Thursday, February 21, 2019

Of Foxconn and ecosystems, real and synthetic

Buzzword repetition alert:

A friend sends along a link to a Foxconn exec touting the "ecosystem" the company is going to create on the site of an actual ecosystem it is flattening, thanks to state subsidies and exemption from environmental reviews and standard protections for wetlands, stream routes and lake beds.
"We’re not building a supply chain, we’re curating an ecosystem," [Bill] Mitchell said. "Basically, we’re working together with different people to help us get to where we need to go by borrowing their expertise."
"Ecosystem." Really?

That rang a bell, as I remember seeing none other than Scott Walker smush "Foxconn" and "ecosystem" together last year.
About Foxconn, Walker goes oxymoronic
Which brings me to this Wisconsin State Journal account of GOP Governor and King of Corporate Welfare Scott Walker's remarks about Foxconn Wednesday at an annual start-up business conference in Madison.
(A complete archive of blog posts about Foxconn is here.)...
What caught my eye was the way Walker morphs the Foxconn development into an "ecosystem," and though it was not the first time Walker has pounded that square peg into his round rhetorical hole, these graphs from the State Journal article linked above bear some comment: 
Both Gov. Scott Walker and Foxconn’s Alan Yeung spoke before hundreds of investors, CEOs and entrepreneurs at Union South on Wednesday for the conference’s keynote luncheon. They asserted that Foxconn’s plans to build a $10 billion manufacturing campus in Racine County would create a hub of tech and entrepreneurship activity in the region. 
“There's a whole ecosystem that will draw people in not only to work for Foxconn, not only to work for the suppliers there, but (there will be) larger groups of people here and in Wausau and in Green Bay who will say, ‘We want to be close to something like this,’” said Walker.
Now I don't know about you, but to me, with its green, organic and life-giving implications, "ecosystem" and three-thousand ripped up rural acres where landowners are in line to be kicked out of their homes and off their farms
Cabbage fields in an ag ecosystem on the Foxconn site, 2017
is about the clumsiest, most misleading mismatch of words since "jumbo shrimp."


Anonymous said...

I am sorry to change the subject here but when is DNR getting new Regional Directors? The ones in place now are Stepp appointees so I am wondering if the new Secretary will put his own people in place? These were new appointed positions under Walker.

Anonymous said...

The regional directors are not appointees. At least one stayed on from before Stepp/Walker although their job functions changed. Like before, they I suspect they will be giving an explanation of the new direction and told in a less severe "if you don't like it, there is the door" spin like Stepp/Walker presented. I think the problem is it will take years to change directions.

Katrina said...

The Regional Directors or as they are now called, Secretaries Directors, serve at the pleasure and are appointed by the Secretary. They all need to go and be replaced by people appointed by the new Secretary. Not a single one of them is a carry over from Matt Frank or the Doyle administration. They may have held other DNR positions prior to being appointed but they have faithfully carried out the directions given by the previous Secretaries (Stepp and Meyer) and need to go.