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Mike Explains Further

In the long history of bad advice, you’d have to look pretty hard to find something dumber than Work Smart Not Hard. It first appeared years ago as part of a recruitment campaign for college. It was bad advice then, but today, it’s just plain dangerous. Google Work Smart Not Hard and you’ll see just how far this idiotic cliche has wormed it’s way into our collective conscious over the last forty years. It’s repeated daily by millions of people like some timeless chestnut of conventional wisdom. Is it possible we actually believe such nonsense? You bet it is.

Consider the reality of today’s job market. We have a massive skills gap. Even with record unemployment, millions of skilled jobs are unfilled because no one is trained or willing to do them. Meanwhile unemployment among college graduates is at an all-time high, and the majority of those graduates with jobs are not even working in their field of study. Plus, they owe a trillion dollars in student loans. A trillion! And still, we push a four-year college degree as the best way for the most people to find a successful career?

The evidence suggests we’ve taken some very bad advice, and tried to separate hard work from success. Consequently, we’ve become profoundly disconnected from a critical part of our workforce. The skilled part. The part that keeps the lights on. That’s just crazy. In a sane world, there should be posters hanging in high schools that reflect the reality the situation we’re in. Wouldn’t it make more sense to promote Work Smart AND Hard.

So…with a little creative license (and no respect for the original,) I’m pleased to present a new platitude with a different attitude. I think the image speaks for itself, but if you want to see how we made it, watch this. And if you’d like to help spread the word, I’ll try to talk you into buying one here.

Posters are $10 or as much as you want to give. All proceeds go to the mikeroweWORKS Foundation, which pays for trade school scholarships.

PS. If you’re bored, fascinated by behind-the scenes footage, and curious about the process that brought this poster to life, you might also enjoy this video. Then again, you might be left wondering precisely how much time I’ve actually got on my hands. And subsequently, yours. Only one way to find out…

The S.W.E.A.T. Pledge

Here’s a picture of me holding a copy of The S.W.E.A.T. Pledge. (Skill and Work Ethic Aren’t Taboo.) I wrote The Pledge last year for three simple reasons:Mike-Rowe-SWEAT-Pledge copy

1. I believe what it says, and felt strongly the world needs one more acronym.
2. I wanted to raise some money for the scholarship fund. (We sell them for $12, and the money goes to the foundation.)
3. I needed something declarative that everyone must sign who applies for a mikeroweWORKS Scholarship. Something that reflected my own view of work-ethic and personal responsibility.

*You don’t have to apply for a scholarship to get your own signed copy. Each Pledge contains 2 signature lines – one for Mike and one for you. The poster is perfect for framing, and starting awkward conversations about personal responsibility.

Want to share The S.W.E.A.T. Pledge with your school, gathering, or club? You’re welcome to download this version of the Pledge to help spread the word about The mikeroweWORKS Foundation and the Skilled Trades. Please do not resell or print in mass quantities.
DOWNLOAD HERE

You can buy Mike’s Work Smart AND Hard and The S.W.E.A.T Pledge posters and other great items on The Shop page. Check it out!

  • Pingback: No Jobs? Mike Rowe's Lament

  • Athena007

    LOVE the new one! Can we, also, buy the S.W.E.A.T. Pledge poster?

    *Nevermind! I see it listed along with this one. :)

  • Browncoat

    I tried college. Wasn’t for me. Too much partying and not enough patriotism kept me out of the military. So, in 1978, I opted to join the pipefitters apprenticeship (union). Loved it. Also learned about the seedier side of union power. Pretty much voted Republican ever since. But I finished the four year program as a journeyman pipefitter and did that until 1990. I’d taken a CAD course and became an industrial piping designer. Done that ever since… And for the last 10+ years, the money has been very good. God had a plan. And worked.

    • Big Jim

      sorry to hear you thought GOP was once worth voting for. Glad to hear you have now seen the light though!!

      • Browncoat

        At one time, not too long ago, it WAS worth voting for. Now I vote as conservative as possible whether GOP (rare) or Democrat (non-existent where I live). And when and if I have money for a race, it goes to the candidate, not the party or the PAC.

        • The MOSEPH!!

          Democrat and conservative rarely, if ever, can be found to be harmonious. Or apply to the same individual. Common sense & personal responsibility are not in the Democrat handbook. Race baiting & blaming everyone else are, however.

          I, too, have found that the Republican Party no longer stands for my conservative values. I left a few years ago, though I will vote for the most conservative candidates in each election regardless of party (unless we’re talking a lesser of two evils & the more evil choice shouldn’t ever be allowed near a fountain pen & a piece of legislation). Thankfully, in the area, the Republicans typically are conservative. It’s a shame that’s not always the case on a national level.

        • MickeyFreakinDougal

          Isn’t it amazing how completely Big Jim ignored what you actually said in your original post?

          Good for you, Browncoat, and may God bless you with many more years of prosperity.

          • Disco58

            ‘god’ hasn’t done diddley for ‘Browncoat’ (or anyone else). It would appear he actually worked for it, so why not give Browncoat the credit, instead of some imaginary being?

          • MickeyFreakinDougal

            Imaginary? Like your manners?

          • Disco58

            My manners are just fine, thank you. All I suggested was give credit where credit is due.

          • MickeyFreakinDougal

            You’re free to believe whatever you wish. But when you throw insults about my beliefs, it shows your lack of character. Spin it however you want, but that’s the truth of it. Atheists have become one of the biggest bully classes in America. And you are a prime example.

          • Disco58

            Atheists are a ‘bully class’, really? Please explain that one. Have you, or anyone you know, been stripped of any actual rights? Have you, or anyone you know, ever been restricted from practicing your actual rights? And please be very careful about what you may presume to be your ‘rights’.

          • MickeyFreakinDougal

            A bully loves to insult and hurt others for his or her own entertainment. You love to get a laugh from the crowd, even though you have to hurt an individual or a group to get that laugh.

            A person who violates the civil rights of others is a criminal. That’s way beyond being a bully. You clearly enjoy insulting people’s beliefs that don’t agree with yours. You haven’t violated my civil rights, but you are still a bully.

          • Disco58

            Had I insulted a person, you might have a point. However, the belief in supernatural beings deserves no respect. Would you respect a wholehearted belief in elves, fairies, leprechauns or trolls? How about the tooth fairy or easter bunny? Would those make you roll your eyes, or would would you say, Yea, I get it’?

          • MickeyFreakinDougal

            I’m going to give you a nickel’s worth of free advice. Shut up and stop digging the hole deeper. You are a truly horrible person. The primary difference between you and me is that I know my faults and you seem to revel in yours. And yes, after this conversation, I do tend to believe in trolls.

            Now, have a nice day (unless you have other plans).

          • Disco58

            I’m a horrible person, why? Because I refuse to share in your delusional wonderland and cave in to believing in your sky fairy?
            This whole back and forth foolishness started because I suggested someone give themselves credit for their accomplishments, rather than give it someone else, particularly what I see as an imaginary someone else, and for reasons unknown, you took it upon yourself to see it as a personal afront. Is your sky fairy’s ego that fragile, or is it that you have some sort of martyr complex?

          • macksfield2

            Mickey you absolutely nailed it. Most folks are not exposed to the new religion of Atheism and have not “yet” seen their intolerance for anyone who disagrees with them. Disco is a prime example of the new bully atheism.

          • Steve Colgan

            I feel I must inform on this statement, not all of us atheists are rude or ill mannered. I in fact have no issues with your beliefs but I agree with disco take the credit for your hard work. Good on you Browncoat. But I would also like to say this: please research what Christians/Muslims and other religions have done to atheists throughout history. Like hangings, crucifixions, mass murder verging on genocide. Now if in this day and age we feel like we can speak up as much as you religious types have always been able to with your religious “freedoms”. please educate yourselves before you sink to the level of shitty human beings. Last point, manners have nothing to do with religion, neither do morals or any other such nonsense. Thank you for your time.

          • macksfield2

            “please educate yourself”, this is the typical atheist way of debating. Look the more you “nothingness” folk speak out the more everyone recognizes your hatefulness and intolerance. That is really what is going on here. And the more folks tune into atheism the more apparent it becomes it is nothing more than a shallow religion of “nothingness”. I agree, go educate yourself about atheists and what you will find is they are more intolerant, more judgmental than most Christians and come to find out they base very little of what they believe on Science.

          • Karen Croft

            Well said..

          • Disco58

            First, atheism is not a religion. You really don’rt read a lot, do you? Second, how have i ‘bullied’ anyone? Have I in any way, shape or form restricted you or anyone from speaking your mind, or prevented you from doing anything really. For bullying to actually work, someone has to feel intimidated. Do you feel intimidated? That must mean your beliefs are not as strong as you claim, in which case you’re headed down the road to freedom. Congratulations!

          • macksfield2

            The Number Of Sunday Assemblies, Or ‘Atheist Churches,’ More Than Doubled Over One Weekend
            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/01/sunday-assembly-atheist_n_5915830.html

          • Disco58

            The article writer referred to them as ‘churches’, but if you read the article and comments, there is a great dispelling of that notion. There also is a greater sense of community than in religion-based ‘churches’. With these gatherings, no one really cares if you are atheist, deist or theist. With traditional churches, there is a real expectation to follow their particular doctrine within a short time, or your random visits will be curtailed.

          • macksfield2

            I read the article…you know the old saying, you put lipstick on a pig, but its still a pig.
            So your suggesting if a Christian or Muslim came to your (not a church) gathering, they would feel comfortable and part of the community?

          • Disco58

            I believe there would certainly be an effort to make them feel welcome, yes. I would absolutely hope that would be the case. Whether or not they actually felt comfortable is up to them. And they would remain welcome so long as they maintain proper decorum, and remain open to frank discussion. But that should also apply to anyone in attendance.

          • macksfield2

            Whoa, whoa, (smile) This ” so long as they maintain proper decorum”, that’s a nice way of saying a person has to agree with what is going on at this church. And this… “and remain open to frank discussion” no different than saying your stupid if you don’t agree with me.
            Come on Disco you guys/girls are parroting the Christian Church, just claiming you don’t believe in a higher power.

          • Disco58

            No, there would be no expectation to agree. All would be welcome to express whatever viewpoint they may have, just be nice about it. That’s where the frank discussion comes in. You can have open and candid discussion of religion (or any of two opposing topics) without screaming fits, name calling or physically attacking one another. That’s decorum.

          • joe1234x

            Ha ha ha ha! That was your best one yet. Thanks Disco.

          • Disco58

            atheism is not a ‘belief’ as is christianity, or any other religion. atheism is a knowledge, an understanding. By definition, it is a disbelief, based on lack of evidence.
            Do you feel intimidated? That’s the only way ‘bullying’ can work.. And as far as insulting your beliefs… Well, yea, because if you’re six and have an imaginary friend, that’s one thing. But if you’re an adult and still have imaginary friends – and worse yet, imaginary enemies – then that really doesn’t deserve a lot of respect. Sympathy certainly, but respect, no.
            But I also understand it’s simply because of the way you were raised and taught, so it’s not YOU personally that deserves the disrespect, it’s the foolish system of beliefs that you have been contaminated with, and feel compelled to follow. It has been continuously drilled into you that to show any doubt would condemn you to an eternity in hell, so I understand your fear of questioning it. But it can be done. Many have, and more are everyday.

          • macksfield2

            My fear? ha, do I sound like I fear this debate.
            It is in fact a belief system. No matter how you attempt to doctor it up. Its one of the most hypocritical belief systems but it is what you believe.

          • Karen Croft

            Correct, Disco Atheism is non belief in a God,as an atheist I believe in Science.I believe we are all in “Hell” already !

          • MickeyFreakinDougal

            I believe in the scientific method. I have a Bachelor’s of Science degree. God and science are not mutually exclusive. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. You just seem to need an excuse to reject the notion that there is actually a Being out there who is superior to you!

            Using your knowledge of science, prove that God does not exist.

          • MickeyFreakinDougal

            Again, you are free to believe what you wish. I am certainly not going to use a chat on disqus.com to try to change your beliefs.

            But when you take a statement I spoke to someone else, that was entirely harmless to you, and use it to insult my beliefs and my God as “imaginary,” you show yourself to be a bully. And now you double-down on your thuggery and call my beliefs “foolish!” With a nasty character like yours, I suppose you’d better HOPE there’s no God.

          • joe1234x

            So, Christian beliefs, since you don’t believe in them, don’t deserve “a lot of respect.” Got it. But I should respect your disbelief, and I will. Of course, I may tell you about my beliefs, while respecting yours, which is more than you are offering me. I hope that won’t offend you too deeply.

          • Karen Croft

            I’m an atheist and I find the believers to be the bullies,I don’t care what you believe in or who,but I wish people would stop telling me I’m going to hell for not believing what they “think” I should believe.Just 2 days ago as me and my girls were getting into the truck from renting a movie from RedBox a lady got out of her car and said”Excuse me”.I said “yes”.She says”Do you have God in your heart”.I replied no,in front of my kids she said I would burn in hell.Atheist don’t give a F what you do or believe just don’t push it on us !

          • macksfield2

            I can see the religious “nothingness” crowd is feeling emboldened in the way you judge and attack someone else’s belief. But are you not suppose to be representing tolerance? Yet, its always the opposite when it comes to the “nothingness” crowd. How about you believe what you want and everyone else gets to believe what they want as long as their not physically harming anyone. There’s a novel idea.

          • Disco58

            Yea, if the vast majority of christians would adhere to that concept of tolerance, that would be great, but it isn’t happening. So unless and until it does, we fight back.
            Has an atheist, or member of the LGBT community ever said a christian can’t get married? No.
            Has an atheist ever said a christian can’t hold a public elected office? No.
            Do atheist or gay bakeries, auto repair shops or pizza parlors deny service based on nothing more than your religion or sexuality, and some skewed notion of ‘atheist freedom’? No.
            So don’t don’t even begin to tell me christians are so tolerant, and we’re not, ok?

          • macksfield2

            Don’t you think its important to get along. I would like to think if this country was attacked or as a citizen I was in need of help that both Christian and atheist would lend a helping hand regardless of belief.
            Or like the Soviets does your belief system cause you to dehumanize others. The Soviets tried everything they could to remove religion from murder, indoctrination and getting rid of religious symbols. But after 70 years of this type of behavior faith in a Creator is still around.

          • Disco58

            I think it’s absolutely vital we get along, for not only our survival as a nation, but for our survival as humans across the globe. And yes, I wouldn’t hesitate for a nanosecond to help someone in need, regardless of their belief system, sexuality, skin color, etc. And I have, many times.
            However, that doesn’t mean I or anyone else has to cave in to a religious doctrine simply to ‘get along’. Would you be quiet if somehow we were under islamic rule? I would certainly hope not. You and I would both fight back, quite possibly side by side.
            The paradox there is that we would be fighting for identical, yet at the same time, polar opposite reasons. You would be fighting against a religion theoretically different from your own (which it isn’t, in most respects), while I would simply be fighting against the notion of a theocracy, which is part and parcel why atheists fight back against christians now.
            You would not condone laws created based on another religion. We do not condone laws based on ANY religion. Laws based on a religion, any religion, do not give or ensure rights; it only serves to inhibit or completely remove them.

          • macksfield2

            I’m glad to hear that!

          • joe1234x

            I’ll tell you that right now, there’s a Christian and an atheist, and the Christian is being tolerant and the atheist is denouncing the Christian’s beliefs. I’ll leave it to each person to determine how widespread that is, but locally, right here right now, that’s the lay of the land.

            To your point, I shouldn’t stereotype and call atheists intolerant. Really it’s specifically you, Disco58.

      • name429name

        When did he stop voting GOP?…”Pretty much voted Republican ever since. But I finished the four year program as a journeyman pipefitter and did that until 1990. I’d taken a CAD course and became an industrial piping designer. Done that ever since… And for the last 10+ years, the money has been very good. God had a plan. And worked.”

        • Browncoat

          I typically vote for GOP candidates but NOT because they’re Republican but because they’re the most conservative candidates.
          Same with or president. It’s his policies I’m against, not because he’s half black. My first choice for 2012 was Herman Cain. Allen West is at the top of my short list for 2016.

          • Haley

            Dr. Ben Carson is an easy choice for 2016 if you’re looking for unbiased conservative values.

          • Michelle

            Absolutely not! Look up Dr. Carson’s views on gun control. He wants citizens in big cities to not be allowed semi-automatics. Not very conservative. Plus he wants to conduct medical tyranny by requiring everyone have a medical intervention that has a risk of dangerous side effects and adverse reactions, including death– vaccines. I want my guns and freedom of choice, so Ben Carson will NOT have my vote!!

          • exstitcher

            Plus, he’s horrible on women’s issues. He’s said women need to be “reeducated” so we don’t get all “riled up”. What a putz.

          • Wayne Neva

            Never knew that about Ben Carson. But that’s a vague statement about being ‘reeducated’. If you could post a web site that says this.

          • JLM

            From a speech to the NRA:

            “Just for the record, let me be extremely clear, I am extremely pro–Second Amendment, no question about it,” Carson said.

            Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/416786/ben-carson-gun-owners-trust-me-jim-geraghty

          • Michael Bailey

            Yup, the usual double-speaking wishy-washy tell-you-what-you-want-to-hear shameless two-faced political whore. He is not extremely pro 2A. He’s not even sort of pro 2A. He wants to have a gun, but doesn’t want YOU to have a gun. He’s a big-government state-control shill.

          • Michelle

            The comments he made against guns being owned in cities was in 2013. How convenient that when he decides to run for president that he has to “clarify” his stance on gun ownership. Why did it take him 2 years to be concerned about what people thought he meant? I heard him with my own ears, and there is no clarifying needed with the fact he clearly said, “It depends on where you live.” He’s becoming a regular politician, now– wishy-washy. At least he did say that guns should be handled on a local level, though.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1wQrVNmo80

          • Cameron Thomas

            Wait, you have a peer reviewed study that says that people die from vaccines? How come I haven’t heard of you, more importantly, how come the nobel prize committee hasn’t heard of you? Gosh, this is groundbreaking science. In a comment thread no less

          • Michelle

            Yes I do… I have hundreds that show that vaccines cause debilitating conditions. Also, it is common knowledge that people CAN die from vaccines, as is CLEARLY stated on vaccine inserts.

            Additionally, the NVICA, a “no-fault” compensation system, was passed in 1986 to shield the pharmaceutical companies from litigation due to problems associated with a vaccine, thus the vaccine court was created by the federal government and awards are paid out by the American public— The vaccine manufacturers are no longer liable for ANY side effects or adverse reactions to their product– they have total and complete immunity from paying ANY damages suffered by people. The U.S. Court of Claims has awarded over $3 billion dollars to vaccine victims for their catastrophic vaccine injuries since the NVICA’s been implemented.

            The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) shows just how much damage vaccines can do, and it is estimated that only 1% of events are even reported.

            Now for the peer-reviewed studies-

            http://www.greenmedinfo.com/sites/default/files/gpub_58635_anti_therapeutic_action_vaccination_all.pdf

          • Michelle

            Also, he’s not very unbiased on medical issues since he works in the medical field and gets kickbacks from pharmaceutical companies. Thought Obama created medical tyranny by implementing Obamacare? Just elect Ben Carson and you will see forced medical interventions with one-size-fits-all drugs with damaging consequences.

          • DonnaJ

            He was a neurosurgeon. Exactly what kickbacks do neurosurgeons get from pharmaceutical companies?

          • Michelle

            You are fooling yourself if you think celebrity doctors do NOT receive any compensation from pharmaceutical companies. Propublica did a report on how doctors do receive kickbacks. Plus, he’s had decades of schooling at universities whose books are written by pharmaceutical companies and is extremely biased, like all modern medical doctors in America. You are really lead astray if you have yet to figure out that modern medicine has seriously failed society and is based on keeping people sick for life all in the name of profit.
            http://www.propublica.org/article/our-first-dive-into-the-new-open-payments-system

          • ca1

            ….celebrity doctor?…. books written by pharmaceutical companies?…. it is YOU who have been lead astray michelle, you sound naive…. doctors in academics seek GRANTS and do RESEARCH on DRUGS which may CURE DISEASES and then PUBLISH their findings so that we all may benefit….. seriously, how do you think this country has excelled in medical care compared to the rest of the world?

          • Michelle

            We have not excelled. We are one of the SICKEST first-world countries on the planet. We have the HIGHEST newborn death rate in a first world country and diseases such as diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, etc. are running rampant here. Our medical system relies on drugs to only mask problems, not cure them. Most people who are prescribed a drug then have to be prescribed another just to counteract the side effects of the first. People with diabetes and high blood pressure aren’t being cured– they are being put on medication for life. Western medicine is a booming profitable business, they are in the business of having customers for life…that is all it is. Simple cures such as cannabis oil, which can correct seizures and costs very little, are thorted by pharmaceutical companies who have a hard time patenting a natural substance. It is obvious you only trust what you hear from people who “know more” and do not critically think and do research for yourself. (Those grants, btw, are often paid for by pharmaceutical companies.)

          • macksfield2

            You do know you are quoting a resource which is funded by ? Sandlers, He gives money to acorn and the American civil rights liberties union. He’s one of the folks blamed for the subprime mortgage crisis. He is also running buddies with George Soros. I don’t know much about Ben Carson yet, but pretty sure quoting Propublica is not very fair and balanced source.

          • Michelle

            Was not aware of that. Regardless I never trust just one source, I always thoroughly research, and Propublica is dead on in their investigation and cites CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) data and their online database of payments from drug companies to doctors. http://cms.gov/openpayments/ As of late 2013, doctors are required to report any payments (whether it be food, travel expenses, etc..) to CMS. But, according to CMS, a large percent of the payment data was withheld from the public due to various reasons. If they will admit that, how much more have doctors actually gotten and failed to report or underreport? It’s kind of like when you are a server at a restaurant– most people underreport what they make in tips so they don’t have to pay taxes on those.

            I searched for Benjamin Carson on the database, and conveniently he is not listed. He retired in 2013 before the law came about so he was not required to report anything. Now that he is retired, he does not have to report any money given to him by the drug companies for speaking, ect., for the public to see.

          • Lisa Linegar-Johnson

            Hey, I work in the medical field, and the only kickback I’ve received from a pharmaceutical company is a free coffee. And the only medical tyranny that I’ve seen is from the health insurance companies. Get a grip.

          • Fl2BoysMom

            The ‘kickback’ you get is in the abstract, as in, in the form of your continued employment, which there would be much less need of were it not for those pharmaceutical companies making and keeping people sick. And ditto that to medical tyranny as well. Doctors and hospitals do things because insurance companies won’t pay if they don’t. Unnecessary things. And far too many of them. Just because you don’t think you are ‘directly’ responsible, it doesn’t mean you aren’t responsible in the abstract. And you are complicit.

          • ca1

            well then mom, don’t forget to throw in the LAWYERS, who are more than happy to SUE those “doctors and hospital who do things b/c the insurance companies won’t pay if they don’t “…. they’re a BIG part of the “medical tyranny” theory you believe…. you are complicit too my friend, for you would sue any and all in a heartbeat and so it goes….

          • Fl2BoysMom

            Well, I’ll agree with you on the lawyers. I agree with Shakespeare, “First thing we do, is kill all the lawyers,” however, I am certainly NOT ‘complicit,’ for I would NOT sue any and all in a heartbeat. My first pregnancy was high risk and my worthless, white, American, male, doctor didn’t even bother to tell me that until the 7th month even though the events that ‘always’ make a pregnancy high risk began in the 3rd week of my pregnancy and he was well aware of it from that very point. Did I sue? Nope. My son was born 2 months premature because this worthless POS didn’t do his JOB. Did I sue? Nope. I also happened to experience 7 of the top 10 warning signs of Postpartum Depression, which he didn’t bother to screen for, and which subsequently, went undiagnosed for 16 months, wreaking havoc on my entire life to an extent I couldn’t even begin to explain in a ‘blog comment.’ Did I sue? Nope. And two weeks ago, my son was hit by a car. I was in the house and my neighbors saw it and from what they said, it was an ACCIDENT. There was no malicious intent on anyone’s part. My son thought the coast was clear and so did the driver of the car. The driver even came to my door to present himself, and then left and came back again a couple of hours later to check on my boy again. I called my husband, a former EMT and he came home from work (a 4 minute drive from home) and checked our son out. Our son was fine. We didn’t get the driver’s insurance information and call 9-1-1 or rush him to the hospital and go calling attorneys to see if we could sue. We behaved in the way I wish all people would behave. Like decent human beings who aren’t looking to destroy someone else’s entire life for the sake of a collecting a few bucks for an insurance settlement. So kindly don’t make assumptions that I ‘would sue any and all in a heartbeat,’ because I live by ‘be the change you want to see.’

          • ca1

            you have been through a lot, i empathize w/you…. i am glad to know that your son will be ok… sounds like you have one of the few intact, supportive, nuclear families… i agree w/everything you’ve said here…
            i’m a nurse, married to a doctor (37yrs)…. who did academics before private practice… the notion of pharmaceutical companies, doctors, and hospitals colluding to keep people sick in order to keep themselves in business is …… silly…. or should i say ill informed … if you care to bother w/an explanation, i’d appreciate it…i can’t think of any scenario where that’s ever been true in my experience ….. again, glad your son will be ok…. that’s the most important thing….

          • Fl2BoysMom

            I can’t tie ALL of them together in one example, but I can tell you this… when my son was born at 31 weeks, he was rushed to a LEVEL III NICU where he spent the first 6 and a half weeks of his life. At any given time during those six and a half weeks, all of his Brady’s were ‘self correcting,’ and he was on the maximum dose of Prevacid that an infant his size could have. It was also decided that he would come home on a heart monitor and sometime between the 3rd and 5th week, they made us sit through a joke of a CPR class. By the 5th week, we were getting agitated. At that point, on the maximum dose of Prevacid, our CPR ‘training’, and with a heart monitor, there was nothing they could or would do there for him that we couldn’t do at home.

            Hubby’s best friends mom, an RN, and I were recently discussing this and she informed me that many times, the hospitals will keep these patients because it proves that there is a ‘need’ for their services, equipment, etc. She said it was ‘a little bit of hospital politics.’

            It is more than ‘possible’ to ‘collude’ without any of the participants actually realizing that that’s what they’re doing.

            And thank you, and yes, I think we’re a fairly in-tact family. Though my husband is not my kids’ ‘bio dad,’ (bio walked out when oldest was 22 months old and I was 2 months pregnant with the 2nd), hubby came along when the eldest was almost 4 and the youngest was about 18 months old and he’s the only dad they’ve ever known as a ‘Dad’ at all, and we are both deeply committed to our marriage and to ‘family.’ I am very grateful for him.

          • Michelle

            I can certainly tell you from my experience that I had a revelation and rude awakening about what most (NOT all) doctors are really about. I say most, because most doctors don’t know any better– they were taught by the institutions that perpetuate the “sick patient” money making scheme while promoting they are saviors and are really helping society.

            My story: I had hives for 6 months. Every single day was miserable as all I could do all day is scratch, scratch, scratch, and take bottles of Benedryl to try and help. I went from doctor to doctor to try to figure out what was wrong with me. All of them seemed very unconcerned and like I was a number. They didn’t care AT ALL to get to the bottom of what was causing my hives, amongst other symptoms. All they did was prescribe me steroids and some other pills which didn’t work and caused bad side effects.

            Fed up, I decided to take matters into my own hands and do a little research as to what the underlying problem was. After weeks and countless hours of researching, I concluded that I needed to have my thyroid levels checked. So I called my PCP and told her EXACTLY what blood tests I wanted (free T3 and TSH) and she did the tests (not once did ANY doctor even suggest to get a blood test to figure out the problem, they only cared to mask the symptom of hives.) Just as I thought, I had an overactive thyroid, VERY overactive. According to my research, I knew I probably had an autoimmune disorder that was causing the hyperthyroidism– Grave’s Disease. So my doc referred me to a specialist and he actually ran the proper tests and concluded I had Grave’s Diseases (which they CLAIM in incurable.) He gave me pills and told me I would have to take them for probably ever to suppress my thyroid hormones, or use radioactive iodine to kill my thyroid then be on thyroid stimulating pills for the rest of my life. Either way sucked.

            Upon FURTHER research, I found out that MANY people beat their so-called incurable Grave’s Disease by cutting out junk food and eating only organic, raw fruits and vegetables and grass-feed meat, as well as avoiding processed sugar. I did not take my meds (which I were told had HORRIBLE, and possibly life-long side effects) and I proceeded to juice everyday and cut out GMO and processed food (I ONLY ate junk food all my life up until that point, which was 20 years– I’m talking Little Debbie snacks everyday, poptarts, chips, sugar-laden cereal, ground beef in the tube with Hamburger Helper, cake, no fruit, etc.. most of what I ate before then had MSG in it, too! I never gained weight eating like that because my hyperthyroidism kept me skinny.) Wouldn’t you know? After only about 2 weeks of cutting out the junk and taking detox baths with epsom salt, I was hive free for the first time in 6 months!!

            After a while, my goiter (enlarged thyroid that makes it look like you have an adam’s apple) completely disappeared and my thyroid levels were back to normal! All because I put ACTUAL food into my body that was free of pesticides, antibiotics, and growth hormones, and because they were less processed, they held onto their vitamins and minerals. There are many, MANY success stories from people doing what’s right for their body to heal itself. I beat an autoimmune disorder by myself and God, by His wisdom and His creation, NOT mans (pharmaceutical drugs)!!

            I can go on with stories about the rest of my family, such as my great-grandma who medicine also failed, but I will stop here. Until you have been there and have your eyes opened, you will NEVER understand just how corrupt and dysfunctional the Western medical system is today. I now rely a lot on herbs, organic virgin coconut oil, and essential oils for me and my family, and see a naturopath for my children’s check-ups. I will NEVER use a pharmaceutical unless one of our lives absolutely depended on it. The drugs, themselves, aren’t necessarily evil, it is the people who are intentionally forcing drug after drug upon the American public when there is an equivalent naturally occurring that can and will help not just mask the symptoms, but actually TREAT and CURE the underlying cause of it. God put herbs and oils here on earth for a reason, and Jesus, himself, was a huge fan of essential oils. Putting poison in the body will never a healthy body make.

          • ca1

            …michelle, i’m glad that after feeling dissatisfied w/your care, you decided to take a more active role in getting well….. sometimes… in fact many times, that is indeed how to achieve optimal health… getting good health care is a partnership and, as an example, generic symptoms such as hives can be triggered for a multitude of reasons…. it actually sounds to me that the care you received falls within the medical standards of care…i have my own near disaster(death) experience w/an ectopic pregnancy many years ago while supposedly receiving good care… all of these experiences have served to make me 1. feel incredibly lucky to be alive 2. take a more active role in my own care and be persistent when feeling the imperative to do so…. i suggest that you need to entrust SOMEONE to be a partner in your care to maintain good health and a long life… i’m sure you understand pharmaceuticals have a place… the drug industry has grown greatly since they’ve been permitted to make commercials which then send people in to see their doctors DEMANDING the medication… if they don’t receive an RX, they feel they’ve been overcharged…. does this sound familiar? i commend you for your tenacity and glad to hear you’re well…

          • Michelle

            That’s because you are not a big-time celebrity surgeon like Dr. Ben Carson is/was. You, either being a doctor or nurse (you didn’t say), only got free coffee, and more than likely office supplies with the prescription name flashed all over them, and paid travel and hotels to listen to pharmaceutical reps talk up their product like a sells-man (which is exactly what he is.) I worked in the restaurant business while going through college (not fast food) and pharmaceutical companies would FREQUENTLY buy a whole doctor’s office meals, at least a few times a week. Doctor’s even take monetary kickbacks all the time, just google it! If normal, everyday doctors are getting measly free meals, then how much more are the celebrity doctors getting? (hint: Promotional speaking fees, consulting fees, etc.)

            Carson was the chairman of Vaccinogen’s (a vaccine manufacturer) board of directors, but indeed stepped down when he decided to run for president (convenient.) He also was a director at Johns Hopkins, and hospitals are notorious for pharmaceutical kickbacks. Don’t believe me? Propublica did a report on just this:

            http://www.propublica.org/article/our-first-dive-into-the-new-open-payments-system

            http://www.npr.org/2011/09/13/140438636/doctors-often-receive-payments-from-drug-companies

          • ca1

            ….so what?…. what’s your beef? he’s not a “celebrity doctor”… he’s an accomplished, ethical, world renown pediatric neurosurgeon who knows a thing or two more …..THAN YOU…. why do you resent him his expertise and experience?

          • Michelle

            I RESENT the fact that he wants to inject EVERY child, regardless of their religious beliefs and even medical problems (medical exemptions are rare and extremely hard to obtain), with NEUROTOXINS (aluminum, thimerosal), and POISONS (vaccine ingredients: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/downloads/appendices/B/excipient-table-2.pdf ). Vaccine injuries are REAL (just look at the Vaccine Court which has already paid out over $3 billion in vaccine injury claims since 1986, some including death.) That is the “beef” that I have with this man. To vaccinated should be a CHOICE, not a mandated drug… because that’s exactly what it is..a DRUG with side effects and the potential for adverse reactions, including death. I will CHOOSE to feed my children healthy, organic foods and stay away from processed food and sugar, get them out in the sun every day for vitamin D, and if and when they do get sick they will be able to fight it off like God intended due to a HEALTHY immune system free of toxic junk.

            https://www.facebook.com/groups/VaccineInjuryStories/
            https://www.facebook.com/VaccineInjuryReports?fref=ts

          • exstitcher

            hahahahahaha

          • http://www.chaosandcritters.com Ella Halligan

            Ben Carson is NOT a conservative. He feels that the government should be able to force you to have your child vaccinated against whatever the government decides is right, not the vaccines you choose based upon your own free and informed choice.

          • Wayne Neva

            Good for you, vote for the STRONG candidate regardless of Party.

      • Oldflyer

        Big Jim. Snark is easy; requires minimal intelligence

        • Joseph Larson

          The snark seems to happen quite a lot on the other side, too. For instance:

          “Common sense & personal responsibility are not in the Democrat handbook. Race baiting & blaming everyone else are, however.”

          *shakes head*

          • Cristobal Santiago

            That’s not “snark”, that’s true. There’s a difference.

          • exstitcher

            No. It’s snark because it’s definitely *not* true. Generalizations seldom are.

          • Shanidar

            You’ve got that backwards. Generalizations are made because they generally are true, the same as stereotypes, which only continue to exist when they largely are based on fact.

          • Joseph Larson

            It’s definitely snark, and you know it. And you’re being snarky, too.

          • exstitcher

            Thank you for calling them out and hoisting them with their own petard. Bravo!

          • Eric Holmes

            Those are just facts, not sparky comments #truthhurts

          • Joseph Larson

            It’s snark from either direction, and it’s trolling to try to deny it. But it’s the internet, so one expects trolling.

    • Betty Eyer

      I tried to go that route at about the same time. I was in the operating engineers. In the early 80s when I was a third year apprentice, two things happened in one year. First, the economy went into the tank and overnight the jobs dried up. Second, the state I was in passed a ‘right to work’ law. I was well liked by people who hired me and protected by the companies I worked for mostly, but it was only because of the union that anyone gave me a chance to start with. After the unions were kicked out, all the jobs that did exist were given to white male nephews of some project manager and me and the black apprentices were out of work. Permanently. After about 6 months, I tried to find ANY job. After 12 months, I went back to school and went into computers, where they did not care if you were female as long as you could do the work. I have no idea what became of the black apprentices, never saw them again. Oddly, I have always voted Democrat.

      • Nannette Couch

        I have a similar story and I appreciate what you said about the unions…maybe we see this because we are women. For me it was the union that gave me a chance to become a carpenter and raise my child on my own with government assistance or charity! Thank you for your words here.

      • macksfield2

        Lots of exaggeration I’m afraid in your statements. In fact this post is reminiscent of the Sarah Silverman hoax. White male nephews? Really?

        • Betty Eyer

          No exaggeration at all. Really.

          When I was trying to decide what trade to go into, I first wanted to be an electrician because that would allow me eventually to own my own business. I went to the union hall and had to wait because they had closed for lunch. I chatted with the people in the boilermaker’s office which was downstairs from them. I was asked why I was there and told them. The guy said “Sugar, why do you want to do that? They don’t even have ni**ers yet”. So yeah, if you did not work construction trades in the south in the 70s, don’t go telling me about how open they were to women and minorities.

          • macksfield2

            Go ahead verify the white male nephews statement…

          • Betty Eyer

            Except for me and two black men, EVERYONE in my local were white males at that time and most of them were related to people who were already journeymen or otherwise in the trade. I worked with any number of white, male nephews.

          • macksfield2

            Those bad ol white men. If only they weren’t around everything would be so great, right? Everyone has to have a boogie man, I guess. That’s the way it works in 2015. Find you a boogie man and use them as the excuse, for everything that is not how you want it in life. Really nothing new here. Just complaining about life and passing the blame on to someone else.

          • Betty Eyer

            It was white men in the union who were giving women and blacks a chance as well. One of the positive things unions do is put the well being of diverse people in alignment with each other. If they cooperate and hold each other up, they all do better in negotiations. It’s called “solidarity”. And it’s what corporate feudalism is most against – the serfs waking up and realizing who the real enemy is.

          • macksfield2

            I was with you when you said, “One of the positive things unions…” I took that to mean you recognized it would not be accurate to lift the Union up as your idol. Or infer that somehow without the Union, humanity could not press on. But the whole “serf” comparison (at least to me) reminds me of someone using google to promote their agenda. Haha, how far back do you want to go to push your agenda? Dang, if it wasn’t for the Indians stealing settlers children, I would have owned a huge plot of land in Texas. My silly example is how far some will reach to attempt to demonstrate how hard its been for them. This article is about working hard. Someone (God forbid a white man) actually taking basic steps to be part of the solution. And so your response is to post your testimony of how difficult its been for you to struggle in this world and of course there has to be a boogie man. What happen to you didn’t just happen independently. Its always someone else’s fault, right? I just find it interesting, instead of being positive about what this gentlemen is doing, the “google” crowd looks for ways to tear it down. I’m betting he is doing more than almost anyone responding to this post. And what some are attempting to do is poke holes in his hard work. Well here is a news flash, anyone can google and build their argument against almost anything. How about when it comes to the protection of this nation and jobs we try to support those who are actually doing something.

          • Daniel Lawrence

            Dude, it’s cowards like you who have ZERO CHILL and hide behind the shroud of anonymity to espouse their virulent screeds in cyberspace that make the rest of humanity look like shit, not this lady. Seriously dude, come off your high horse and back off. In all of your moral indignation, I suppose your parents never taught you how to respect a woman? Respect your elders?
            And from the very outset of you bludgeoning this woman and putting her through your baseless scrutiny ringer, you misunderstood the point of her entire statement. Reality is reality. Your perspective is yours. But she LIVED what she lived. But for her to state simple facts is NOT making excuses for anything. She doesn’t need to be excused by self-righteous YOU or any other faceless douchebag on the internet.
            She said in her original statement that she ended up going back to school within 18 months of the new legislation change at that time, then went to work in computers. Sounds like she did just fine for herself. YOU MUST HAVE MISSED THAT PART, HUH?!?
            What agenda does she have? She never attacked Mike Rowe OR the original poster. She merely spoke in a civil, educated way and communicated an anecdote from her life’s journey while sharing some irony in the process.
            You are the one trying to force your narrative. You’re a clown and a troll. Get off of your parents Wi-Fi access, I’m sure there is an unsanctioned Tea Party rally happening right now somewhere very near to you, complete with members of several militia and supremacist groups. Go join your Brotherhood of the Bitter in the Backwoods.

          • macksfield2

            Zzzzz…Daniel you are welcome to join the discussion if you are able to leave your emotional state at home. Tea party? Ha. I love the tea party, though I’m not a member or have no contact with them. I celebrate their right to believe whatever they want to. And yes, I can see that she has been successful, and support her right to get on this site and minimize what Mike is doing, unfortunately for you that is not a license to post without a rebuttal. Stop playing the big angry hero, and come back with something of substance to discuss.

          • Conquerat

            You really need to find something better to do with your life.

          • macksfield2

            Bring something of substance to the table or move on…

          • Daniel Lawrence

            Glib much? And I’m not angry, merely righteously indignant. Seems to me you are the chump who expected to attack without rebuttal. It also seems to me you are incapable of handling substance. Speaking of heroism, why don’t you go slurp your BFF Mike or something. Sheesh! You know the guy personally. Nah, not anymore than you know me. As for my “emotional” state…I use caps and punctuation for emphasis, you dim jag off. And I am at home. With my wife and kids. What are yooooouuu doing??? Just keep TROLLIN’, TROLLIN’, TROLLIN’!! Loser. Btw, thx for rolling out the welcome mat to your home, where you spend your empty life, i.e. cyberspace. I’ll show myself to the door and leave you to your imaginary harem of porn sites. Dweeb.

          • Betty Eyer

            I don’t have idols. I do think unions will be necessary to maintain a balance between capital on one side and labor on the other. When the pendulum swings toward labor, there will be abuses in the union. When it swings toward capital, there will be oppression of every day people. History has shown us that clearly. Unions have been aggressively crushed in the US since the 1980s, and we can see erosions of the rights that they fought for and gained for us.

            You’re whole conversation about google is very silly and not worth addressing. It’s an attempt to insult my education just because you either don’t understand or don’t agree with what I siad. You bring up topics that are unrelated. Having an agenda is not a bad thing if there is a real problem to address.

          • macksfield2

            I don’t disagree whether its unions, corporate, or government, history has exhibited shortcomings will happen at many different levels. The union as is, has demonstrated it is not a fair source for either workers or owners. Its a shame because it did not start out this way.
            Maybe my comments about google don’t apply to you, but they are far from silly. You may be like me, in that, we have observed the information transition prior to and post google. Which is a great thing. However, along with the good comes those who abuse it. Your right agenda’s can be a good thing. But hidden agenda’s usually are not. So tell me, what do think about the mikeroweworks foundation concept?

          • Betty Eyer

            I actually went to college along the way.

            I don’t know or care much about Mike Rowe.

          • Daniel Lawrence

            Nice superfluous apostrophes, Einstein. What a waste of font-type you are…

          • cheeflo

            What rights would those be? It boils down to what you perceive as a right. There is no right to a job, or to a “living wage,” whatever that is. Anything the union achieves is a concession, not a right.

            If the unions are so swell, why is it that when Right to Work laws pass in the states, the union membership falls off significantly? I think that question answers itself.

          • Betty Eyer

            Child labor laws spring to mind as do safety regulations that save lives. 40 hour work week that allows workers to care for their homes and have adequate rest. Not allowing a business to dock you for being out and simultaneously fail to pay you for working extra hours. And so one. Calling these things a “concession” shows how tainted your thinking is that you worship money and disdain work. Businesses don’t prosper without both capital and labor; collaboration should be the word. If the government tips the scale toward capital, as it has since the 80s, the gap of income inequality grows and wages are suppressed which is exactly what we have seen.

            Right to Work laws were all designed to make it difficult for unions to exist at all, not just to ban union only shops. And why should that be banned at all? Do we ban a business from having an exclusive agreement with a supplier of raw materials because it’s unfair to other suppliers? No, we don’t. So why should the business not be able to make an exclusive contract with a hiring hall? . There had to be good business reasons to start with, if unions did not benefit the business in some way such contracts would never have been signed.

            It’s human nature to want to benefits from a union without paying for them. Generally when there is a union at a factory, for instance, all the factory workers have better pay and benefits, but only some of them pay dues. You can see now in industries that have a serious problem with abuse of workers that unions are gaining in popularity, such as the Walmart workers.

          • cheeflo

            Seems odd that you would refer to your employer, the creator of the job you held, as the “real enemy.” But that’s typical when your fealty is to your union overlords, whose primary concern is perpetuating the union. So you adopted the adversarial antagonism of the labor union racket and call it solidarity.

          • Betty Eyer

            Oh, sure. Let’s all worship at the altar of capital. I am SOOOO grateful that massa has a crust of bread to throw my way. Those guys really have our best interest at heart, right? They care about our safety, quality of life, invest in our training, are ALWAYS fare with hours and wages . I sure saw THAT in action working construction, yeah, buddy.

            To ignore the fact that they are collusion in price setting, policy setting and generally working to get more money for the investor at the expense of both the worker and the consumer takes some pretty serious mental gymnastics.

            And I did not miss the not too subtle suggestion that I am incapable of learning from a situation I’m in without someone giving me a script to follow.

          • cheeflo

            Do you think the union isn’t engaged in price fixing (wages), policy setting (work rules) and generally working to get more money for the union? Get a clue. At least an investor has made the gamble on the business and it’s not unreasonable to expect a return. On the other hand, once you align with a union, they own you and have expectations of their own — that you toe the line.

            The unions sow discontent among the rank and file by fomenting an adversarial antagonism toward management and open hostility to non-union workers, and squander the union dues that they coerce with the help of government. They have long outlived their usefulness, except as a shakedown protection racket.

            It doesn’t seem odd to me at all that you have always voted Democrat. And no, I didn’t mean to suggest you can’t learn. I only suggested that you haven’t.

      • Caribou Schwampinator

        Good for you Betty (my Mom’s name!). As a charter bus driver, I was in several unions. I have seen the decline and evisceration of unions by the right-wing apparatchiks to their billionaire puppet masters. Now, quality union jobs are a threatened species. If we don’t band together and rise against the right-wing “machine,” we will become a nation of servants.

    • Billy Knight

      I have a 4 year degree. I still work a manual labor/skilled position as a delivery driver for a local trucking company. Partly because I enjoy the physical labor but also partly because I can make more money using my muscles than using my degree.

  • Queenbee

    I’m with Athena007! I want the S.W.E.A.T. Pledge poster! PLEASE!

  • jeefray

    I push all young people towards the trades and find many of them are very interested. Especially when I tell them that they need young people, right now, to start learning a trade. I come from people that were hard working, in trades, picking fruit or any other job that kept food on the table. Real work is very satisfying. I had the dumbest job on the face of the Earth, but I enjoyed it because I brought my enthusiasm, along with my desire to do quality work. I watched other people live large and do very little for the money they were paid. It never ceases to amaze me that people think it’s okay to screw their employer, for any reason. So there’s nothing wrong with working for a living and I have a weird feeling that the compensation levels on trade jobs are going to skyrocket in the the next few years. Never seen your show, don’t care about your politics but I like that you push people to work.

  • Mary F. Clay

    Working hard is good for you; believe it or not! I enjoy hard work, make the day go faster!

  • Jared Blackburn

    There is a dirty (no pun intended) little secret here: Though there’s demand for these jobs, most want experience and very few have on the job training / apprenticeships (meaning, basically all require technical / vocational school) — well, they’re not called “skilled” for nothing, but getting the skills can be a problem. I guess that’s what the scholarship program is for. Still, these jobs really are basically out of reach for a lot of people, no mater their career interests. Claiming there are opportunities for anyone willing to work and learn from employers that are desperately begging and pleading seems to be a bit of an exaggeration from where I’m standing.

    Then, I guess that’s the point of all this — to convince kids to get training for an actual career while they still have the chance, even if its often too late for the old.

    • Jen Smith

      Jared; I cannot speak to what you said, although I will say that it is much the same for many new college graduates, including myself in 1990. I had the degree, even an internship and related experience as a science beat reporter on the campus paper. Employers still wanted experience, which one cannot get unless they’re hired. And you cannot get hired by so many without experience.

      So, I guess that I’m empathizing with you, sort of. Life is difficult, whatever path one takes. I think it’s worth it.

    • mshmsucks

      The good thing about a trade, if you have the tenacity, you can start your own business.

    • eileengunsher

      It is never too late. There are companies out there in the USA that are willing to train and hire both the young and the older worker. Many companies value older workers because they are more dependable and loyal to the company.

      Many people who are college educated don’t have common sense or even know how to work with people. They value the fact they’re college educated and therefore know more then you. Education isn’t what you read in a book or a professor’s opinion it is how you apply yourself once you get out in the world.

    • DonnaJ

      When I graduated college in 1988, it was the same. People wanted experience, but you couldn’t easily get your foot in the door anywhere to get experience. Instead of crying about it or demanding that people raise minimum wage so I could live on what I made working at McDonald’s during the summer, I took jobs that were the closest that I could get into my field. I also waited tables at night and on the weekends so that I could make ends meet, and I split expenses with a roommate. I also did without and stayed home a lot instead of going out to eat or going out drinking or dancing as I would have liked to.

      My degree is in Scientific and Technical Communication, and my profession is now as a technical writer. I began by taking typesetting jobs with print shops (I don’t think many of those exist anymore) and then eventually landed an entry-level editing job. After three years of editing, I had that crucial experience that companies were looking for, so I was able to land a job as a junior technical writer. I was hired initially as a contractor, not an employee. It took several years of working for various companies doing short-term work before I finally was offered a full-time position.

      You have to be willing to do menial jobs to get the skills/experience that most companies are looking for. Unfortunately, many people today are not willing. They want to come in right at the top with both position and wages. That’s where Mike Rowe is coming in and working on making a difference by helping to change people’s attitudes and expectations. And by giving them a good-old kick in the pants when it’s necessary.

  • TheRockHardWorker

    I have 2 college degrees and i cant find a job to save my life. I have applied to lower positions min wage positions and companies want young kids fresh out of college to fill their low paying positions. Its ridiculous. My friend was a deckhand rt out of high school he was making $30k /yr now he makes $130k/yr with paid expenses full medical 2wk paid vacations etc. Its hard work but he gets paid for it. Now he has enough money saved up to get into a less physically demanding career. His main reasoning to get out is not the job its the ppl. He often complained how dumb his co workers were. Just really simplistic low educated mindset. They dont carry themselves very well. Meatheads. That is the only reason the reason he wants to quit. At least he’s able too. Maybe that’s why a lot of ppl don’t want to get into blue color work. Too many simple minded ppl in the field. Change that and i bet more ppl would valie those careers.

    • eileengunsher

      I see you take your 2 college degrees seriously and think you are smart. Both you and your “wealthy friend” have no people skills. This is something you don’t learn in college. All you learn in college is how to research something that has already be researched. This doesn’t make you smart it makes you able to read someone’s else’s work and form an opinion.

      Many people don’t want blue collar work because it is hard work. Your friend is leaving this work because he has earned his way up. People do this all the time. It is called experience. He has the experience but still doesn’t know how to work with people. He is going to make a lousy boss.

      • Joann Stacey

        Just a few thoughts…

        There are, of course, some experiences that you can’t have in college that you will have once you graduate, but I would argue that gaining people skills is not one of them. I’m sorry if you’ve had poor encounters with college graduates, but I can say from experience that some of the students I’ve interacted with have definitely grown from their experiences in college; this is especially true of those who choose to become involved on campus. Even those who come in a little shaky when it comes to social skills can later be seen comfortably chatting with their fellow students and their professors. I’m not saying that college is the only way to gain the skills or knowledge needed for life, but it is untrue to say that you can’t learn people skills in college. That’s like saying you don’t gain people skills from high school. Some graduates may not choose to actually use their people skills effectively, but that’s a whole other matter.

        As for being able to read someone else’s work and forming an opinion…it’s my opinion that it’s actually an important skill. Otherwise we have to relearn or re-do most things without creating new or more efficient ways of doing said things. (I promise that is not the only learning experience we have in college, but it is does happen to be a natural occurrence as you progress through your program) :)

        As for blue collar work, Eileen, I think you are right for the most part. Some people don’t have a good work ethic and that is rather unfortunate. BUT isn’t difficult work always made easier when you actually like the people you are working with? Regardless of how intelligent or unintelligent a person is found to be, if they “play nice” together than it really doesn’t matter as long as they are all capable of the work. I have a feeling this friend has other issues with his coworkers rather than just their intellect.

        I would be interested in hearing your thoughts.

  • James Leary

    Hey All…I lost the Think BIG app, and can’t find it again….Anyone?

  • MickeyFreakinDougal

    You’re awesome, Mike Rowe!! I have a bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Science, but I just went to CDL school and am about to start a career in trucking. “Work Hard AND Smart” posters are hanging everywhere in our school.

  • Jeffrey Gibbs

    Mike… POTUS by executive order has implemented the DOD MOU order on all DOD installations worldwide fall 2014. Basically if your school is not a college or give college credit you can not be approved DOD MOU list. Not on the list you can not attend (any) worldwide DOD Job/Ed fairs. No schools for Heavy Equipment, railroad, Pipeline, commercial pilot, plumber, wind tower, boat captain, solar farm, commercial scuba diver, truck driver CDL, armorer, cell tower, on and on…Check yourself… the approved school list to attend military JOB/ED fairs on DOD installations worldwide is located at website DOD MOU…98% is college “bricks and mortar” or on-line classes. I work for Heavy Equipment training and in 10 weeks GI Bill approved funding graduate average salary 50k.. I can get a veteran a into a new career. We have been doing so for 50 plus years. Due to POTUS executive order as of 2014 we can no longer present this career opportunity at military JOB/ED fairs on DOD installations worldwide. “Somebody has got to do it” or aka dirty jobs training has been banned from DOD job fairs. Another result of POTUS overreach by executive order.

    • TomKi

      That seriously must change.

  • David

    There really needs to be a conduit for those of us that have had white collar jobs in the past and now need to find a job they previously thought of as blue collar. I like to work with my hands but I have been working in white collar jobs most of my career because the money was good. Now that I have a family and no job I would love to get dirty and work with my hands. A cat heavy equipment operator, sure. I’d love that but after some research it looks like they want experianced people. Training is never mentioned and it looks like they have third party vocational colleges that do that. I’d love to find something like that but for most of us displaced white collars, the resources to find those jobs are thin.

    • Dustin Lunde

      I have been a “dirt boss” for over 20 years. I started out at the bottom and worked up. I look for guy’s with no experience all the time. A lot of the time I’ll take a guy willing to learn over the guy that thinks he knows it all. Just because the help wanted add says we want job experience doesn’t mean a thing. I got my start by walking on a job site at the end of the day and telling the foreman “I want to work and I’ll work hard” I had a job the next day. I still get guys walking on my site’s looking for work. If I have a spot open I give them a chance.

      • David

        Correct Dustin. Thanks for proving my point. How old were you when you walked up to that site 20 years ago? 40? 45? Probably not. What do you pay your new guys starting out? Enough to feed a family? I doubt it. Mike Rowe mentioned starting out at Cat making decent money and within a few years making a really good living being able to provide for a family. Well… I can tell you, I live 45 minutes from their headquarters and I’ve been on site several times. Those jobs just don’t exist. I suggest this, Mike. Every time you cash that check from Cat for pushing their shoes and being their celeb puppet remember that there is still a large group out here trying to pay our mortgage and put food on the table in the real world, not in 5 minute bite sized segments. We’re trying to find any work. For our families. For our lives. The only one here that is profoundly disconnected is you Mike Rowe.

        • Soliloquy

          You are not entitled to enough money to pay your mortgage and feed your family when you have no applicable job skills or experience in the trade you wish to join. I understand that you are upset, but this is why Mike Rowe has this foundation, to prevent the next generation of Davids. The next group of unemployed, overeducated, entitled heads of large households with few good options. The key is you have to be willing to grind for a few years making a pittance. Work hard, pay your dues, and you can advance to a job which affords you a home, a family, and a vacation every year. Just because you already have those expenses doesn’t mean you should be able to walk into a job that pays for them ahead of people who have been paying their dues. If you are unemployed right now, you may want to downsize your mortgage, take the kids out of private school, cut back on the yearly vacations, and suck it up at an entry level job. When you are on hour 10 for the day, the sun beating down on you and sweat in your eyes, remember that you are working hard for your family, that it is not about you, and that in a few years, if you prove yourself, you will be able to afford those luxuries again one day.

          • David

            Well written, well said. Message recieved. Personally with a low mortgage, kids in public schools, no vacations, 2 cars with over 100k miles I’m not sure where I can cut back. At 45 I feel kinda stuck in a corner. Knowing this, my wife and I have toned down the college rhetoric and started listening to what our kids passions are and trying to help them find their own non-traditional way. I’m willing to grind it out for a few years but I’m such a duck out of water I don’t know where to start. I’m an over educated older guy with no trade skill set and few options. That’s the reason I first suggested some conduit for the millions of Americans like myself. We need help now. We can’t wait for our kids to get it right or change that attitude and direction.

          • Soliloquy

            I certainly understand, and I truly wish you the best of luck. You sound like you don’t need luck, though, and like you will work hard and make it no matter what I say. I agree that there is a need for a conduit for folks like you, who are really willing and able, with a little help, to make a huge contribution in a new field while still supporting those who count on them. My point was simply that there are no guarantees and nobody is entitled to subsidies because of “risks” they took. I have a family and two mortgages, each of which is essentially a gamble from a purely financial point of view. If my gambles fail, I would not blame Mike Rowe and call him out of touch because he is helping those younger than me not make the same mistakes that I did. I wish you the best, David, and I do think that you have a valid point. Not sure what that conduit looks like, but I think Mike Rowe is at least focused on a real problem and has a good partial solution for it.

        • Dustin Lunde

          I start a guy with no experience at 18 an hour. We average a 55 hour week with time and a half over 40. After 90 day’s they get a raise based on performance. If you learn fast and I can put you in one of the more skilled machine’s you make 22 an hour. Also after 90 days your 401k starts with % 10 match pension plan starts and insurance. Most of my guy’s that have been with me a few years make around 100k a year plus the benefits. Not sure where you live but out in Colorado we are begging for help. If your in Illinois or WI its harder to get your foot in the door. I moved from Wi to Co for the work. With jobs like that you unfortunately have to go where is.

          • David

            You guys both make some great points and it adds up to a great conversation. Dustin, if I move out to Colorado I promise to look you up. I also appreciate how difficult it is running a small to medium sized business.

            For me this is where this all started. I was searching the Internet for something I heard about called the SWEAT pledge from Mike. Being a huge fan of his from his voice over days to Dirty Jobs I went online in search of it. I found it, read it and love it. I even signed it and made copies for my kids.

            In my search I ran across this video clip of Mike talking about it.
            http://youtu.be/VEod-S3KgLg

            At the end he mentions this…

            “Caterpillar has hundreds of positions open for heavy equipment repairmen These jobs start out at 40, 50, 60 grand. They will train you for free. Three years in and you can be making 120,000 a year and they can’t fill them”

            Of course that sounds great but not so great that it was to good to be true With Caterpillar headquarters here in Indiana I thought it would be a good fit. Turns out that none of that was true and it was a huge letdown to find that out. I do understand I can’t hold a guy like Mike Rowe accountable for every single word he utters but I think it does show he is out of touch. I certainly don’t blame him for my current situation.

            He is doing a lot of great work spotlighting the issues that our country has with a struggling middle class workforce to fill and refocusing our viewpoint of what a good job should be and highlighting the skills gap we currently have. He should be admired for that among the many other small things he does to help people.

            Im just a guy looking for a job. I will find one and hopefully I can make a career out of it.

          • M.Morehead

            Dustin – What company is this? My husband is in Colorado and desperately looking for work. He is 55, retired from 17 years in the Marine Corps and another 20 in law enforcement. Had to take an early retirement in lieu of layoffs and the $10/hour he is making now isn’t cutting it for us. I’m afraid due to his age he will never get hired, but he is a hard worker and isn’t afraid of physical labor. He grew up working farms and ranches and did a lot of heavy equipment operation in the military. He is a fast learner, a loyal employee, and a hard worker. Would he be past the age range of what you would hire? If not would you be willing to share where or how he could apply? Thanks!

          • Dustin Lunde

            Try any of them. Its really not hard to get hired on. His age wont matter. Work ethic is what matters not age. Try AMES or SEMA first if that dont work Hogan Action is a smaller outfit but generally good guys. I would like to just give you a number and hook it up for you but it’s the Internet and who knows what you might run into doing something like that. My advice is to just get an application in to all of the ones close to you. Make sure to use the farm angle. We use big farm tractors to mix water into dirt to get compaction and the tractor is where we start new guys….Good luck! Post again when he has a job to prove me right =)

            Ps. If he cant get on right away its cause they dont have a “new guy” job open just keep trying back cause we get a lot of guys that A) pee in a cup and it comes back hot B) Dont like the work and quit C) hung over one to many Saturday mornings

          • M.Morehead

            I can’t thank you enough Dustin! I wouldn’t expect just a number, but a starting point for him is more appreciated than you know! And when he gets hired somewhere I will definitely let you know and prove you right!

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  • Keith Bunish

    Mike, do you have a T-shirt variant of this SWEAT?

    • Carolyn Rieger

      Yesss! Put it on a T shirt !!!!

  • Brian McGinnis

    Happy Sunday to you too Mike !!

  • http://oldretiredpettyofficer.blogspot.com/ ORPO1

    I guess I have lived The Sweat Pledge for many years. Aviation Structural Mechanic First Class USN Retired, Car Mechanic, Ballast Train Mechanic, Aircraft Assembler, F-16 Crew Chief(USAF Civil Service). I have been busting my knuckles and getting beat up since I was 19. I am now 60 and I still work for a living………………………………

  • Chuck Hudson

    Mike, I am one of those that works in a skilled trade and did it with out collage. I am an Electrophysiology Tech at Heart Hospital of New Mexico. I work on the electrical system of the hearr using 3D mapping systems and remote controlled magnetic driven catheters. We can do things and fix some many different heart rhythms that 10 years ago would have meant either a pacer maker or horrible drugs. I would love my boys to go to collage, but after years of following you I encourage them to work in what they want not what the high school counselor tells them they should be. So one son is considering not doing medical school and is pursuing his dream of being an EMT paramedic. The other is looking in to trade school for motorcycle mechanic. He is a motocross racer and his back up plan is to fix the bikes in case his dream of being another Bob Hannah falls short. Thank you for telling the world rhat everyone doesn’t need to have a masters in underwater basket weaving. There was a time when America was a nation that encouraged hard work. Thank you for trying to bring that back.

    • Cameron Thomas

      I’m so glad that you didn’t waste your time learning collage at art school or any college for that matter.

  • Ken Charbonneau

    My family was poor and I never went to college. I took a job in an un airconditioned plateing company in Phoenix. I worked hard and smart and 20 years later I was a Sr. Product Development Engineer and International Technical Liaison. Still without college, I Phd’s reporting to me and ran a UL Approved Laboratory.

  • Nancy Beach

    Atta boy, Mike! Have you considered a second type of pledge, where people are willing to volunteer their time to teach skills to others. For example, I work with databases all day long (for pay), but also volunteer the equivalent of a full-time job. I’d gladly teach someone how to create, and use a major database program (one which many businesses use, and students go to college to learn). I think it would be a fair exchange if they could come to the historical office an hour or two each week, and during that time I’d show them how to build and use a relational database by letting them learn to creating a new index or record set for our non-profit. If someone was earning minimum wage, learning that one skill and the logic associated could easily double or triple their hourly wage. I help them learn, they learn by helping create a database, they earn more money in a for-pay job.

    There have to be thousands of people with skill sets that could be taught, and benefit those without work or low income…or who simply want to improve their skills.

  • sws420

    There are no jobs in my field where I have to live. I wanted and had to work. I took a job along my hobby lines. I am almost back to the level of income I was at when I changed employers.. Most companies already have presidents and foreman’s so take the entry level job and earn your way up.Soft skills and OJT will get you what you need.

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  • Greg Leutenberg

    While many of you argue or debate the Republican and Democrat issues… It’s my personal opinion that BOTH parties are corrupt and have outlived their usefulness! I consider myself to be a Reagan Conservative with strong Libertarian sympathies… As far as my work ethic is concerned… I started working for my family’s company at age 15. I have been virtually gainfully employed most of my adult life and I have been self-employed the last 17 years. When I was younger (in my late 20′s and early 30′s) I worked a full-time day job with 15 hours a week overtime and I worked 3 nights a week at a second job. I haven’t had a vacation in 10 years…

  • Chuck Rose

    “Blue Collar” has gotten a bad rap…and we have lost our standards of quality, professionalism, and pride in our work to “cheap and easy” (aka “Made In China”)…in most other countries being a skilled laborer, teacher or craftsman is as revered as being a doctor or (I was going to say lawyer, but well, you know) here in the US.

    Mike is right, this has nothing to do with which political party you support…but everything to do with politics…and everything to do with corporate and collegiate greed.

    Now all the skilled labor is from eastern Europe, Asia, India, or south of the border…because those cultures still value hard work and quality work…there are no more apprenticeship programs here in the US (not like there used to be)…and no one is investing time or money in a “Blue Collar” career.

    Sweat Equity has been replaced by Start-Up Fever, Day-Trading Delusion, and Get-Rich-Quick Schemes pandered on every late night channel of the many on cable now struggling to survive…and on every “Reality TV” show that has NOTHING to do with reality.

    Our kids can’t read, write, perform simple math, or even master the most basic customer service skills…and yet they demand that we double the minimum wage for them because the only job they are qualified for is flipping burgers or drying cars…and they want everything and they want it now.

    Good job Mike! Proud to support your cause!

    Because at least you are doing something…which is trying to reteach the very ethics that made America great to start with…and it is certainly a lot more than the rest of the social media crybabies will ever do with their lives…they only want to throw stones and tear everyone else down, instead of getting out from behind their computer and making a difference!

    #ProudToBeBlueCollar

  • Joel Phoenix

    Who do I talk to in order to get this poster printed out and posted in my local parole and probation office? =) There are many people with felonies that are willing to do whatever they have to to survive and have an extremely difficult time finding work beyond barely surviving. And I personally found this inspirational and would like to share it with others.

    • Fl2BoysMom

      How does that ‘inspiration’ work out for them when they see this and yet still keep getting turned down for jobs because of their records?

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  • Robin Moody

    The poster is perfect for framing, and starting awkward conversations about personal responsibility. God you are funny.

  • Chris Emmert

    The work smarter not harder propaganda is a true testament to
    the perception in this country that hard work is for lesser citizens; that
    there is something wrong with you if you don’t go to college and chose a career
    that requires you to work for a living. I to remember being told this many many
    times as if to say that there is something wrong with hard work; that getting
    your hands dirty is for uneducated folks not worth a dam, that there was shame
    in working hard. This marketing campaign from so many years ago was not for the
    betterment of our country or society, it simply served as a tool to promote the
    sale of college to so many for the purpose of making money for universities and
    so many bought it. Sadly, by selling school as the only way to be worthwhile in
    society they created this idea that to work in the trades was to be reserved
    for people with little pride, no education, no motivation and no “marketable
    skills”; that to have a job where your wear your name on your shirt meant you
    were not worth a dam, that you were just some stupid “joe” doing a job and you would
    never have a successful prideful career. The reality is the exact opposite, but
    we have lost sight of this in our country. We think that hard work is to be
    looked down upon, that earning a living through sweat and rough hands is
    reserved for those with nothing better to offer, so let me ask you this. Where
    would we be if we were all successful bankers, doctors, lawyers, business men,
    investors etc… and no one knew how to work? Would we survive without masons,
    farmers, carpenters, mechanics, pipe fitters, welders etc.? If we have no one
    capable of building, fixing, producing, transporting, growing and creating then
    what is there for you to spend all of this successful money on? These are the careers
    that no classroom can teach. These are the careers that require true skill,
    vast amounts of knowledge, real intelligence, pride, dedication and work ethic.
    These are the careers that can be learned yet can’t be taught and yet these are
    the jobs we look down our noses at.

    Thank you Mike Rowe for being wise enough and brave enough
    to speak out against this absurd notion that hard work is for the weak and that
    pride can only come from paper.

  • dw

    problem for a lot of great workers is their background check- these guys have served their time paid their debt to society- let them work. My son only has misdemeanors and still has trouble with jobs. He wants to work- is a good worker but has job after job offer rescinded after they see his misdemeanors.

  • Teryl Figgins

    Don;t be part of the problem! Son;t vote party line. Research candidates and voting history. Vote candidate. Many republican candidates are just in sheeps clothing. Often Democratic candidates are also cloaked wrongly simply because they know thats the way people are voting. Look at the people behind the label. Work hard, earn your way in life, and teach kids that life isn’t free, but when you want something the hard work is truly worth it! Rewards are a reality. We all work for a reward in life (paycheck) so why not teach kids to also work for rewards

  • http://batman-news.com Douglas Robert Brown

    I came from a lower-middle class family that fell on hard times and had to accept relief when I was a child. My parents were divorced and neither of them had good parenting skills. I left home at 16, got to college by 19. During the three years I had all types of jobs. College took 6 years because I paid for it, room and board myself by having part-time jobs. I learned to type, learned seven word processing system by reading the books, a couple of spreadsheet programs. I took some accounting classes so I could do taxes and got a job as a part-time office assistant bookkeeper for an attorney. All the experience lead to getting a staff accountant job with a Big 4 firm out of school. My career has moved up, but again with hard work and sacrifice. I traveled 40 weeks a year for almost 20 years, not seeing my family or sleeping in my bed. When you work on the road it is not 9 to 5, it more like 5 AM to 11PM. You don’t really get to see all the places you go to because you are at work. The bottom line is that when you start on your path, you have to put your foot out. That means dressing properly, knowing how to speak in a business environment, and bringing something to the table. I cannot tell you how many people I have seen in the last two years come in for 60K+ positions with an ‘I don’t care’ attitude. Even for temporary positions we have seen this. One guy came in a few months ago and was so good and professional that all of kept finding things for him till the company brought him on full-time. When you need a job, you take a job. Maybe for a week or two till you get something better, but you do what you can. Many people have grown up in non-fairy tail homes. You choose to move forward and breakout or to whine.

  • boatkitten

    Dear Mike Rowe,
    As a former business owner, I used to have the exact same view as you when it comes to hiring employees. As bosses, we always want to see a fresh, bubbly employee who fits in a standard box — and matches all the “right” qualities.
    But now I realize I may have turned away a few Einsteins in that process.
    A new statistic in the USA is that 1 out of 80 people today are on the Autism Spectrum. That Spectrum can either mean profoundly affected and unable to speak, to the oppoiste end with a person who is extremely brilliant but having only very mild issues with the inability to instinctively understand social norms.
    So please don’t confuse “having a shirt untucked” or “no eye contact” as being the same as “lacks motivation”.
    Because many of those applicants that didn’t tuck their shirts in, or pull their pants up, or look you in the eye, or say things like “please” and “thank you” might just be the person who honestly needs a job, probably more than anyone else, and has enormous motivation to work, but is consistently turned down by managers who just are not aware of the diversity among our human population of workers. Some managers are too restrictive and ignorant to figure out that a “standardize package”, with pressed pants and a perfect smile, may not be the applicant who will do the best job.
    Just letting you know.

  • Mike Burgess

    I truly appreciate the advice Mr. Rowe imparts here, but sometimes I think it’s a bit of an oversimplification. I currently hold four degrees (ADN, BS, BSN and MBA), so it’s obvious I value education. I think it’s a shame that the perception that educated individuals don’t know how to work hard, or that blue-collar workers are dumb. In my short 38 years, I have worked as a pawnbroker, a sandwich maker, a warehouse manager, a nursing assistant, and now as a Registered Nurse. And I work hard. Always. There was a time, however, when that wasn’t enough. I lost my job (which eventually led to nursing school) and could not get work. I applied at retail stores, fast food restaurants, job fairs, dock work, and even as a lumper. If there was a “Help Wanted” sign in the window, I would stop and fill out an application. And yet I never received a single call. I even took to emailing HR to ask why my application had been rejected, so that I could shore up any shortcomings. Out of about 50 emails, I received three responses. In every case, they cited my over-qualification as the issue. Companies don’t want to invest time or money in an employee who will be gone as soon as something better comes along. It was disheartening, because I couldn’t even find part-time work. It led me to nursing school, for which I am extremely thankful. Now I am qualified for two very distinct careers, and finding a job is far easier. HOWEVER, not everyone has that ability. So let’s not assume that people don’t want to work hard, or that they won’t take a lesser job, or that education means your lazy, or that manual labor equals lesser intelligence. Just like all things in life, it’s far more complex than the gross generalizations presented here, and everyone has a unique set of circumstances.

  • robinmonk

    I just read your response to “Craig” on the “Young Conservatives” page. I am neither Young nor Conservative, and I do not at all agree with the host of that page. I am responding as much to him as to you. He touts your reply is “Epic.” I think it is a useful debate. Since I am unemployed at the moment, and have my shirt untucked (as you write), I have a moment to engage it:

    In general, I like what you are trying to do. I like your idea of training young people skills, helping them to get jobs. But I resent the tone of your response to the critique — and I do think it reflects a deeper, philosophical difference that defines the difference between liberal and conservative.

    It’s true that we are a dangerously polarized nation; the gap between the right and the left hasn’t been this wide since the Civil War. And — as you say — absolutes never reflect reality. Certainly not all wealthy people are greedy, just as all poor people are not lazy. The objective, I would think, is to actively train, encourage and assist those who are willing to make the effort — which is where I suspect the real difference between liberals (me) and conservatives (you) comes in. You are rewarding those who show initiative, but I think you deny the deeper forces that stifle that gumption and replace it with sullen surrender, anti-social behavior and crime. To what extent are we (both as individuals and collectively, as an elected government), willing to make the effort to take time out from our selfish enterprise, turn around, lean over, reach down, and extend that helping hand? It’s not enough to put the option out there. I believe there are centuries of disenfranchisement at play, an economic system that rewards people who rise up with advantages of family, connections, and inherited wealth, earn high incomes at white collar jobs, invest and make more and more money with money, while suppressing people who make money from their own labor. It is a materialistic perversion of the biblical edict, “For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” That uneven playing field is the issue — not some pretense of equality. The “unwillingness to work” that you ascribe to human nature is not really natural. Work is rewarding in more ways than remuneration. Work generates self-worth. It generates pride and motivation. It gives us the strength to try something harder, greater, more challenging. I have seen many many people who have had that spark of willpower beaten out of them, after generations of demeaning and defeating social policies. Native Americans, blacks, hispanics, poor whites, the long-term unemployed, the underpaid, the mentally ill, the abused, deprived and the maligned. I have seen the effect of prejudice, racism, homophobia, exclusivity and ageism, the deflating impact of living as an outcast in a world where pink people in shiny cars speed self-importantly to high-paying jobs, sneering ever-so-slightly and honking at the disheveled pedestrians “in their way.” We do not, as a society, stop, turn, and extend that helping hand…. at least not if the conservative wealth-protecting, Ayn Rand-worshiping republican powers persist in perpetuating this downward spiral of human compassion and civic responsibility. And they do. Just as prisons breed more criminals, this system — this opaque, oppressive status quo in which we all partake — creates a stultifying, airless slave ship hold environment where “those less motivated” gather with their shirts untucked and their chronic inability to say “please” and “thank you.” It’s that failure to see the roots of this “national crisis,” and the inability to care or create countervailing programs to correct it, that defines the distinction between “liberal” and “conservative.”

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  • http://www.chaosandcritters.com Ella Halligan

    As a registered nurse who went through trade school and then expanded with advanced certifications, I love this. I am also a mother of 8. My two oldest are adults and they know full well that they have to work to make their way in life. My third oldest is 16 and he wants to do something in the manufacturing/welding/automotive area (he is still exploring thanks to an awesome shop teacher) and I had him read this whole Pledge with me… so we will be buying at least one to help contribute to the Foundation.

    My son’s initial response was, “This is all exactly true. It’s what you have to do in life.” Raising 8 kids has never been easy, but they all know they have to work hard AND smart AND together if they want to succeed in life. I may get one of these per month until I’ve gotten enough for all the kids. I love this message. (My mom and dad were Depression babies so I was raised with this ethic as well.)

  • Margaret Dabrowski

    i guess it would depend on which union you belonged to and how much work you want to put in to making it strong. yes, some unions are rife with corruption but not every one..look into some of the uindependent union out there. I know my union .U.E. has historically fought for womens rights and minority rights

  • http://facebook.com/steve.garrett Steve Garrett

    Where can i sign on, Mr. Mike (in days gone by, young’ns, we expressed our self-respect by a simple courtesy of addressing strangers as Mr…).

  • Lorna Jean Banks

    Mike, I bashed my head on the blue collar glass ceiling and in the military for many years starting in the 70′s. I’m tired of it, would love a soft job now, where I can put all I’ve learned to it’s proper use. Know anyone who can write a tech. manual and then go teach it too? I’ve done logging, heavy and light engine mech. librarian, waitress, store clerk, laundry super., radio operator, manager of Sr Center, and so many more jobs. I’ll relocate if needed, no problem!

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  • Susan Gable

    Mike – I work for a non-profit organization that produces and distributes (for free) educational videos (with teaching guides) to teachers and homeschoolers. I think we totally need to do a unit about your S.W.E.A.T. pledge, and the underlying concepts/values! Seriously…we want to make this happen. If you’re interested, please get in touch with me. I know you’re a very busy guy – but we can help get this critical message into schools across the country. Susan @ izzit DOT org.

  • Jason Dookeran

    I’ve always liked your shows Mike and this here is probably a good reason why. I’ve been saying for years that political divisiveness isn’t helping anyone and instead of actually confronting real issues they keep building strawmen for the other side to tear down. I’m glad to see what you’re doing here and I support it. Even though I may not be of the same political grain as some other commenters I’ve seen here, I understand what you’re doing and I think it’s a direction that’s likely to help your country.