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Letter: We shouldn't have to Whitmer-proof our jobs

The Detroit News

I love having conversations with my neighbors across the meat counter at my shop in Bangor. It’s how I — and my dad before me and my grandfather before him — keep an eye out for our community. But lately, those conversations have been pretty hard.

In Bay County, most people are small business owners or employees in those small businesses. The pandemic hasn’t been easy on anyone, but for the past year they’ve watched their livelihoods dry up.

Government should be helping each and every Michigan resident thrive regardless of their occupation or education, Beson writes.

Every time Gov. Gretchen Whitmer hands down a new executive order hobbling small businesses’ ability to survive, she says she’s looking out for all of us. But after what I read this past week, I’m not buying it (Re: “What experts predict for Michigan's 2021 economic outlook,” Jan. 12).

If state Treasurer Rachael Eubanks is taken at her word, I’d say it seems like the governor and her top brass just don’t care. Talking at a public forum last week about the condition of Michigan’s economy, Eubanks (Whitmer’s appointee) commented, “What's been very fascinating about this pandemic is this differentiation you see between those that do have a college degree or postsecondary credential, and those that don't.”

“Fascinating?” No, it’s been tragic. 

The hardworking Michigan residents who no longer serve food in Michigan’s empty restaurants, no longer change the oil in a car driven less often, or whose hours have been cut down as construction projects are postponed — they aren’t finding the impact of COVID on the economy very fascinating.

Worse, Eubanks goes on to say that the economic hardship my neighbors have been suffering with for the past year proves that more Michigan residents should have college degrees.

Let me be loud and clear: No one should have to Whitmer-proof their job. In this great country, not one American should think they have to insulate their livelihood from the invasive reach of their government.

College is great. I hope my kids go to college if that’s what they choose. But I am equally grateful for my neighbors who chose to perfect a skill — like mechanics, machining, plumbing, cooking, serving and caretaking — rather than go to college. These are jobs that are as necessary as any other job, especially to the family counting on that paycheck.

In these hard times, government should be helping each and every Michigan resident thrive regardless of occupation or education. It appalls me that anyone in government today would suggest otherwise.

Let’s get to work.

Rep. Timothy Beson, R-Bangor

Michigan's 96th House district