Reply All: #132 Negative Mount Pleasant
December 6, 2018 6:00 AM - Subscribe

A small town in Wisconsin becomes the site of a completely unprecedented experiment.  A Better Mount PleasantLet's Make A Better Mount PleasantJournalist Larry Tabak's Series on Foxconn in Wisconsin
posted by Tevin (14 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I can't believe it's legal for the municipal government to just declare land "blighted" like that, and that none of this has been fought in court. Is David DeGroot really that optimistically naïve or is he getting personal kickbacks from FoxConn?
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 9:46 AM on December 6, 2018 [3 favorites]

I'm only halfway through this episode but I have to admit that Dave DeGroot does not strike me as the smartest man, nor one that thinks that there is a person on this world who can tell him 'no'.

Christ, what an entitled dickbag.
posted by dinty_moore at 12:25 PM on December 6, 2018

This episode made me so sad and exhausted. It's a preventable tragedy in the making.
posted by palegirl at 12:59 PM on December 6, 2018 [3 favorites]

The worst part is the people responsible will probably be long gone by the time the tragedy has come to fruition.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 2:31 PM on December 6, 2018 [2 favorites]

Well that was fucking infuriating. Local politics can be surprising when it comes to party affiliations etc... so I didn't go into it thinking about Kelly and DeGroot in a blue/red sort of way but let me tell you how non-shocked I was when the anti-Kelly Facebook page cited her as "liberal" and was ranting about "commies" and then DeGroot started tongue-bathing Trump at the announcement ceremony.

As I've said many times in the megathreads, anyone looking to find the secret to why Trump's base sticks with him will find that abusers and bullies see themselves reflected in him and it's not much deeper than that.
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:06 AM on December 7, 2018 [4 favorites]

Is David DeGroot really that optimistically naïve or is he getting personal

porque no los dos
posted by entropicamericana at 6:07 PM on December 8, 2018 [4 favorites]

I knew the moment that DeGroot had difficulty with Sruthi's name that he was going to turn out to be an asshole.
posted by axiom at 8:19 AM on December 9, 2018 [4 favorites]

Wow this was a great episode and I sure hated it
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:03 AM on December 10, 2018 [6 favorites]

I am consistently surprised by Reply All. They dig into corners of the internet I don't care to look, and the hosts have a smugness that always puts me off. But there's always a *woah* moment when they reveal the most amazing human stories behind the jargon. This Mount Pleasant story is so well developed, I'm still thinking about it days later.
posted by Popular Ethics at 9:53 PM on December 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

This was a great episode -- I always love the ones Sruthi reports on -- but what I don't understand is this:

Someone in the episode says, look, here are examples where Foxconn did the same song and dance, promising a fortune and delivering SFA. And I know there are lots of American companies who do the same and then move later etc. And I'm not a politician, I don't follow this particular bullshit closely. So why do so many politicians fall for it? Why does that advisor not talk about risks, put any restrictions on what Foxconn has to do to get their rebates? I just don't get why we keep hearing this same story, and in 5 or 10 years we will hear the inevitable How They Were Fucked And Could Have Known story.
posted by jeather at 5:56 PM on December 13, 2018 [1 favorite]

My guess is that it’s a variation on “you can’t cheat an honest man.”
posted by DoctorFedora at 2:16 AM on December 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

Infuriating. But wow thank goodness for people like Kelly who help keep their local reps transparent as much as she can. And for all that work (hours, unpaid, unvalued) she gets labeled a "busybody" in the kindest terms. There was a part where she is within her 3 minute right to address the council and she mentions another groups meeting minutes aren't up yet, another civil servant who has clocked a lot of OT hours, she is ON IT. But with no support or respect she is so limited in how much she can effect. DeGroot anti-thanks her with nasty sarcasm when she is done. Nice tone he sets there for how servants should address their constituents.

The man who spoke of needing wheelchair access to his home was completely heartbreaking. How do you not stop all council business right there and figure out how to fix that wrong.

And how is this not going to be the plan for all unprepared, arrogant, and/or ignorant local politicians? That is terrifying. Looks like it already is the plan. Pro-business no mater the cost.
posted by dog food sugar at 7:47 AM on January 6, 2019

I continue to be amazed when Reply All does serious investigative journalism like this. The reporting turns out to be hugely prescient, and without much time to wait to understand why.

Exclusive: Foxconn reconsidering plans to make LCD panels at Wisconsin plant
The arrival of Foxconn in Wisconsin divides Democrats

Yes, less than two months after this episode aired it comes out Foxconn isn't doing the manufacturing they promised. No LCD TVs. There's some promise now of building a research / engineering oriented facility instead, which won't provide the promised manufacturing jobs for locals.
posted by Nelson at 8:41 AM on January 30, 2019 [1 favorite]

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