Foxconn: The Myth and Reality of the Welfare Queen
Publisher: Insurgent Notes
Date Written: 10/02/2018
Year Published: 2018
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX22015
Social scientists who have studied the welfare system before and after the Clinton era welfare "reforms" have exposed the notion that women on public assistance were "welfare queens" as a myth.
In my August 2017 article "The Foxconn Con," I focused on the plan for the state of Wisconsin to subsidize Foxconn to build a major industrial "campus" to assemble and manufacture flat-screen television sets on a massive site in southeastern Wisconsin. I noted in that article that Foxconn's practice of gathering subsidies, their human and labor rights abuses, and the ease with which they can build and then close massive industrial facilities is global. But I did not know the extent to which this is the case.
Some responses to my August essay were illuminating. Foxconn operations are being monitored by labor activists in China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, South Korea, Turkey, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Brazil, and Mexico. For examples, see iSlaves' Struggles.
The monitoring of both corporate practices and worker resistance reveals extremely abusive labor practices and a penchant to take government money and use it to build and then close plants around the world. In India, for example, Foxconn was involved with a massive operation in the southeastern state of Tamil Nadu between 2006 and 2014. They closed the facility due to shifts in the market for the products they were making. That resulted in the loss of jobs for 25,000 workers. Then in 2015 they announced that they had plans to open another 12 plants in other Indian locations. All of these were subsidized by state and local governments. As one writer told me, "It is this competition between states (in India) that is exploited by Foxconn and like companies to get the best deal." But once the subsidies are collected they always seem ready to move on.