Dirty Jobs' Mike Rowe On Work

By the Left Coast Rebel

I'm old enough to remember when things were a lot different in America. One thing I've noticed -- especially when it comes to young people -- is the lack of work ethic, especially when it comes to anything that isn't "cool" or gets your hands dirty.

As someone who grew up around a family business where everyone had to chip in, no matter how "dirty" or difficult it was, this trend is very troubling to me.
I'm not the only one who feels this way, though. Discovery Channel's Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs fame, in an effort to draw attention to skilled labor, has penned a letter to Mitt Romney.

I think Mike Rowe is on to something here:
When Dirty Jobs premiered back in 2003, critics called the show “a calamity of exploding toilets and misadventures in animal husbandry.” They weren’t exactly wrong. But mostly, Dirty Jobs was an unscripted celebration of hard work and skilled labor. It still is. Every week, we highlight regular people who do the kind of jobs most people go out of their way to avoid. My role on the show is that of a “perpetual apprentice.” In that capacity I have completed over three hundred different jobs, visited all fifty states, and worked in every major industry.
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 was 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.)
Somehow I think Mike Rowe's message is not going to sink in with the drug-addled Occupy Wall Street crowd. The above is just a taste, head over to Mike Rowe's site and read the rest.

Updated: This is hands down one of my favorite Dirty Jobs episodes; Mike Rowe visits a pig farm out of Las Vegas:

I recall reading a few years ago that this particular pig farmer guy on the show was approached by a Las Vegas real estate outfit and asked if he might consider selling his pig farm land for several millions dollars. Apparently the pig farm is pretty close to the Strip in Vegas.

He refused to sell, and as far as I know, is still raising and selling curly-tailed, pink-nosed dirty squealers on the site, to this day.

Update 2: I couldn't help myself. I googled the pig farmer, his name is Bob Combs and he was offered $75 MILLION! dollars to sell out and make room for housing development. He passed on the offer, which just proves that to some people, there are more important things in life than mountains of money...


  1. Politics: The dirtiest of Dirty Jobs

    1. Only pitchforks, torches and mobs of angry millions will fit the bill for that Dirty Job.

  2. LCR:

    That Mike Rowe video is EXACTLY what keeps bringing me back to your site. Thank you for another delightful venture outside the box.

    1. Hi Howard, thanks for the kind words. I have always loved Dirty Jobs and that particular episode really shows why. Hope you are doing well in CO

  3. I have to agree, there is a lot of work if people would only look outside the box. Still, I would have took the 75 million, and bought another pig farm :)

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  5. I have heard how terrible my generation is and how we would destroy America.
    Now the people my age are saying the same things about the young people entering our workplace.
    This is all BS. Young Americans in their core are good people and as they grow older they become us.

    1. I disagree, are you arguing that today's generation isn't lazy? Also, the children of the '60s are in charge in government today and in a sense, they actually have destroyed America.

  6. I'm 25, consider myself one of the last generation that had a "kid's" life (playing outside all day in the summer, riding my bike everywhere, not running to mom for neosporin for a cut) and I worry about who will be making the decisions when and if I retire. I began umpiring little league at 15 (when I was too old to play anymore) and as time went by, probably by the time I was a sophomore or junior in college, I was amazed at the laziness I saw in a good chunk if the kids I was exposed to. If the future of this country is to improve, people that don't have a special skill set are going to have to think outside the box to have gainful employment. I was fortunate enough to earn a degree in a field that should provide me and mine with a comfortable life and pretty good job security. However, people are going to have to realize that if they want what I've been fortunate enough to have, they are going to need to accept AND APPRECIATE! the concept of hard work and good decision making will pay off for them.

  7. Are Obama's millennials are holding the economy back? What a bitter irony.


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