On his Facebook page Sunday, television star Mike Rowe rebuked the notion that he is peddling “right-wing propaganda” when discussing his approach to helping people who are unable to find work in the United States.
The host of CNN’s Somebody’s Gotta Do It shared a question from ‘Craig P’ which read:
Your constant harping on “work ethic” is growing tiresome. Just because someone’s poor doesn’t mean they’re lazy. The unemployed want to work! And many of those who can’t find work today, didn’t have the benefit of growing up with parents like yours.
How can you expect someone with no role model to qualify for one of your scholarships or sign your silly ‘Sweat Pledge?’ Rather than accusing people of not having a work-ethic, why not drop the right-wing propaganda and help them develop one?
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The SWEAT Pledge, which stands for Skill and Work Ethic Aren’t Taboo, adheres to 12 principles regarding work. Craig P. was concerned primarily with how Rowe allocates funds from the mikeroweWORKS Foundation, which “promotes hard work and supports the skilled trades in a variety of areas” and “award[s] scholarships to men and women who have demonstrated an interest in and an aptitude for mastering a specific trade.”
Everyday on the news, liberal pundits and politicians portray the wealthy as greedy, while conservative pundits and politicians portray the poor as lazy. Democrats have become so good at denouncing greed, Republicans now defend it. And Republicans are so good at condemning laziness, Democrats are now denying it even exists. It’s a never ending dance that gets more contorted by the day…
I started mikeroweWORKS to talk about these issues, and shine a light on a few million good jobs that no one seems excited about. But mostly, I wanted to remind people that real opportunity still exists for those individuals who are willing to work hard, learn a skill, and make a persuasive case for themselves. Sadly, you see my efforts as “right wing propaganda.” But why? Are our differences really political? Or is it something deeper? Something philosophical?
You wrote that, “people want to work.” In my travels, I’ve met a lot of hard-working individuals, and I’ve been singing their praises for the last 12 years. But I’ve seen nothing that would lead me to agree with your generalization. From what I’ve seen of the species, and what I know of myself, most people – given the choice – would prefer NOT to work. In fact, on Dirty Jobs, I saw Help Wanted signs in every state, even at the height of the recession. Is it possible you see the existence of so many unfilled jobs as a challenge to your basic understanding of what makes people tick?
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Rowe concluded that his goals are “modest” and would remain so. “I don’t focus on groups. I focus on individuals who are eager to do whatever it takes to get started,” he said. “People willing to retool, retrain, and relocate. That doesn’t mean I have no empathy for those less motivated. It just means I’m more inclined to subsidize the cost of training for those who are. That shouldn’t be a partisan position, but if it is, I guess I’ll just have to live with it.”
h/t: The Right Scoop
What do you think of Mike Rowe’s response? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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