Rowe: Waning ‘appreciation’ for blue collar work has ‘unintended consequences longer than your arm’

Mike Rowe has made a name for himself as the unofficial spokesman for gumption, initiative and the kind of work ethic that made America what it was at its heights, but waning “appreciation” for that ethos has produced some unprecedented numbers he warned “should scare the hell out of us.”

(Video: Fox News)

Ahead of the Monday premiere of the second season of the Fox Business Network’s “How America Works,” the host joined Sean Hannity on his eponymous program to discuss the disconnect between the goods and services Americans consume on a daily basis and what goes into making the everyday luxuries that are taken for granted possible.

Hannity posed whether Americans realize and appreciate what blue-collar workers like farmers and ranchers do on a daily basis and Rowe poignantly responded, “They’re two different things, realization and appreciation.

“Most of us have never really realized it, but we’ve always intuitively appreciated,” he continued. “We know that when we flip the switch and the light comes on, that that’s the result of a miracle. And that miracle is made possible by men and women doing things out of sight and out of mind.”

“What I worry about is the overall lack of appreciation that has infected, in my view, our society over the last 30 or 40 years,” Rowe explained before later adding, “I’ll tell you what nobody’s talking about. No one is talking about the 7 million able-bodied men who are not only unemployed today, but who have affirmatively left the workforce.”

Referring to an interview he conducted with economist Nicholas Eberstadt, the author of “Men Without Work: America’s Invisible Crisis,” Rowe said how the man believes “that statistic, far more so than unemployment numbers, and really any other metric, is the thing that should scare the hell out of us.”

“That number of able-bodied men, combined with the 11 million jobs that are currently open, that’s never happened in a country before and if we don’t fix that,” Rowe expressed, “we’re on that part of the map where it says, ‘Here Be Dragons’ because we don’t know what’s coming next.”

His shows are just an attempt to “tap the country on the shoulder” and say, “If we don’t hang on to this fundamental appreciation for the kinds of jobs that make civilized life possible for the rest of us we’re gonna have a list of unintended consequences longer than your arm.”

As the founder of the MikeRoweWORKS foundation providing vocational scholarships to help close the skills gap driven by the perpetuation of four-year degrees as the only viable path after high school, Rowe has expressed, “Pop culture has glorified the corner office job while unintentionally belittling the jobs that helped build the corner office.”

In the past, Rowe had stated of the jobs crisis, “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.”

As such, since 2008, his foundation has awarded over 5 million dollars in work ethic scholarships to more than 1,200 recipients to combat this head-on.


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