occur is upon us. I would like to open the village board meeting daughter, let's belligerents village harm, which sets
next to the local. Why is where the residents of Mount pleasant all gather twice a month with their village government to talk about all the local issues that need fixing through our weeds this high in the yard of one of the vacant homes this high? It's been vacant for so many years, gale, for years, it's been vacant, we're going to have some recommendations in numbers for the lake park. Bluff erosion, which is very, very I've, been one on our agenda or software game. We had this last Sunday further case ethics that one over very well to. I did it many reports of injury, solar, good paper, though in racing county, the mouth, pleasant, village ha meetings are famous very well attended. They actually tape the meetings and upload them to the website and, if you're like me, and have watched every single wine you
look forward to the moment when Kelly good evening. My name is Caligula. Her red hair, hoop hearing steps up to the MIKE ways: Captain Brian Psmith collected thirty, three thousand seven hundred and fourteen dollars overtime, pay in addition to his salary. Vacation mortality is basically the local civics watchdog Joint parks has had no minutes published since April two thousand fourteen almost every week, she uses her a lot at three minutes to make it very clear to the people in power that she has her eye. M is outrageous even by Mount pleasant standards in this girl called corruption, and we intend to get to the bottom of it. Thank you. Thank you. Weekly sunshine and good, ensure that man who sounds very exasperated that is Dave, decorate, village, president,
key is sitting behind this big long table in this large office chair at the center of the screen and he's flanked on both sides by his six village trustees. Dave runs this meeting Dave and Kelly do not like each other if they disagree on pretty much every single. To do with the future of male pleasant. Kelly Van has a sign on her front line. That says David De Group must resign, and David DE grew lives, ten doors down from her. It's an intense block and Kelly told me that it got especially bad about a year ago when she was helping Dave's opponents in the village election. The vs March, when he was running for office, he sent out a press release. Basically accusing me of begging his house egging his house. Yes, yes, he filed a police report
and suggested in his press release that I had been involved in the attack, the political at an actual literal egg attack on his home, which the police report did. Verify at all. In fact, it was the day described it as as teenagers and a single egg that was tossed on his driveway was hardly an attack. I was not there, I only by organic eggs, which are far too expensive to throw it anyone's house, let alone someone. I don't like was it was ridiculous. So it is fair to say that my relationship with with him was contentious. I think he's a fool and a terrible for village. President something really disturb me up and lions everything else and mount pleasant. This fight to was aired out in the next village,
Lord meaning that an egg anybody else's house, so I'm assuming you know that I was specifically targeted. I dont know if it was of a political nature or not up until the Samara. Twenty seventeen, that is what meetings were like in Mount Pleasant, Kellynch Hall and then something much bigger arrived. This decision the village had to make where the only thing that anybody could agree on was that whatever they chose, it would completely transform their village cases. The whole thing started around this time when a friend of hers who owns this large tract of farmland called and told her, this really rare thing just happened and she said Kelly at some real estate, people just knocked on my door and said they want me to sign this option, and I don't know what to do: how much were they offering her for the land? I believe that she said that they were going to offer her thirty thousand dollars an acre for her land
and is that number unusual for this area? Yes, her acreage in it resale at the time would probably may be three thousand to five thousand there's an eager ten times. This is this is a huge job and it was so big. She didn't even know what to do. At the same time, Kelly is also getting calls from all her friends who work in the local government. And they're saying something coming something's happening. It's really really big risk. To be enormous. It's going to be giant, everybody is assuming that it has to be some kind of development that needs a lot of land you don't and their theorizing about what it could be. And of course they're waiting in anticipation for the next village meeting, Ok, we'll call the village, the meaning Monday six pm toward her, and so they shop a village hall and there's no announcement in fact,
Nothing is said about it at all, and then President De Group makes a motion to go into closed session broke up losing even this, I ask a handsome tiger were closer. The video cuts off right at that moment degree and the trustees walk out of the room, and the village residents sit there waiting for like an hour and a half until they come back. The supposed commotion. Go back and all concession second back open. The report out from the village amount pleasant as though we had an interesting conversation about potential future cooperation between the villages regarding future development, future development- that's all declare would say how do they make you feel well working with elected officials are having friends who are elected officials. You know, there's always that respect for what they can say in what they can't say, but I could just tat
all that it was extraordinary, you know There was something in their eyes was an urgency in what they were saying that this was perhaps possibly too big. So everybody wants to know like what is this possibly to big thing? Is it going to be an Amazon warehouse, a test supplant and they just cannot get the village government to say anything and then one day they get the news not from Town Hall, not from David Groot, but from the President of the United States is a great day. Or american workers and manufacturing and for every one who believes in the concept and the label made in the USA. Trump at the White House announces that a major company is coming to Wisconsin and outcome Money is box. Cotton flocks got a world leader in manual. Actually for computers, communications,
consumer electronics, one of the truly great companies the deal the trappers. And seeing right now is not at all done. None of the details have actually been hashed out nothing assigned, but nobody in the village knows that and they immediately have all these questions. If they ve heard a fox com, what they know is either this is a company that makes iphones or that there notorious for the way they treat their factory workers. Thousands of chinese workers station one day strike Friday at the Fox Con factory known for poorly treating workers who helped make apple products, such as the Iphone Apple, CEO, Steve Jobs, says he's very troubled by a string of suicides at Fox Critique, boredom our common than any factory, but this one rounded, by suicide net. They are everyone. When these stories came out years ago, Fox kinds, reputation, this country was damage like it's still, d
you are known for, but in the rest of the world, Fox is known for being this multi billion dollar company, with these mega Actually, it's all over Asia there's one that employs two hundred thousand people, the entire population of Mount pleasant. Twenty six thousand and trumpet saying this: is the company that's going to prove that you can bring jobs back to the? U S? to make such an incredible, invest. German girl put his faith and confidence in the future of the american economy. Words. If I didn't get elected, he definitely would not be spending ten
our Trump says, the Fox kind has committed to building and Elsie Panel Factory somewhere in Wisconsin, and the full project area would be massive like this would be one of the biggest factory compounds in the entire country so back and mount pleasant. Everyone's thinking that must be us. Some people are excited and other people like Hell, you're wondering why would they come here and where they can find all this space for that kind of factory? And so they take all these feelings to the place they ve always taken them. Village, hall, come before the board. Today. To talk about the same subject, everyone has been for the last three months Fox can, as you can tell by my address. I am one of those who are probably going to lose my house but then again no one knows where this is going right goes. We ve been dealt a wonderful hand here we ve got playwright. This is critical to guys
who operate small businesses among pleasant. We made this a better, less expensive ways, growers caution to help build a robust economy. Good being jobs. The biggest deal in America is being debated in this fluorescent. Let small town, boardroom but weirdly The people who are debating it are the residents, the people who know nothing about the details, the village government, the board just sits there, not saying anything. Even after the Trump announcement, they refuse to confirm that the future development there considering is in fact, Fox gone, and you can hear The residents start to get frustrated. Now, I'm filled with anxiety and cry all the time I lay sleep. The third night thinking of our home crumbling down around us. The last on my neighbors, and I have witnessed course, soil testing, wetlands testing, tons of helicopters and sigma group flying drones, videotaping my children in the back yard, while the
hey, why don't you have a meeting for the landowners and homeowners instead proposed site and tell them the truth about what is going to happen and when, instead of all was hearing nothing but rumours the residents just don't understand. Why is this a secret? Why can't this village board tell the village the people that this is coming? Somebody twisting your I'm telling you you can't talk about it. The board's evasiveness just starts to get absurd. A few months after the Trump announcement President Dave Degree, it is part of a delegation that takes a trip to Asia where he visits a factory. This is not a thing that bout pleasant village president'S do so when Dave comes back to my pleasant he's at the meeting and he acts as if there's nothing to report before resuming there's nothin entrusted.
You have none made the Mayer report on your trip, I can't say a lot, but yet whether trust, the the president make a trip to Japan. It was a trip for fact finding and doing a lot of that jacket. What not relative to
a simple alone development that would go in those where there is a lot of living that we were. I asked Dave if I get interview him for this story and he said yes, we met and Village hall. I do, as a group was to reach your shipping. Shrewd fish reflect this must months after that period, where the board was being so secretive and bizarre, and by this point I understood why they'd been acting that way. It's because Fox Con had made the negotiators sign, India, and the board had been told not to say a word anyway. Dave was very much in line with the man that I had seen in all of this village board. Meeting videos like he's a little reserved his very hard to read, but when he started talking about that Japan trip, which was a visit to a fox con factory that makes Elsie tv screens when he talked about it. I saw His whole other Dave De Group his eyes how wide a smile like this person with a wonderful secret I've seen the future.
It's coming to my pleasant. What tell me let us act. I was like it was big who was Massa with those there's robots that are absolutely join. Almost everything is all out of scale out of school with how we would recognise traditional manufacturing just to making sight to see its just like the new generation. Sooner with my own eyes, Dave has its whole vision of white is coming to us guides and it's like Silicon Valley by in Wisconsin, they're gonna call it where's kind. Bally Dave told me about the first with He got up this opportunity. He'd just been elected village president literally, it was his first week on the job when this letter arrives, I'm sitting in the Office of joint work reaching a common economic development person. And were we're looking at an hour of the request for proposal from a ban unnamed company.
We didn't know who this was about, but I'm looking at these numbers and they make no sense. Then why are we off by a few decimal points here? These numbers are absolutely crazy. What what we're the numbers? At the time it was six million six billion, with a b in economic development and tens of millions of square feet. In height I'm a thing was like eight to ten thousand employees. I would be higher than we ve. Never obviously, never seen anything like that. This has. He immediately asked his researcher at the office like who is this and that I said, I think it's Fox Khan and Data asked what is Fox, who flax pan and he said well, you re just happened to be a worldwide fortune. Fifty company there there into every man could segment out there. There known for tvs and giving out of that stuff. You think outdated, see only the biggest company in almost entirely
There are clear your war or we are to solve them, but this are if he from Fox on this was just the first stage in a competition like Mount Pleasant, had to beat out all these towns all across the country. Dave's teams approach was we need to do whatever it takes to win. This like this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and pretty much. Everybody in my pleasant agrees that the town could use an opportunity like this. Like this one local resident named AL gardener offered to drive me around town, and he gave me Tor, basically of all the places where people used to work before they shut down and you grow up and re scenery, rouble, Moorside arising, which we are now. We have a couple miles east from my pleasant to Racine familiarly ready in his own
Are you aware, and this town used to be the industrial heart of the entire area will have a lot of industrial inventor from raising I'll? Tell me very proudly fat here just a couple things ever invented here. There was the portable vacuum: cleaner, lollipop machines, the incinerator garbage disposal, and he said that in the forties, thousands of black people moved up here from the south looking for jobs elsewhere There was one of them he used to work at this foundry that made tractors and AL used to work there. Two of these three well young, the street was bore me. They had grocery store, they had been bowling alleys, bakeries now, look at it! Nothing! I mean it's a lot of buildings. I guess there's the tunnel empty only empty buildings. What I told you, what a manufacturing live here everyday quota outside help,
pretty quickly in the eighties places started to shut down, jobs went away, drugs came in and he saw his community get decimated and they just never recovered. So our started going to those village ha meeting. At the same time, all those other people were going to ask questions about Fox kind. He was excited about the jobs and the only thing he wanted to know. How could he be sure people in his immunity would actually get them. You know my whole thing about this whole fast. Chinese issue is who is going to benefit? I know in the past, when he jobs come here, People like me, don't have an opportunity to build on the project and get your job, but of course, I'll never gets an answer. Thank Mr Gardiner. Nobody does by August after two months of secrecy and closed meetings, things start to get ugly according to Kelly. Everything just went off the rails on August, twenty Eightth at this one village, meaning
it started like pretty much any other. With our asking this question about Fox con. Look at his article redeem says that we give folks car taxes are gonna, go up property owner, though already pay thousand hours in improbably debt. If they come here, do my task is gonna go and when you finish Dave De Group actually response which at this moment is a violation of Robert rules, but whatever, This is something that sounds condescending. Mr Gardiner, I be careful about what you read and I wouldn't believe everything that you read, and so I shall try to respond, gets enough circuit. We spend it in all serve. You responded to me. No sir. Let me respond back to you. Go sit out. Will you talking to me you, Sir wet night? You got me sponsoring your take me it is this. Do you wanna be called out of order? We can refer it back to you. No sir, that is totally wrong, then has told you go sit down
Will you talking to me you're out of order? Will you talkin to you? Not my daddy met who'd, you talking to choose our zackie if this man doesn't want embryos that you should be ashamed of yourself, you gonna set up here and talk like this, me. Remove this person remove now move us. You are covered by your move along. I was to come up and and before I began talking, failure this girl her before use ever again in these chambers You have to have a way way, better idea of conduct that is expected of you when you're speaking at a public meeting which I mean the last time you spoke here, leaving the table and walking away. You drop the FBI not once but twice David said that I'm here
been told in a previous meeting, I had used a profanity. There was a ridiculous statement. And that I wouldn't you know had a new I've never used are preventing public comments wise at this point and other trusty starts to try and intervene off and soon a few of my order. This is unknown. You're out of order you're out of order you're out of order once more and you're gone now, levies, Maloney continue. This has never happened before These are residents of our community. If I get there, you have a lot more time. You're gone redress. This meeting in any of that. Had, I had actually heard that you have been thrown out of here and you would have been either cited, were arrested for disorderly conduct. So, having said that,
You will not be speaking in this chamber is again until I heard a oral apology that a suitable to me and the rest of this board number two, I'm not going to hear the oral apology from you until I hear it till I read a written one that has been delivered to me at least five business days before this board meets, so that I can check the car Billowy other because you have had a long history of having issues with the truth, please go back and sit down. And will hear from you maybe sometime in the future. Mr President, may I quickly respond. I would prefer that you're just excuse yourself
Because I consider you to be out of order after this meeting, I felt as if something had really broken and mount pleasant. It hall had always been this place where residents can come and just talk about things, and it was like. The prospect of this deal was so big. It had broken that people were very upset, Dave personally apologised to our, and then he came to the next village meeting, and read out an apology to the entire town. When I talked to him, I asked about it. Do you remember that one meeting where things got really heated at a village board meeting? Do you know which one I'm talking about wild there there may have been more than one board meeting where things get heeded this that the government and action, but I accept it, bring to the
the colleague Heller situation. Yes, that line Obviously tensions ran high and it was not my birthday and does so publicly certain my apology at the following, meaning it wasn't my best moment. I lost my composure in the heat of the moment. I apologize for it and I moved on sound to carry. It seemed as if Dave Degree controlled, village hall, and so she started to look for other places. She could express herself. She ended up. Rebuilding this old facebook group of hers called a better about pleasant, the logo of which was a cracked egg. A subtle dig at Dick Route and she's, mainly posting articles like what Fox com would due to the great lakes, or will our ambulance fees be raised, but then this other miss Europe's website pops up with what is a call to make a better, more pleasant dot com which, which is a reference to why my facebook community page, which is a better mount pleasant.
So so, basically, You had a facebook page called a better pleasant, and so then somebody unknown and anonymous person makes a website called. Let's make a better amount plus right right. So I suppose, if Kelly's Facebook page is all about what's wrong with the fox conceal, this new website is all about what's wrong, with Kelly Kelly and her liberal friends. Venus, a village idiot. Ok, you already, maybe a please donate for one. We fantasy, please donate and send Kelly G on a one way trip to her feet. To see island. Please don't aim to get rid of her at W W W that get rid of Kelly dot com, which has actually says, enough money is collected. Who knows maybe she'll take John with her, that is a trusty who he, who the author has suggests did I may be having an affair with colleges, to see land has no trump. Now
walk or no delegate, no boss, no longer and no degree, not sure about you, but my fantasy Island has no Kelly G. There are so many of these Paris you eat it. Now. It looks like she's on emission attacking Boxcar Kelly has been poring over every single one and realises that this person has a very insider view on all of the village board meetings. This It is also very concerned about the fox can deal, and this person says a lot of very nice things about. President Dave De Group credits person is Pro David degree. Definitely fro data, Groot overtime, that kind of gave him away and could be a per day to grew,
absolutely could be, although the person who the person actually haven't you know quite a bit about Dave De Group colleague, said that years or for all this. She, Sir Red Dave's, comments on the website of their local newspaper, so she feels as if she can recognise his writing. I asked about it. There's this website called let's make a better more pleasant, it was like an anonymous person whose posting things about Kelly Gala her an Kelly, has a theory that it's that it's you devote president. So I just wanted to ask you something:
if she has a problem with hate websites and all that you might well look internally a little about, because I think her her blog, a better, more pleasant is horribly. Miss name, take a close look at there's, nothing positive or better about it. If she believed in a country with an advertising, it should be called the negative opposite, the local police investigated and they can figure out who is behind this blog now, despite between a better amount, pleasant and let's make a better man pleasant, it was happening during the time that was the most precarious for the fox canto. All these officials from this and like nearby communities there at the village meetings, and so Kelly comes up with this plan is Google or who wishes to speak about the Mariposa website? and so what I began to do was every The meeting I brought in whatever posts
had been posted on it and I read them out loud. The Third, as you know, who I believe is village president. Your group would like you to know that my husband of thirty years, who he calls dim wit, because his last name is dimmer is Joe of Sarah Huckabee Sanders a real decent american woman, not a vicious vacuum loser like me. He also believes the village hall is being granted out by a group of communist this week,
that is our leader. Mr President, once again I ask you to seek help and treatment. Your website frightens my family and friends, and it's weird remember there all these bigwigs here for these fox con meetings and basically Kelly, is accusing Dave of writing off this crazy stuff and she's, using it too so down in this whole process. Even if you do not like or agree with me, the person who rode and publish these insults for his own twisted entertainment has destroyed all trust and cooperation and a village on the brink of enormous business, development and financial responsibilities. Dave respond. He said nothing, he just. He said nothing, nothing at all the public good chance at the beginning of the meetings here for three minutes to say was undermined and, frankly, I don't care whether they want to the ocean
there are there collection with me or or talk about you, ballgame worked out her if they want to sing revolution, number nine backwards. I don't care as long as they get it done in three minutes. It turned out that reward for Dave suffering. Those three minute speeches was, he won Kelly lost. She wanted the town to get to see the deal before it was signed, but that did not happen by October twenty seventeen. So this is six months after the first gotten that Fox con, our F p Dave and his team have finished putting together their best offer to we're Fox continent, pleasant and Fox gone says? Yes, the two sides do group Handshake Anne and how did you feel relieved? absolutely relieved and I had to keep my mouth shut until the till the announced
was made, and I was kind of a pins and needle moment for the next couple of weeks. Us is the answer really a good handshake, is. Is this really really can happen? And yet, within days afterwards, you know we were very, very much assure the yeah. It's it's coming to my pleasant, pleasant is going to become. The upper centre. Was canvassing ethical feeling, David, a group gets to do his own press conference. It's like a many version of the White House Conference against this big white backdrop that says we seen county welcomes Fox I dare say it was they allowed and proud three two one, what a day to day from us God. Thank you today is a day for all of us to celebrate, and I like to start by thanking president tromp for his leadership. It wasn't there long ago, when then candidate tromp made a very bold promise to bring manufacturing back to the United States, the art of the deal and here's what we have before us today
ten billion dollars of investment. Twenty million square feet of industrial, build out thousands and thousands of very well paying jobs, increasing our middle class. Its everything that you can ask for vocs time is coming to my place in its official. Sorted at this point. The village has a handshake, not a finished contract, and nobody in the village knows the exact details of how this is going to work like what Fox con will deliver to the town and what the town will give away in exchange. Everybody wanted to know those details, including me, because there was something about this pulled deal that has never made sense to me, which is: why would fox con want to come to America and why would they want without pleasant? The answer to that
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I assigned honor for free visit, assign a dot com to get started. That's a S day, a dot com, welcome back to the show so carriages talk for a minute about how we heard it is that Fox con would want a factory in Amerika. I mean think about it, Fox kind, is very well set up in Asia, where politicians are on their side, land is cheap. They can pay workers little to work seven days a week, that's their entire business model. So why come to mount pleasant? Wisconsin I reach out to fuck.
Fine, but they wouldn't talk to me and Alberto Manuel. This analysed, who has studied Fox con for years and has written extensively about them, said this is not surprising at all, because Fox Con doesn't talk to anyone. It's one of the more secretive, obscure, opaque copies of you'll, never find not short, refined management structure. You'll, never find breakdowns in details on different business units in the refined shipment data heart that large companies or a secretive these guys are notably secret, was present pass speaker, Rhine, gonna, walk her decision
members of Congress. Ladies and gentlemen, if you listen to the speech that Terry GO, the chairman a Fox con, gave alongside President Trump at that Big press conference, it's very impressive, how little he actually says like here's, his reason for why Fox Con is coming to America. Why do it's? Here too? We was united in Amerika, yet I'm Reagan does not have a single issue: defects to produce
come break. A cases we are going to change is that he's saying tv was invented here, but there's no tv factories here and so he's going to come and build a tv factory which, when you think about it, just does not make sense, because there is a good reason that tvs are not made from scratch in this country are All of the components like the entire supply chain is an Asia, and so I took this question too village, President Dave De Group just to ask what do you think? Why is Fox on coming to US guns in and to him it? seemed obvious. This is where they see the the occasion. This is where they see were all of the young innovation occurs. They say they want to get close to. The edge of the next generations
of kids come up because that's what drives the technology market is new news bank stuff. No four, four kids reserve. Sir, getting through school and getting into their income earning years, say if it's not just that, their market, as in America, Americans are like famous for buying the biggest tv screens. It's also, you think that get better engineering talent here than back in Asia. Will it's called the science and engineering park. The other was common values. Facts can science and engineering park and that so that's that's really what they, Bank is, there is, on the whole, the science and Engineering Park that Davis talking about just to be clear. It doesnt actually exist right now, but he sing it well days. Point as Wisconsin and Amerika great, of course, Fox on wants a piece of that. Here's. What I think is going on, I think it's just math Fox Con did
the math, it's very cheap for them to operate in China. So what would America need to do for Fox con in order to make it worth their while, just being here, it's a hedge against tariffs, but how much other stuff could they get out of a town like my pleasant and fox gone? Being this very smart international operator, their use to dealing with countries- and they have this trick- the analysts about or told me they go to the country and say we're gonna. This huge plant, that's gonna, bring in all this money, they shut up in Brazil, say twelve billion dollars they shut up. Needless to say, we do five billion dollars. They want to Vietnam, as he will do a billion. Why, like what's the motive, I guess they learnt that when you sharper than our experiences ten billion dollars, people bend over backwards to serve you, and then you can backtrack your way into something that it I'm only makes sense to you, which is what they ve done. Every country they ve done this display and doing it in the? U S and all of this,
countries, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Fox Kind, snagged, a bunch of government subsidies and then just ended up building way smaller plants than promised, and so in the? U S this whole thing started. The weight always starts with Fox Con, throwing out efficient line, a request for proposal dangling from here. Huge numbers, billions of dollars of investment, thousands of jobs. They know that, on the other side are politicians, desperate to say they brought jobs and Hence it actually need those jobs or would say it will be loud and proud. Three too, why that data be from us, Gaza, the group, the pit the hardest an official line now pleasant usually have before us today, billion dollars of investment.
Twenty million square feet of industrial, build out. After all, those events of closed rooms, secret meetings with state officials and village officials. When the ink tried on the deal, here's what Fox can't got out of the negotiation. This is the map. Wisconsin all give fox gone, almost three billion dollars in incentives and then more pleasant itself will chip in another seven hundred and sixty million dollars right off the bat. It was an eleven on a scale It was way more, however, and it was just way out there- that's economists, David Swenson and when you say way out there, what do you mean like in terms of size, just like bigger
someday, you heard about them the magnitude of subsidy number one and then the magnitude of subsidy per promise job created. What David Swenson means as Fox hunts as that they're going to create jobs that pay an average of fifty thousand dollars a year, but this state is paying them two hundred thousand dollars for each one of those jobs and deals with this are happening all over America Right like the most recent you might have heard of the new Amazon New York City Base Headquarters, Latona Yorkers are furious, should the tax deals and other benefits the city gave the Amazon to build in return for bestowing grace on America's too rich cities? Jeff basis was the world's richest man will receive then two billion dollars in subsidies from you, the taxpayer People were so mad. That the New York Amazon Deal because they were saying it was twice as big as the
I'm incentive package. The fox handle is ten times as bag But I saw wondered okay, so maybe the town really overpaid for a bunch of jobs, but it could still be that in the long run I mean eventually they're going to make that money back right well, It assumes that this factory actually succeeds and when I started asking pretty basic questions about the factory things up, pretty fuzzy quickly. Fox con had started off saying it would make these high and Elsie TVS. But after the deal assigned, they said maybe not
I talked to Todd taves who worked with the village, I'm a firm sleet adviser to divulge more pleasant on the talks can project. He helped aside. Why incentives exactly the village would give to Fox kind. So I figured he if anyone would know what kind of factory they had gotten in return, and do you know exactly what Fox con will be making in that centerpiece factory in terms of what the product hobby yeah? I don't do that. Concern you at all. Well, you know the perspective I take as the financial guy. I don't have that concern from a strictly number standpoint, because as long as we have actually the Saudis that generate that level of value. The financial perform a works regardless of their manufacturing, iphones or black penalties, or whatever it may be serious.
As long as there's a building, that's making something the numbers will work out would actually the more I looked into this. The more I learned that what is getting built in the factory is important for reasons I hadn't understood, because I didn't understand that much about factories did you know the factories are actually really fascinating. For instance, the actual lifespan of a factory has been getting shorter and shorter overtime. I talked this investigative journalist named Larry Teabag, who said that the factories that make cutting edge technology those factories go obsolete faster, just like the technology they make when Larry first saw Fox cons original proposal, which that it would make high and Elsie TVS. He immediately started calling up flat screen experts and Larry asked one of them about this thing. He had noticed one day at Pasco. This conversation ahead with the local extradited said by the edge
walk into Pasco the other day until these beautiful sixty five in TVS edge gorgeous? You know, with its super high resolution, I said, but they were all oecd organic anybody, I said, is this a complete technology or is it just a variation on, should know nights, a wholly different technology and went like on consumers reports. I said what are the best tvs that you can buy and they were all oh well. It is top of the line, while I said, if only DE becomes cheaper, couldn't nay take over. My guess is surely- and I mean that's a one possibility- and I said well: can this factory that their building in Mount pleasant in council cannot make factor it yet your multi billion dollar Factory canal convert to OECD and he laughed and said not unless you got it and start over again, I remember now pleasant has offered a seven hundred and sixty million dollar incentive package to Fox gone. That's money, they obviously
Not have, and so they have had to borrow hundreds of millions of dollars. The way this could work out for the village is, if every those according to plan. Thirty years from now, when the village has paid off their lambs, then they can begin just start keeping the money that Fox con pays in property taxes. When I asked economist David Swenson what he thought like, could this possibly work? He did not seem so yeah. But you don't know what to say bearing the future of the town with money they dont have assuming. Technology that they don't understand and benefits that are gonna, be there. It is widely, but not necessarily on their community. That's a fool spat. I asked Dave Degree about this. Can you tell me what are the two things like for you? What is
worst case scenario, and what is the best case scenario? Will forgive you look goods at the broad aspect over to a fox com is in every market segment, out there. They have huge interests in medical and medical, imaging health care of all different flavors there, the self driving cars, obviously autonomous vehicles. In literally every market segment, that's out there and when we say science and technology park, that's the impetus for all of those market segments and also as The best way to say that, as far as they come and and build out their park,
yes, sir, it is really about opportunity and That'S- that's why I'm so doggone optimistic about how bright our future is going to be really others out much downside itself? So basically, like the best case scenario, is the park and the worst case, merrier you're, saying it's it's better, not to dwell on it. Why don't? I don't know that there is a worst case scenario really has just done It's just a matter of love of how how well we can exploit opportunities that we have going forward, knowing that Downside risk is, is protected. The taxpayers protected under under any circumstance, tat consultant who have helped the village construct. This deal, Todd Taves, he agreed,
dave? He said their main focus was protecting the taxpayer the Mount pleasant taxpayer actually because he said if the deal does totally blow up, the state of Wisconsin will step in meaning it'll be. Everybody's job to pay for it. Reports will be bringin, meaning to order here in just a minute like to remind everybody to please turn off or mutual cell phones another on December. First, if twenty seventeen, the mouth pleasant, village board officially votes on the contract with Fox kind. This is the moment it went from a handshake to full fledged agreement and the other questions, your comments and for the residents we spoke,
This is also the first time they saw the actual agreement will others are more familiar circle for the review of the urban agreement to accomplish Hansen Haven? I? U I faced, try Alaska Tiger, I motion passes now enormously and others reserves is very historic moment. Indeed, I like to thank our board all here for other wisdom, vision and their leadership. Once can we learned the terms if the deal the massive incentive package she felt like the village government had sold them out. I mean Fox Kind- must be thrilled if your big company you want is to go off without a hitch. You gonna find a community in which you may have the most vendible people, people who are going to challenge you.
Oh, who don't know too much and who are going to be willing to go along with whatever you say they hit pater in mouth pleasant. They found The most unprepared community in this state, perhaps the most under community in the country to be able to block this down. There is one last thing that David agreed and the vote board had to do in order to seal the steel and it's a thing that made people angry. The village had promised fox combat. It would acquire all of the land that they need for their factory clear out all the homeowners who live there and in a lot of cases this worked out. Fine people took thereby outs, but in other cases it got very wrong Kelly introduce me to this one man who had a hard time, Sean Macfarlane, shot, sure thing near where kids, high
Chinese to live in a home for people with disabilities that his mother had owned. He's in a wheelchair and Sean said, the village had told him tat. He was eligible for a relocation fee if he moved up to twenty two thousand dollars, but he had to move right away. He said: okay and the village moved him to this temporary house, which turned out to be a wreck the watered and work the world and there's no heat, I mean I guess we can run the nineteen. Fifty stole her oven wherever, but every and we can all huddle around in the kitchen, Sean's wheelchair didn't fit in any of the doorways, and so he had to take off the doors just to be able to use the bathroom and John said he was just sitting here until
stop payment arrived, but the day before I saw him, the village had called to say. Actually he wasn't going to get anything when his guy told me to he has like the emotion of a serial killer like no empathy, I'm just like just Dexter, I'm talkin to like seriously- and I was thinking to do this- to a family of one kid. Failure to kiss her a guy in a wheelchair dissolves, together with one leg and a family. For I don't understand it. I don't understand to me just seems like we can do it and that's what we're gonna do. I asked the village government for their side of it and they explained that there already paid Sean's mom the relocation benefits and he felt it was enough to come all her occupants, including Sean, but she needed the money to make his new place accessible, so he could move in and now he was stuck, and so he went to the place you go when you have a problem in my pleasant Philip. How this really are for my family, because you know
While all this money going around in this project and we're talking Twenty two thousand dollars. Twenties an eighty dollars and money is the world to us. It just seems like I don't understand what I did or who I offended. Why you guys we take this money from for me. This sorry now mean the cry: what I'm sorry, whoever I pick Claude, if I'm very upset you I'm sorry Mark gave its anybody- are you whatever? I did? I views me for my family. I told my kids. This would work out. Everyone said they were going to take this body from everyone says it is gonna. Get you out of the house and then, as soon as out of the house. Thirty two reneging take their money away from you. I said no lies. Bauer
shook my hand. Look me in the eyes of man to man. We will not through the village what that's through you, what we got, screwed, just this past summer, with two months left to go on the villages deadline like when they have to deliver the land to Fox gone. The fight was in full swing tell him Our side are battling to keep people from losing their homes rush agents, purchase, yearning three thousand acres and convey it to a private or corporation and Dave Degroot side in June. They called vote.
The village board meeting their done negotiating with homeowners, and they have one last card to play. They're going to declare the factory land blighted, meaning its unsafe and uninhabitable, and so diverge Board says it's for the residents own safety. Please do us all a favor, and spare us I'm doing this for the good of the village. Bologna, you are doing this for the benefit of Fox con and the eight hundred and sixty million dollar hole you have done for us, you taking homes away from people. You mention there her that I can't I just can't get my arms around this people either people that live in the village. They paid their dues.
You're gonna, throw em under the bus. My guy, please don't you dare take you and then, after all, the residents have spoken. One trusty stands up to say he is pro Fox con, but he's against this bladed ruling. He says his pictures of the house's they're beautiful properties, obviously not politeness and then comes the ok for a consideration and action on resolution. Thirty, seven dash twenty eighteen, a resolution designating read it the area, clearing the redevelopment area to be avoided area and approving read it all and plan. Therefore, ok other being under discussion will cover with class. I sat here is absolute,
paper. Policemen deeper motion here, particles and it's over the families will, leave the land to make way for construction. Those four be discussion. Last words my producer Jessica, young and I went out there. The project manager of the village gave us a tour and he took us to oh hell on one edge of the construction site, so you could see the entire expansive. It feels like elevated hill and
we can see for as long as we can see, it's just suction take a picture. It felt like being on the surface of the moon like dirt. All the way to the horizon does hang the air and just hundreds of these tiny, yellow machines, backhoe scrapers like but ends moving to from one end to the other There is still no sign of the factory. The project manager told us construction while and for another five to seven years at least Somebody once told me about this concept. Called faith based development deal,
get made because a person believes hey. This thing is going to work out because I believe it's gonna work out. I asked Dave is that what this dealers and he said no and they thought about it, and he said you know what sharp I've, never seen how pessimism is created, one job fur, anybody anywhere and enter certain extent. Yes, it does come down to believe in. That's that's how you move a village, not only a village, but your greater community forward. Nothing happens. First believing it can happen so that all about
Rapporteur for the opinion Amy. But I also stood by me Peter about and common were Bruce better women, the abandoned dummy mercury and a fully and Jessica Young shows, by TIM Howard, we're mixed pirate Kwan dashing. By Michel errors. Are in his Heather sharing our theme, science by the mysterious break master saunter, big big thanks, a sweet brain urgent and David Merriman, who spent hours walking through the economic to and thanks also to hush, freemen regular. I Paul cement bronze, sterner TIM Bartok TIM King Field, Ricardo Tourists, Dave know that came up
me Jimmy part and Peter Annan, Labour is a good excuse to get dressed up It wasn't a show on Spotify Itunes. Wherever you get your broadcasts thanks releasing policy and a couple weeks.
Transcript generated on 2020-02-13.