Wednesday, May 8, 2019

WI Sen. Fitzgerald refines GOP's aspirational numerology

Senator Zero is willing to drop a few when it comes to Foxconn, but who cares?  'That's all kinda sidebar stuff.'

Noteworthy, because Wisconsin's Republican elected officials usually love big numbers, the bigger the better, believing if they add zeros and repeat them often enough, things will just happen. 

Hyperbole breeds momentum and media and money. Until reality sets in, as it has a habit of doing, but the GOP counts on memories being short.

Take Scott Walker's pledge to create 250,000 new private sector jobs in just four years. He didn't make it in eight, but boy, wasn't the boast impressive enough to build a campaign on and boast about tattooing it on cabinet officials' foreheads?

Then there was the GOP plan to remove state protections from 1,000,000 acres because, well, you know, why not do for everyone what they were doing for Foxconn.

Sidebar: Walker and the GOP eventually dropped the number to 100,000, but it was still a really big number with beaucoup zeroes and there was a campaign to hype.

Which bring us to Foxconn - - you know, the project with all those record-breaking numbers: as big as 11 football fields, or three Pentagons.

A full Foxconn archive is here.

And here's the big one - - 13,000 high-paying, high-tech jobs which Walker, the GOP, Foxconn, Donald Trump, and others repeatedly etched in stone and on hundreds of Mt. Pleasant acres with a battalion of at least 20 bulldozers.

At one point, the boosters went totally number crazy for media willing to lap them up 70,000 truckloads of gravel to be laid down where 4 billion cubic yards of soil would be moved during 500,000 work hours costing $100 million- - whew - - exhausting just to read.

Except that the size of the Foxconn development and probable factory and projected human workforce is shrinking - - so goodbye to some of these precious zeros.

And about the jobs which would Walker said would make Wisconsin a world high-tech leader - - well, gosh, no one has a really solid number or construction timeline these days, because as a top Foxconn strategist said the other day, the weather in late fall and December was brutal (no it wasn't) - - and besides, who has that crystal ball?

Enter GOP Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, with a smaller crystal ball:

Wisc Sen. Scott Fitzgerald.jpg

Said Big, er, Downsizing Fitz:
"If it's not 13,000 jobs within five years, maybe it'll be half of that," Fitzgerald said...That's all kinda sidebar stuff."

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