President Trump has stated multiple times that he would like to enact a trillion dollar infrastructure plan to spur job growth in the United States. The country’s aging bridges, roads, and other infrastructure components need repair work, and he intends to make an initiative to fix that.
Now, as a firm believer in the Tenth Amendment, I’m going to oppose a massive federal program for this. The states should be the primary entities working on the roads and infrastructures within their borders. The states know their own issues better than the federal government ever can.
However, that issue aside, there is an even bigger issue than a Constitutional one. There is an issue of labor that no one has really discussed. Luckily, Mike Rowe knows what the problem is, and he is not afraid of calling out millions of Americans for it.
The Blaze reports that Rowe went on Meet The Press on NBC News to discuss the President’s idea of a trillion dollar infrastructure project. Rowe identified the problem not as one of money, or legislation, but of work ethic.
“I wrote to the last president modestly, right after his inauguration, not long after my foundation started just to say, ‘look the idea that 3 million shovel ready jobs are going to be created sounds great, but from what I’ve seen our country does have a bit of a dysfunctional relationship with regard to the shovel.’”
He further elaborated by saying that “[B]efore we say poof, here are the jobs,” he added, “we need to talk about the aspirational element and the practical reality of whether anybody is standing by to do the work.”
Watch the full interview below:
On MTPDaily: Mike Rowe says the American workforce is becoming "lopsided" pic.twitter.com/OamngUXwbl
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) September 4, 2017
Part of the discussion centered around the foolish notion somehow concocted in American society that a four year degree is needed to have a successful professional career. But that’s just nonsense.
Many blue collar jobs, good paying jobs, do not require a Bachelor’s degree. They may require some technical training or trade school, but those kinds of training do not take four years and hundreds of thousands of dollars to complete. Some technical programs are about a year, and one can find work in that field much more easily than anyone who gets a degree in Gender Studies or Middle Ages Art History.
“6.2 million jobs are available as you and I speak,” Rowe stated, “the vast majority of them do not require a four year degree. So why are we still talking as if the best path for the most people is the most expensive path, it just doesn’t add up.”
As a part of his larger argument regarding education, Rowe emphasizes the importance of STEMS (S added at the end), Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Skills. One must have the practical skills to apply the STEM knowledge, otherwise it’s just theory.
What’s another issue that Rowe sees? The reluctance to migrate to where work is.
“We have become curiously and distressingly sedentary, and you’re absolutely right when we talk about the numbers, the thing we always leave off is the geography. Because again, we kinda presuppose that people will go where the work is. I don’t know when that become anathema, but it did.
“And so, in terms of expectations that aren’t realistic, now among them is not merely the availability of the job of my dreams, not merely the availability of a job that pays me what I believe is fair, but the existence of that job in my zip code.
“That’s where things really and truly fall apart.”
So while there are economic issues regarding stifling of job growth (taxes, red tape, bailouts, cronyism, debt, etc.), if we really want to jump-start the economy, there must be a revitalization of the work ethic necessary for that kind of job growth.
One of Rowe’s final comments was on the issue of bringing back manufacturing jobs to America. For much of his campaign, Trump stated that he wanted to bring back domestic manufacturing, but little did he know that the jobs are here, yet employers are unable to fill them because of a lack of supply from the labor market.
“There was a great moment when the President was in the room with some heads of manufacturing a couple of months ago, and he said that we’re going to bring these jobs back. You know, which always sounds great; nobody’s got any truck with that. But a couple of the CEO’s were like, ‘Mr. President we’ve got the jobs; they’re here. What we need are people who are enthused about learning the skills that are actually in demand.'”
Newsflash: jobs are here! Adjust your attitude, get some skills that are in demand, and get yourself some work! It’s out there, but finding it sometimes requires certain adjustments in our expectations.