TV

Reason TV: Mike Rowe on the Value of a Strong Work Ethic

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Mike Rowe's new program, "Somebody's Gotta Do It," premiered on CNN this week. "In each episode," according to the CNN website,  "Rowe visits unique individuals and joins them in their respective undertakings, paying tribute to innovators, do-gooders, entrepreneurs, collectors, fanatics–people who simply have to do it. This show is about passion, purpose, and occasionally, hobbies that get a little out of hand."

Providing a window into the lives of interesting, hard-working Americans is nothing new for Rowe, the long-time host of "Dirty Jobs" (the original title for which was "Somebody's Gotta Do It"). Reason TV's Nick Gillespie talked to Rowe about blue-collar jobs, the importance of having a strong work ethic, and the high price of college last December.

The original release date was December 13, 2013. The original writeup is below.

"If we are lending money that ostensibly we don't have to kids who have no hope of making it back in order to train them for jobs that clearly don't exist, I might suggest that we've gone around the bend a little bit," says TV personality Mike Rowe, best known as the longtime host of Discovery Channel's Dirty Jobs.

"There is a real disconnect in the way that we educate vis-a-vis the opportunities that are available. You have—right now—about 3 million jobs that can't be filled," he says, talking about openings in traditional trades ranging from construction to welding to plumbing. "Jobs that typically parents' don't sit down with their kids and say, 'Look, if all goes well, this is what you are going to do.'"

Rowe, who once sang for the Baltimore Opera and worked as an on-air pitchman for QVC, worries that traditional K-12 education demonizes blue-collar fields that pay well and are begging for workers while insisting that everyone get a college degree. He stresses that he's "got nothing against college" but believes it's a huge mistake to push everyone in the same direction regardless of interest or ability. Between Mike Rowe Foundation and Profoundly Disconnected, a venture between Rowe and the heavy equipment manufacturer Caterpillar, Rowe is hoping both to help people find new careers and publicize what he calls "the diploma dilemma."

Rowe recently sat down with Reason's Nick Gillespie to discuss his bad experience with a high school guidance counselor (3:20), why he provides scholarships based on work ethic (6:57), the problem with taxpayer-supported college loans (8:40), why America demonizes dirty jobs (11:32), the happiest day of his life (13:14), why following your passion is terrible advice (17:05), why it's so hard to hire good people (21:04), the hidden cost of regulatory compliance (23:16), the problem with Obama's promise to create shovel ready jobs (33:05), efficiency versus effectiveness (34:17), and life after Dirty Jobs (38:24).

About 41 minutes. Cameras by Meredith Bragg and Joshua Swain. Edited by Bragg.

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  1. I just went and read that article about the gun range moving in next to a school, and I found a Real Comment of Genius.

    Oh yeah so hysterical to ask why people should be shooting guns next door to a school where there are children. What if some psycho says he is going to the gun range so everyone is like ‘okay cool go ahead’ and instead he walks next door to the school and starts shooting? that is a real danger if you are a parent. or what if some gun accidentally goes off while the students are on the playground or getting off busses? Those are legitemate concerns and you are acting like they are crazy and want to control every thing just because they don’t want there kids to be in danger.

    Yeah, what if a gun goes off inside the indoor gun range and the magical child seeking bullet hunts down one of our children? DO YOU EVER EVEN THINK OF THESE THINGS, LIBERTARIANS?!?!?!

    1. Or, the customers of that range could engage the next Adam Lanza in a spirited debate about gun control should he show up at that school.

    2. “What if some psycho says he is going to the gun range so everyone is like ‘okay cool go ahead'”

      Who is ‘everyone’? The doctors at the psych ward? “You’re going to the gun range? That’s fine. Just let the guard know on your way out. Oh, and promise not to go to any schools!”

    3. I have taken the liberty of translating this into Screaming Socon. It’s very easy:

      Oh yeah so hysterical to ask why people should be shooting guns homosexuals should be living next door to a school where there are children. What if some psycho homo says he is going to the gun range home so everyone is like ‘okay cool go ahead’ and instead he walks next door to the school and starts shooting fucking? that is a real danger if you are a parent. or what if some gun cock accidentally goes off while the students are on the playground or getting off busses? Those are legitemate concerns and you are acting like they are crazy and want to control every thing just because they don’t want there kids to be in danger.

      1. You might find some individuals who don’t want gays living next to schools, but I don’t think you’d be able to find enough of them in one community to wage a public campaign as the hoplophobes in this story are doing.

      2. +1 Brokeback Middle School

    4. Remember, this is the so-called 25% that are deciding our elections.

    5. Sounds reasonable to me. You can’t set up a gun range with shooting tables on one side of the playground and the targets on the other. Sooner or later some guy is going to mis-time his shot and hit a running kid. Or even if the kids are not at recess a shot could hit the monkey bars and bounce into a classroom.

      Jeebus, people, why can’t you see that?

  2. Strong work ethic = “white” privelege

    1. This is what the left ACTUALLY BELIEVES!!!

      1. Yep, many of them do and have told me so.

  3. Gwyneth Paltrow invites Obama to a fundraiser, her neighbors are pissed as their neighborhood is virtually closed down.

    http://www.politico.com/story/…..11782.html

    1. Wrong link, here’s the right one:

      http://www.nytimes.com/politic…..entry=2167

      1. Traffic stood still, children were stranded at school, residents could not leave their own driveways.

        Yeah, fuck that shit. I don’t care how much you love your president, and how desperately you need a vanity event to show your support, if I can’t leave my fucking driveway because of your obsession, we’re a’ gonna have words.

        1. And you’re going to be shot in the face. These are TOP. MEN.

          You don’t get a goddamn say, peon. Get back inside.

    2. Obumbles = Kiss of Death

  4. When the time comes, I’ll be encouraging my kid to pick up a trade instead of going to college.

    1. The only reason to even go to college should be to learn a trade in or study the hard sciences. Everything else could be learned in ones spare time in a far less expensive manner. That said, even the hard sciences can be these days, thanks to near instant info transfer. I mean, if you have access to the internet, you literally have access to the entire worlds wealth of knowledge at your fingertips. I believe, if it were allowed to happen, brick and mortar colleges, in the traditional sense, would quickly be a thing of the past.

  5. When someone uses the term “strong work ethic”, it’s usually code for white supremacy. That’s how you spot a racist, by the way.

    1. So you heard the dog whistle, too?

  6. Reason TV: Mike Rowe on the Value of a Strong Work Ethic

    A what now?

  7. I prefer a more efficient work ethic.

    Motivated by laziness is my motto.

  8. This was so good, I watched the video again now after seeing it a few mos. ago. Then I took YouTube’s hint and saw Mr. Rowe’s interview with Entrepreneur. This guy is so good & so right on. I wish he could emcee Coast to Coast AM, but it probably doesn’t pay well enough to keep him up late at night.

    1. Coast to Coast? I’m not sure I’d want something serious like the benefits of hard work associated with ghosts and aliens.

      1. That’s the other problem besides having to be up overnight: You have to care enough about the subject matter.

  9. The things Mike Rowe is saying are probably the most important things being said by anyone today. I have employed over 1,300 people. I’m rich by any reasonable measure. I was named small business person of the year for Los Angeles county (an area of over 11 million people and thousands of businesses). Many of the people who have worked for me now own their own businesses. I’m also a college drop out from the rust belt with no talent or or special genius who started out homeless in L.A.. I have succeeded through exactly what he is talking about, and so have all those people who have worked with me over the years. You don’t know us, or see us on MTV, or hear about us anywhere, but we live well, work hard, and do right by our neighbors, our families, our colleagues, and our bankers. We pay our bills and more than our share of the country’s. We didn’t follow our bliss as we saw it when we were kids. We found what we were good at, and worked it. Following your bliss is fine if you trust an unemployed person living off their parents to decide that for you. We were all there once, but time and experience builds perspective. Following your bliss is like starting a crossword puzzle and insisting on finishing it, even if the hottest chick in town walks by and gives you the look. Be open to opportunity, especially if it’s not what everyone else is doing.

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