Mike Rowe: US citizens relationship with work is at tipping point, ‘matter of national security’

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(Video: Fox News)

America’s current economic conditions aren’t just detrimental to the country. According to Mike Rowe, they’re a risk to its national security.

Rowe is the host of the Discovery Channel’s “Dirty Jobs” and Fox Business Network’s “How America Works.” He’s also the founder of mikeroweWORKS Foundation, a nonprofit that promotes and helps those in need obtain skill-based jobs.

Speaking on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Thursday, Rowe was asked by host Tucker Carlson to address the nation’s low labor force participation rate.

Rowe responded by arguing that the labor force participation isn’t a product of people lacking skills but rather a product of the mindset currently percolating in society.

“This is no longer a matter of a skills gap or a few million people unemployed and employers frustrated because of the mismatch of skills. This is a matter of national security. I think it goes right to our identity as a people,” he said.

“You know, when I started that foundation, Mikeroweworks, 13 years ago on Labor Day … there were 2.3 million open positions. Today it’s 11 million. Twelve million people quit their jobs in the fall so, you’re right to wonder what is going on, and is there an explanation that goes beyond money. And the answer is yeah — it’s our whole relationship with work,” he added.

Carlson strongly believes this new “relationship with work” is itself a product of bad policy-making, particularly by current President Joe Biden.

The Biden administration is notoriously anti-business and arguably anti-work. And at this very moment, they’re desperately trying to push through Congress a piece of legislation that would establish several additional entitlement programs.

The longstanding problem with entitlement programs is that they disincentivize work and breed entitlement, as Carlson noted. Why put in a hard day’s work when you can receive a check from the government for doing absolutely nothing?

“These policies reward people who don’t want a job and they punish people who do want a job. What they do is they degrade work. They strip it of its inherent meaning. And that’s a problem in a country that is running out of things that have inherent meaning,” Carlson noted during the monologue that preceded his interview with Rowe.

“They’re telling you that your religion means nothing. Your patriotism means nothing. Your family means nothing. Now they’re telling you your work means nothing? What does mean anything? And how long can a society continue that doesn’t have meaning and that doesn’t revere work?” he added.

Listen to the relevant part of the monologue below:

Continuing the discussion with Carlson, Rowe admonished everyone for blaming employers and workers for this dilemma.

“All my buddies on the left tell me that the reason for all this opportunity is because employers are fundamentally rapacious and greedy, and all my buddies on the right tell me all of this opportunity is a function of workers being universally lazy and shiftless. They’re both painting with too broad a brush. The answers, as you said, are a bit more complicated,”  he said.

The answers, as argued by Carlson, all trace back to bad policy-making, including even by former President Donald Trump.

“At times, over the past two years, some people were making much more from government unemployment benefits than they had been making in the jobs that they left,” Carlson noted during his monologue.

“One analysis found that thanks to the so-called CARES Act, restaurant workers nearly doubled their weekly pay when they became unemployed. The government was literally making it more lucrative for people not to work and stay at home. That is the definition of insanity,” he added.

In fairness to Trump, he signed the CARES Act into law at the very beginning of the pandemic. The same can’t be said for Biden’s decision to sign the nearly equally expensive American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 this past March.

He signed the exorbitant $1.9 trillion plan amid an already-recovering economy. Writing for National Review on Thursday, Jim Geraghty explained the foolhardiness of this move.

“Throwing nearly $2 trillion more into an economy that was already recovering — but one where the supply of goods was still limited by the effects of the pandemic around the world — had predictable effects,” he wrote.

“Larry Summers, Treasury secretary during the late Clinton years, ‘spent 2021 protesting that the $1.9 trillion spending package the Biden administration passed in March was too large for reasons both political and economic, while fretting that the Federal Reserve will be too slow to sop up the mess. The result, he has warned, could be an overheating economy and runaway inflation,'” he added, quoting from a New York Times story.

Geraghty somewhat jokingly theorized that Biden must not be a fan of the children’s cartoon “Duck Tales.”

He noted that in one episode, “Huey, Dewey, and Louie stumble onto an invention that easily duplicates money — which turns everyone in town into a millionaire.”

What happens next is predictable:

Whoops …


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