JEFFERSON CITY — Jerry Beck founded a successful manufacturing company, and now the Constitution Party member's bid for U.S. Senate is focused on a dire warning that increased outsourcing of American manufacturing will lead to catastrophe.
"If we do not bring our manufacturing and our jobs back to this nation, this nation will collapse," Beck said. "I believe it will collapse within a year and a half or before. It could even collapse after this election, within 30 to 60 days after this election."
Beck, of La Monte, was born in 1939. As a young man he attended Northeast Missouri State Teachers College — now known as Truman State University — but he dropped out to join the U.S. Marine Corps in 1958. He credits that experience with shaping his character.
"It influenced me to have a love and a respect for our country," he said. "Because when they hit the beaches, they gave their today so you and I and everybody else could have their tomorrows, you know."
He served in the Marines for four years. Upon his return to Missouri, he worked as a contractor before founding Millennium Manufacturing, a company that makes air purifiers. He was president of Millennium for more than 30 years.
Beck said his experience as a businessman would make him an important voice in the Senate.
"We have, in Washington D.C., no single businessman," he said.
Beck also has spoken against what he sees as excessive government regulation of the private sector, corruption in Washington, abuse of the earmark system, health-care reform and the stimulus package.
"You cannot borrow money to stimulate the economy," said Beck, adding that "earmarks are mainly made to increase the revenue of candidates on campaign."
On Oct. 15, Beck participated in a debate with Missouri's other three candidates for U.S. Senate. Near the end of the debate, the floor was ceded to Beck for a rebuttal. He put a hand to his brow, sighed and summed up his campaign message with six words.
"We are in serious trouble, everybody."