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Foxconn facility needs more scrutiny -- Bryan McGinnis

August 23, 2018

If Wisconsin’s voters and decision-makers had been able to read the new book “Behemoth: A History of the Factory and the Making of the Modern World,” I question whether the Wisconsin Foxconn facility would have been approved. At least more scrutiny would have been given to this project.

Chapter seven in this book is titled “Foxconn City” and gives the history of this company and its impacts in China and the world. Author Joshua B. Freeman writes about nearly three centuries of development of giant factories making a variety of products.

Freeman describes the benefits and costs to factory owners, competitive industries, workers, users of products, the environment, and society in general. Included are dollar-measurable factors and less quantifiable external or unintended effects. The introduction and availability of new and lower-cost products was always a plus. Pollution and exploitation of employees were often negative results.

The author points out that while “newer and bigger” developments, such as factories, are dominating goals of contemporary and past societies, we have not fully anticipated and managed all of the good and bad results from never-ending expansions.

Bryan McGinnis, White Bear Lake, Minnesota

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