Mike Rowe, the funny but hard working host of the television show, Dirty Jobs has posted an open letter to Mitt Romney. Here's an excerpt from that letter:
Though schizophrenic and void of any actual qualifications, my resume looks pretty impressive, and when our economy officially crapped the bed in 2008, I was perfectly positioned to weigh in on a variety of serious topics. A reporter from The Wall Street Journal called to ask what I thought about the “counter-intuitive correlation between rising unemployment and the growing shortage of skilled labor.” CNBC wanted my take on outsourcing. Fox News wanted my opinions on manufacturing and infrastructure. And CNN wanted to chat about currency valuations, free trade, and just about every other work-related problem under the sun.
In each case, I shared my theory that most of these “problems” were in fact symptoms of something more fundamental – a change in the way Americans viewed hard work and skilled labor. That’s the essence of what I’ve heard from the hundreds of men and women I’ve worked with on Dirty Jobs. Pig farmers, electricians, plumbers, bridge painters, jam makers, blacksmiths, brewers, coal miners, carpenters, crab fisherman, oil drillers…they all tell me the same thing over and over, again and again – our country has become emotionally disconnected from an essential part of our workforce. We are no longer impressed with cheap electricity, paved roads, and indoor plumbing. We take our infrastructure for granted, and the people who build it.
Today, we can see the consequences of this disconnect in any number of areas, but none is more obvious than the growing skills gap. Even as unemployment remains sky high, a whole category of vital occupations has fallen out of favor, and companies struggle to find workers with the necessary skills. The causes seem clear. We have embraced a ridiculously narrow view of education. Any kind of training or study that does not come with a four-year degree is now deemed “alternative.” Many viable careers once aspired to are now seen as “vocational consolation prizes,” and many of the jobs this current administration has tried to “create” over the last four years are the same jobs that parents and teachers actively discourage kids from pursuing. (I always thought there something ill-fated about the promise of three million “shovel ready jobs” made to a society that no longer encourages people to pick up a shovel.)
You can read Mike Rowe's entire letter HERE.
Mike Rowe is absolutely correct. American used to be a country that made things. We used to be a country where hard work was done in the fields under a hot sun or in a factory where machines and men banged and clanged on wood, steel and other items.America valued farming, mining, manufacturing, cleaning, or drilling. If America wants to get back on track, we need to encourage these industries to grow and expand. That means reducing burdensome regulations and lowering taxes so that business can hire workers to do these jobs. Quite frankly, we also need a national discussion on private sector unions since they can also hinder productivity, competitiveness, job creation and profits.
We also need to encourage society to value this kind of work and not disparage it. This kind of dirty work takes humility, strength, dedication and brains to do. It is not stupid work. Its common sense work. It is honorable work. It is American work.
This is what made America strong and competitive. If we want to make America work again, we need to get America to work.
This article was cross posted from the blog Conservative Samizdat.
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