Reevaluating the value of hard work:
For more than a generation, we have encouraged our children to aspire to careers that would enable them to work with their minds and not their hands. So, it should come as no surprise that we have an estimated three million job vacancies in the skilled labor force today that are going unfilled because many people erroneously consider these positions to be beneath their potential or otherwise undesirable.
We are now dealing with a problem of our own making. In our attempt to spare our children from the drudgery of physical labor, we have become a society that no longer respects or celebrates hard work. We have become a nation of consumers rather than producers and we are beginning to experience the unintended consequences of this transition in more painful ways. But just as the national narrative seems to be hopelessly unswayable, an unlikely voice of reason has emerged in guest appearances on the national talk show circuit.
Mike Rowe, who is best known as the host of the Discovery Channel's popular show Dirty Jobs, has decided to lend his fame and notoriety to a larger cause. He is encouraging a broader conversation about our nation's relationship with skilled labor. He feels it is important to "make a case for the trades," and I applaud him for bringing recognition to this issue through his many appearances.