Former "Dirty Jobs" host Mike Rowe has a habit of laying out those who attack him for advocating trade work and being critical of the current higher education system. On Tuesday, Rowe engaged yet another critic displeased with him for promoting opportunity for Americans in construction trade work.
"I always see these articles saying there is a shortage of construction trade workers, but everywhere I go I see hundreds of them unemployed. There is definitely no shortage of these workers, there’s just a shortage of people willing to work for sub-par poverty wages. That’s why these Mike Rowe types want to flood the labor market. Don’t believe any of that s*** if you read it," wrote a man named Chad via Facebook.
"Obviously, I’m aware that some people refuse to work because they believe the pay is too low," Rowe responded. "People like that exist in every industry, and the construction trades are no different." However, the success host argued that this isn't the sole reason that "6.3 million jobs are currently vacant. The fact is, starting salaries in the skilled trades rival or exceed those of many more popular careers."
In today's climate, as often noted by Rowe, American youth are encouraged and expected to attend a four-year university, often resulting in massive debt. Rowe has encouraged trade schools and internship options as a possible alternative since, obviously, not all people are exactly the same and attain the same skill sets or interests.
"I often post about opportunities in the skilled trades, but unlike your claims, mine are easy to verify. According to the BLS, 6.3 million jobs are currently available – the vast majority of which do NOT require a four-year degree. Many of those jobs exist in construction. I’m not making this up, Chad. It’s right there in black and white. So too, is the amount of college debt currently on the books – 1.5 trillion dollars. A rather tidy sum, considering half of those who borrow money for tuition don’t even graduate," wrote Rowe.
But Rowe wasn't done yet; he got to the heart of the matter by asking Chad two pointed questions (emphasis added):
"Obviously, my desire to share stories of success doesn’t make me right, any more than your desire to share stories of failure makes you wrong. But it does give me permission to ask – respectfully and in all seriousness – what is it you hope to accomplish by telling people that opportunity is dead? In other words, what is YOUR agenda?"
As noted by John Porter, "More conservatives should challenge leftists to answer that question. ... By telling people opportunity is dead, leftists convince Americans they can only survive with government’s help. It’s how they wield control and stay in power. And sadly get away with it every two to four years."
"Opportunity is everywhere," he adds. "It’s a simple equation: bet on yourself + useful skill + work ethic = opportunity."
View Rowe's full response post, below: