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Destroying the Village In Order to Grift It

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See, it’s only true populists like Scott Walker and Paul Ryan who know what the working class of the heartland really wants: to have their towns razed on behalf of rapacious foreign corporations who will take your money but aren’t going to plow your driveway:

Contractors have bulldozed about 75 homes in Mount Pleasant and cleared hundreds of farmland acres. Crews are widening Interstate 94 from Milwaukee to the Illinois state line to accommodate driverless trucks and thousands of employees. Village and county taxpayers have borrowed around $350 million so far to buy land and make infrastructure improvements, from burying sewer pipes to laying storm drains.

One thing largely missing: Foxconn.

President Trump and Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou hatched the factory plan in 2017, and both attended last summer’s gold-shovel groundbreaking in Mount Pleasant, 20 miles south of Milwaukee.

As of Dec. 31, the Taiwanese manufacturing giant, famous as an Apple Inc. supplier, had spent only $99 million, 1% of its pledged investment, according to its latest state filings. The company projected as many as 2,080 in-state employees by the end of 2019 but had fewer than 200 at last year’s end, state filings show. The village is still awaiting factory building plans for review. Locals said Foxconn contractors have recently been scarce on the site.

The impact on Mount Pleasant, by contrast, is palpable. Its debt rating has slipped. Local politics has become fraught. Neighbors have fallen out over land seizures.

Say this for Ryan and Walker, they’re as committed to free markets and property rights as they are to fighting poverty.

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