Opinion: ‘ I urge everyone to get involved in forging a better path’

Jeremy Baker
Jeremy Baker

State representative candidate Jeremy Baker shares his thoughts on the economy and the need to fight ‘the exploitation and corruption that undermines our prosperity’

Jeremy Baker
Candidate state representative 49th District

My career has centered in the construction industry. I have spent over 25 years working as a laborer, brick mason and now operations manager of a company that helps maintain the infrastructure of our nation’s heavy industrial sector. My customers include lumber mills, paper mills, cement plants, steel mills, and power plants.  Over my career I have come to understand the importance of these facilities in relation to our nation’s economy.  When the economy is firing on all cylinders, my customers will do everything they can to keep producing their products. They will only stop to fix what has to be fixed to ensure reliable production. When the economy is faltering these same customers will be forced to shut down their facilities because it will either cost too much to make their product vs what they can sell it for, or the demand for their product is so low their facilities are filled with unsold product and they have to stop until they have space to store it.

These cycles are common, and I have experienced several of them in my career and I know the signs associated with the point of the economic cycle we are in.  If you were to believe the mainstream media, and our government, our economy is firing on all cylinders.  Even though we have had two quarters of negative growth in our nation (the standard definition of a recession), these propagandists point to the labor market and the low unemployment rate to mislead the public from the reality of what our country is facing. This deception is very dangerous. Instead of giving us the information we need to prepare for difficult times, these people work overtime to convince us that everything is fine. They push us to buy the dip in the stock markets, they work feverishly to get us to buy all the latest luxuries that their corporate masters are selling. All the while they know that we are at the precipice of a very steep cliff.

Believe me when I tell you that the world’s economy is currently careening off the cliff and it is time to prepare for hard times. A month ago, one of my larger customers in this state shutdown their facility for two weeks.  They make cardboard boxes and until recently were doing everything they could to keep their mill running as fast as they could. Today their warehouses are filled with unsold boxes.  

This should have been expected by our leaders. They should have known that the inflation our families have faced for over a year was going to break our economy. Last summer they should have been sounding the alarm bells, they should have been raising interest rates to tamp out the fire that was raging in our economy. Instead they lied to us. They told us not to worry, that this inflation is only temporary. So we went out and fueled the fire. We spent beyond our means.  Our credit card debt soared. Our home prices skyrocketed and we kept buying. We believed that everything was going to be fine. Only after we overextended ourselves did they start to raise the interest rates. They waited until we loaded up on debt before they raised our credit card rates. They waited until we chased overpriced homes before they raised the mortgage rates.

Today my customer who sells cardboard boxes is not selling boxes, because our credit cards are maxed out. Inflation has left us unable to afford anything that isn’t life sustaining. Many families in this community are struggling to make ends meet. They are buying half gallons of milk instead of gallons. They are buying off-brand products to try to stretch their overstretched budget. Many of these people are facing losing their jobs in the near future if they happen to be someone who would normally make a product to put in the box that my customer can’t sell, they can expect it is only a matter of time before their employer will be forced to reduce their workforce. This will lead to other employers to lay off their workforce as fewer people will be able to afford their product. 

In the end people will lose their livelihoods, their homes, their businesses, their way of life and the same people who pushed us to keep buying their lies will be standing there ready to scoop up the good deals when the banks foreclose on our homes. They won’t shed a tear when many of our neighbors are forced into bankruptcy. Only then will the cycle reverse and we will be left wondering what happened. Millions of people will be starting over, trying to rebuild their once prosperous lives, and a select few elites will be lavishing in their evergrowing wealth.

We need to understand that this story doesn’t have to keep repeating itself. We as a people can decide once and for all that we deserve better and we can elect people that will work for the people not against them. We can build a system where our efforts are justly rewarded. We can have a system where our families thrive. Unfortunately if we keep believing the propagandists we are doomed to keep repeating this cycle. If we don’t root out the corruption, the lies, and the exploitation we can expect to be surprised when the next cliff comes. I urge everyone to get involved in forging a better path. Research what our representatives have been doing with our trust. Find out if they have been working to make our lives better, or if they have been selling our prosperity to increase theirs. Only then can we have a chance of making our lives better for us and future generations. We deserve better than this and as your representative I will work everyday to fight the exploitation and corruption that undermines our prosperity.

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