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    Mike Rowe’s letter strikes chord with Mitt Romney

    Mike Rowe’s letter strikes chord with Mitt Romney

    You probably know him as the star of the hit Discovery Channel series “Dirty Jobs,” a show which chronicled a day in the life of the “hardworking men and women, who earn an honest living doing the kinds of jobs that make civilized life possible for the rest of us.”

    Recently, however, he has sparked some buzz in the political sphere because of a letter he wrote to Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney about the need for a renewed appreciation in America for hard work and skilled labor.

    In particular, Rowe’s letter was about the need to mend the systemic emotional disconnect many Americans have with jobs that society considers to be undesirable, and well, dirty.

    Below is an excerpt of the letter but I encourage you to read the entire thing, which can be found here.

    Certainly, we need more jobs, and you were clear about that in Tampa. But the Skills Gap proves that we need something else too. We need people who see opportunity where opportunity exists. We need enthusiasm for careers that have been overlooked and underappreciated by society at large. We need to have a really big national conversation about what we value in the workforce, and if I can be of help to you in that regard, I am at your service – assuming of course, you find yourself in a new address early next year.

    To be clear, mikeroweWORKS has no political agenda. I am not an apologist for Organized Labor or for Management. mikeroweWORKS is concerned only with encouraging a larger appreciation for skilled labor, and supporting those kids who are willing to learn a skill.

    After posting the letter on his website,, word eventually spread to the Romney campaign and the newly minted Republican nominee decided to give it a read.

    Twitchy has documented quite well how the letter went from Rowe’s website, to the twittersphere, blogosphere, and eventually, into the hands of Mitt Romney.

    After receiving news that Romney had indeed read the letter, Rowe tweeted his reaction:

    Rowe’s letter underscored a very real problem in the American workforce. Now that it has been heard by Romney, it might just get the attention it deserves.


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    2nd Ammendment Mother | September 9, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    There’s a reason our youngest son decided to go to welding school before college – now he can attend the college of his choice with serious cash in hand and zero financial stress.

    I had a handy-man/builder for years. He became a friend. I recall him telling me one day how satisfying it was to scope a job, maybe do some design (our screen porch), solve some problems and build something. And to do it on his schedule, without a Supervisor looking over his shoulder. His son is in graduate school in Aero Engineering, and his daughter was in college in some soft curriculum or other. I doubt either will have a more satisfying life than Dad.

    I know another man who designs and builds irrigation systems. He also farms, plows snow, and does any odd job that comes along during the slow season. He works on his own schedule and answers to no clock, other than his internal one and the seasons. He can figure out any problem, and build most anything. He just knows a lot of useful stuff.

    I admire both of these men greatly for their skill and ability to solve every day problems, and build things of value. Then there is my BA and MS, and I wonder of what earthly value they have been in my life. I earned them in my late 30s after I had been in my career for several years, and often wondered if I was an improved person as a result. Never have resolved the question.

    The other problem that doesn’t get much talk from RnR is the fact that the US Government, for at least the last 4 years, has stifled job creation by over regulation, bad regulation and poorly administered regulation over businesses.

    Before cutting anyone’s taxes, cut some regulations. Make sure businesses can hire (and fire) employees without penalty and that there are no uncertainties in regulations and how they are enforced.

    Without jobs, cutting benefits and lowering taxes won’t make the recovery come as soon as rolling back the anti business attitude that is prevalent in Government.

    This should happen across the board in every industry or service regardless of whether it’s dominated by multi billion dollar companies or Ma and Pa’s.

    Too many think that 6 months after RnR get in, we’ll be on the road to recovery. It’s easier to fire people than hire them and it will take a lot of positive business indicators for folks to feel confident enough to risk hiring.

    Meanwhile everyone thinks that cutting benefits is some sort of panacea to the financial problems.

    Well it could but the social costs are tremendous and do you all want to pay the price of that? There are folks who have no income and depend solely on the few benefits that they receive for survival. yeah we all hear about the welfare queens and people on food stamps buying candy bars but that’s just silly. The majority of folks who have those benefits qualified due to their poor financial status and though many could go back to work, the jobs aren’t there and won’t be for awhile.

    Mike’s thinking long term, which is okay but we have to realize that the next 4 years will be very tricky.

    We are skirting the edge of disaster and a bad move could put us over with no coming back.

    “Hard work?” You must be kidding. This is a generation of black and white kids who are absolute narcissists.

    Narcissists these days all want to be famous: rapper, mass murderer, hit-man (or woman), reality show star, etc. These are people only willing to start at the top.

    Perhaps when they’re in their late 30s, and the ‘dream’ is dead, they may pursue training for job skills ‘beneath their station.’

    But now? Don’t count on it. That’s why illegal aliens have so much work opportunity: they’re willing to do the work black and white kids in the US won’t do.

    It’s time to shut off the entitlement spigot.

    Midwest Rhino | September 10, 2012 at 8:26 am

    The fundamentals of work are often learned on those first jobs. I got my college degree, but built a (very) small business doing a trade I learned in my college years, but separately from college. Discipline and incentive is the issue.

    The example unions set is so contrary to learning to hustle to get work and complete it. Unions say “give us what we want, or we will harm your company”. Public unions say they will harm the politician and the kids (for teachers). Most of my pay raises were because I became faster and better.

    But Obama says you did not build that … join the union, never let the boss push you around. Teach the boss “he is not the boss of you” with slow downs or strikes if need be. Not personal ambition, but “workers of the world unite .. in mediocrity”.

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