If you watch the Discovery Network much, you probably know who Mike Rowe is. Mike does voice-over work for the network, and also stars in some shows too.
While I am not certain, I believe that Mike’s first show, or his first big show, was Dirty Jobs, in which Mike goes out on location and does jobs that are… well… dirty. I mean, things like cleaning up after pigs, working in filthy conditions and such, lots of very weird things. And, every one of them is dirty. I have not been a huge fan of Dirty Jobs over the years, but I like to watch from time to time. The first time I found Mike was on a voice over job that he does, he is a narrator on a show called “Deadliest Catch,” which is about King Crab fishermen in Alaska. When I first saw that show, I realized almost instantly that Mike Rowe’s voice was one of the big factors in the success of the show. He is perfect for the show and adds immensely to the enjoyment of watching.
Remember, not long ago, I wrote an article about how you could make money from dancing, even if you were a terrible dancer? Well, Mike Rowe kind of fits that profile. Not that Mike’s voice is bad, but he fits it in that just by talking, Mike makes a great living. He is another example of how you can make a living from even the simplest of things.
Well, yesterday, I learned more about Mike Rowe, and soon you will see how he fits in with the topic of conversation on this site. I learned that Mike Rowe, because of his experience with Dirty Jobs, has a website about jobs related stuff, called Mike Rowe Works. Much like my goal on this website, but to a much more impactful extent that I can hope for, Mike is on a quest to help people find jobs, and particularly to find the kind of jobs that have a need for workers. In so many ways, Mike’s strategy is so simple, yet not something that most Americans pursue.
I found Mike’s worksite from a post on Facebook, in which they shared a link to a letter that Mike wrote to Presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Now, before you jump to conclusions, I don’t think that Mike is endorsing Romney, or making his political leanings known at all. He wrote a very similar letter to Barack Obama back in 2008 when he was a candidate for the Presidency. Unfortunately, according to what Mike wrote, he never got a response from Obama or any of his staff. That’s too bad, given that Americans badly need jobs, and President Obama, in my opinion, can use as much help as he could get from anybody who can offer help. That is not a slam on the President, believe me. I believe that in today’s situation, work-wise, any American President needs all the help they can find to bring more jobs.
Anyway, after reading the letter that Mike wrote, what I came away with was that Mike was saying that not every American teenager needs to get a college education. Not every job out there is for a banker, an attorney or an engineer. Yes, there are needs for those occupations (particularly engineers these days), but there is also a need for people to build roads and bridges (yes, I am aware that such construction jobs require engineers, but I am talking about the people doing the manual labor now). There is a need for somebody to do all of those “dirty jobs” that Mike has tried out over the years. Let’s face it, you don’t need a college education to lay asphalt or to pick up a shovel and dig ditches. Being a ditch digger is not glamorous, but somebody still needs to do it. If you could make $25 per hour digging ditches or laying asphalt, well, that is better than not having a job at all.
One of the things that Mike Rowe said in his letter to Romney really hit a good note to me:
I always thought there 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.
My friends, that kind of simple logic is something that America needs today. What is it that you hear from time to time? Common Sense is not so common these days! It’s true.
Over the years, I have talked along similar terms. It’s time to think about going back to what worked 50 or 60 years ago. Back then, some people were considered to be a better fit for Trade School than University. Somebody still has to do those trades out there, and there is nothing shameful about doing it. Many people get more enjoyment out of doing things with their hands, rather than sitting at a computer, or doing the sort of thing that the University trains you for.
I want to thank Mike Rowe for putting himself out there and offering sage advice and a helping hand. If Mitt Romney becomes the next US President, I hope he accepts the help that Mike Rowe is offering. If President Obama is re-elected, I think he would be wise to reconsider and take up Mike on his offer of help and look into his ideas. Whoever wins the election, Americans need jobs and the things that Mike Rowe is saying make a lot of sense to me.