An open letter to LC: time, opportunity begins anew
Dear LC Students, As we approach the close of the semester, it may be normal for student engagement outside of the realm of the classroom to dwindle. In light of this, I am writing this letter because I want to urge you to start thinking critically about the relationship between the skills you are laboring for and your engagement with our college community. I feel huge gratitude to those who have engaged me, and a huge responsibility towards community disenfranchisement. I should express the following concerns to Lewis & Clark students in the interest of opening a productive and respectful dialogue. In these remarks, I do not intend to discount the hard-working LC student who has no additional time left to freely allocate to whatever cause. In point of fact, there may be enough intellectual niches on campus to keep us interested for the rest of our lives. However, this is, in truth, not an issue of opportunity cost, but a matter of recognizing how much power and value we have as young adults and individuals. I observe that while the PioLog is widely read, student-to-PioLog dialogue en masse is demoted to the mediums of Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook rather than letters to the editor or comments on the PioLog web forum. This is indirect, passive and possibly an indication that students are blind to their selfworth. Isn’t having a paper that is entirely your own something special? What if it is one of the best places for us students to revise and relish in our culture? Our newspaper staff is, undoubtedly, under-appreciated for the energy and hours they invest. Having said that, if you’re pissed off at the newspaper, you’re normal, and generally, so is the newspaper. People will always be pissed off at newspapers. And, if you’re pissed, who or what is stopping you from saying your piece (in a way that can be easily archived)? You’re paying 50 fucking thousand dollars a year. Make it count. While the PioLog may be the emblem that most readily underscores my point, I perceive the lack of interest in our newspaper as a symptom of a greater problem—we are granted privileges we don’t know we have. As keynote lecturer and former Black Panther Ericka Huggins stated, “There is nothing wrong with privilege as long as you do something with it.” At the risk of sounding patriotic, we have a school spirit deficiency. You might say that the lack of school spirit at LC is what made you apply in the first place. I suggest that school spirit can have many faces. I have seen students make some concerted effort to make a reality of their oncampus aspirations. We have a lot of great resources and great professors. Is that not worth cherishing or taking pride in? Is it not worth getting connected to? If I had a manifesto, it would include, but not be limited to: Establishing a culture in which students attend the forums where thoughts and concerns are openly discussed. For you, LC students, to start thinking, responding and communicating about the reality of apathy on campus. It’s your turn, LC. Choose your own destiny, or be another Hamlet. With love & in solidarity, Rafaela Castaldo (’14)

The Pioneer Log OPINION

april 20, 2012

Someone somewhere else has YOUR job, but would you want it if you could have it?
Staff Writer

The last time President Obama spoke to Steve Jobs, the President asked Mr. Jobs why iPhones could not be made in the United States. Mr. Jobs simply replied, “Those jobs aren’t coming back.” Contrary to popular belief, outsourcing of American manufacturing jobs is not bad overall for the US economy. Regardless of some of the problems it poses for the economy, outsourcing is a very natural part of globalization as businesses are increasingly relying on foreign corporations for their superior labor supply chain. When President Obama posed that question to Mr. Jobs in February of 2011, it was estimated that in the decade prior, 2.4 million US manufacturing jobs had been moved overseas. That is a lot of jobs, capable of lowering the unemployment percentage by almost 2 points, but one cannot accept this fact without being informed of the specifics. First, many of the jobs moved overseas to countries like China and India simply pay too little to sustain the American worker. The new manufacturing jobs in America, while fewer in existence and requiring more education, are significantly higher-paying then their alternatives in the past. As more jobs get replaced by machines, more supervisors, engineers and technicians are needed to supervise and maintain the new work force. These higher-paid workers sustain five other local jobs, in comparison with the traditional manufacturing job sustaining about one and a half jobs. Second, the economy adapts. A good example lies in the history of tomato farming. In the 1960s, scientists at the University of California at Davis created a machine that harvested tomatoes with one pass through the fields. By the 1970s, the percentage of workers hired for the tomato harvest in California fell by 90%. While one might have expected droves of unemployed agricultural laborers, the lost jobs were quickly reclaimed through new manufacturing jobs. Sound familiar? Third, the jobs created in the US between 1990 and 2008 were created in sectors of the economy with no global competition, such as law, medicine, teaching, contracting and the service industry. These industries added 27.3 million jobs while the sector that competes in global markets—manufacturing— added none. In addition, no other nation exports more intellectual property than the


US through Hollywood studios, marketing and advertising companies and design and architecture firms. Lastly, America does not possess a manufacturing workforce capable to compete with our Chinese and Indian peers. In this highly competitive world, America cannot fulfill the quotas set by the world’s largest technological companies such as Apple, Samsung and Hewlett Packard. For example, prior to the iPhone 4’s release, Apple abruptly redesigned a minor aspect of the screen, leading to an assembly line overhaul requiring 8,000 workers to be awoken in the middle of the night for a 12-hour shift of replacing screens. This type of manufacturing flexibility, diligence and skill allows the Foxconn factory in Shenzhen, China to produce 10,000 iPhones a day. This amount may appear staggeringly large, but compared with the 300,000 workers estimated to live on the “campus,” the number is not so unbelievable. As Jennifer Rigoni, Apple’s worldwide supply demand manager, pointed out, “What US plant can find 3,000 people overnight and convince them to live in dorms?” Innovation is and always has been critical to American economic progress, not to our manufacturing sector. Instead of giving tax holidays to corporations to bring low-paying manufacturing jobs back home, the US government should be giving subsidies to the firms whose creations can dominate world markets and create higher-paying jobs back in America for all employees involved.


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