Media Tip Sheet: Bucknell Story Ideas for November

LEWISBURG, Pa. – The following are Bucknell University story ideas that may interest you in November.

PAIN & POLITICS – The economy has been brutal to American workers for several decades. The chance to give your children a better life than your own—the promise at the heart of the American Dream—is withering away. And Bucknell sociology professor Jennifer Silva has found that’s why disadvantaged people disable themselves politically, a factor that may play out in voter turnout, or lack thereof, in the Nov. 6 midterm elections. Silva conducted more than 100 interviews in the nearby coal region for her forthcoming book We’re Still Here: Pain and Politics in the Heart of America (2019, Oxford University Press). She says the key to understanding the puzzle of working-class politics is to understand how the decline of the American Dream is lived and felt. “We might expect struggling Americans to rise up together and demand their fair share of opportunity. And yet, the groups who stand to gain the most from collective mobilization appear the least motivated to act in their own self-interest,” she said. In the time leading up to the 2016 presidential election, coal region residents were fiercely critical of growing inequality and of politicians who have failed to protect them from poverty, exploitation and shame. Her book will tell a deep, multi-generational story of pain and politics. CONTACT: Silva, 570-577-3470, jennifer.silva@bucknell.edu

NO TRADE WAR WINNERS – “There are no winners in trade wars, just one side loses more than the other,” says economics professor Chris Magee. Chad Bown, a Bucknell alumnus now at the Petersen Institute for International Economics, reports that in 2018 alone, President Trump imposed new tariffs on about 12 percent of U.S. imports, which has resulted in combined retaliation to hit 8 percent of U.S. exports. Most strikingly, if President Trump follows through on threats to put tariffs on car imports and the rest of China’s imports, about 40 percent of U.S. imports could be hit by new tariffs in 2018. And those could be felt by American consumers. “Threatened tariff increases, such as those on car imports, would fall more directly on consumer goods,” Magee said. Moreover, a C.D. Howe Institute study estimated that the U.S. would lose 120,000 jobs if President Trump follows through on his threat to put a 25 percent tariff on imported cars. Magee also says the NAFTA renegotiation looks like it has avoided the worst outcome of nullifying the deal, but the revisions to it are in some ways worse than the old agreement. They will raise the cost of producing cars in North America, which will make US cars less competitive in international markets and force consumers to pay higher prices. CONTACT: Magee, 570-577-1752, cmagee@bucknell.edu

ARMISTICE DAY – As the 100th anniversary of World War I’s Armistice Day approaches on Sunday, Nov. 11, a Bucknell group of faculty and student researchers have guaranteed that the 718 Bucknellians who served in the Great War will not be forgotten. The Bucknellians in World War I project — a faculty-student teaching and research initiative — seeks to remember them through their stories, experiences and sacrifice. The team has made two trips to Europe as part of their research, including one last month. Among their stories is one for Christy Mathewson, who was one of the five original inductees in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. All Bucknellians who served in WWII will be honored during a memorial service on Sunday, Nov. 11 at 10:30 a.m. at Rooke Chapel Meditation Grove. At 11 a.m., there will be two minutes of silence to recall the exact moment the war ended in 1918, accompanied by ringing of the bells in Rooke Chapel and other Lewisburg churches, just like European churches will be doing that day. CONTACT: David Del Testa, 570-577-3779, history, david.deltesta@bucknell.edu

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CONTACTS: Jill Britton, jsb044@bucknell.edu; Mike Ferlazzo, 570-577-3212, 570-238-6266 (c), mike.ferlazzo@bucknell.edu

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