Clarion, Pa.- The Clarion Young Democrats, in association with other campus organizations, hosted a lecture this past Thursday at Hart Chapel. The lecture was given by Erik Loomis, an assistant history professor at the University of Rhode Island.
He discussed his book “Out of Sight: The Corporate Outsourcing of Catastrophe,” and the divide between the corporate system and blue collar workers in the United States.
According to Loomis, there are major problems of inequality in our society. He says our nation is a divided one.
“[The] wealth is generated by a small group of people while so many of us struggle,” Loomis stated.
The overall message was one of blue-collar workers losing their voices in society, and how and why working conditions should continue to improve in some industries.
Corporations are beginning to move production overseas and are “recreating exploitative conditions in other places,” said Loomis.
There has been a major decline in American cities, and jobs are disappearing. This is simply because union jobs are being moved overseas, according to his lecture. Loomis expressed concerns about this, saying, “Every time a union is lost, our voice in politics is lost too.”
Seth Ickes, the president of the Clarion Young Democrats, had nothing but praise for the speaker, saying that he “brought issues to light that are often swept under the rug.”
Ickes was not surprised by the accusations made by Loomis, admitting that Ickes knew the system was corrupt, and this only solidified his opinions about not only America, but our corporations. “These issues need solved,” said Ickes.
As students, it can be difficult to know how to help the situation, but Loomis wanted to assure students that they too can make a difference.
“We’ve won these battles before, and we can win them again,” he said.
We can push against the corporations and try to force them to change what they are doing. It is not enough to just boycott or buy only from companies that get their products directly from the United States. This will do nothing for the workers outside of our borders, except leaving them with even more problems, warned Loomis.
Loomis does not believe that the masses will be swayed by this, however. We need to “make it be about them,” and bring the stories from overseas to America.
According to Loomis, the administration has to listen to us, the consumers. These problems are serious, but Loomis explains if people push hard enough against corporations and make our voices heard, the situation can be helped.