When Mike Rowe says he’s serious about promoting jobs, encouraging self-sufficiency and boosting the American economy, he’s not kidding. He actually means it.
And even if you try to trip him up with questions about how the Republican Party is supposedly stifling economic growth, he just wants to talk about jobs.
Consider, for example, a recent conversation Rowe had with one Jennifer Bailey who tried repeatedly to get the TV star to say Republicans are to blame for slow job creation in the United States.
“How can the middle class send their kids to college for ‘four or more years’ when the Republicans have made it far too expensive with raising interest rates on school loans and wanting to end federal grants?” Bailey asked.
Rowe responded on Facebook Sunday by challenging the notion that college is expensive only because of interest rates and student loans. He also challenged the notion that middle-class families should feel obligated to send their children to expensive four-year colleges.
“I'm not anti-college; I'm anti-debt. If you can afford it, by all means go for it,” Rowe wrote in a Facebook post. “But I reject the idea that a four-year school is the best path for the most people.”
He also addressed her “blame the GOP” tactic: “If blame is your thing, there's plenty to go around. Republicans and Democrats have both allowed a trillion dollars of public money to flow freely between students and colleges with no real accountability for the results.”
Bailey then turned her attention to “greedy corporations.”
“Do you realize how many jobs would be available if the greedy corporations kept manufacturing and technical jobs here?” she asked Rowe.
“Yes, I think I do. But what makes you think they would be filled?” Rowe answered. “Right now, in the manufacturing sector alone, 600,000 jobs are currently available. That's 600,000 open positions that American manufacturers can't fill. You're right -- if all the American corporations moved all their manufacturing facilities and factories back to the United States we'd have a few million more openings.”
He raised the obvious questions: Would Americans really rush to fill these spots?
“[I]t's not that simple. If it were, it would already be happening. We wouldn't have a skills gap. But we do, and it's getting wider every year. The fact is -- according to the government's own numbers -- 3.7 million jobs are available right now,” he wrote. “Doesn't it make sense to fill those positions before we start demanding that companies create more opportunities that people don't aspire to?”
“Like it or not, we're in a global economy, and it's not the politicians or the corporations calling the shots. It's us. What we do as consumers matters far more than what we say as citizens,” he added.
Still Bailey persisted: The GOP “talked JOBS,JOBS, JOBS and all they've done is help their rich cronies, obstruct job making bills, make higher education unaffordable for everyone BUT their rich supporters!!”
But Rowe kept at it, never once losing sight of his main point.
“I get it. The Republicans are bad. (I know this because you have use both CAPS and exclamation points!!) You have identified the GOP and their rich friends as the cause of a great many problems. You are certainly not alone,” Rowe wrote.
“But frankly, I don't find your analysis to be all that persuasive. For one thing, millions of conservatives are far from rich. And millions of liberals are far from poor. Does the government have a huge role to play? Sure. But ultimately, the way out of this is not through D.C. The buck no longer stops there. It stops with us. It has to,” he added.
Again, Bailey insisted that Republicans are the real source of all that’s wrong with America's economy.
“Why don't you look at THOSE facts and ask the GOP to get off their collective derrières, help create jobs and quit jeopardizing the future of the American people!” she wrote.
“Because honestly, Jennifer, I don't believe that the GOP or the Dems or the president can actually ‘create’ jobs,” Rowe wrote, hammering his central point home.
“The best they can do is encourage an environment where people who might be willing to assume the risk of hiring other people are more inclined to do so. That's what I'd like them to do. And to the extent that either party would ever listen to a guy that used to have a show on cable TV -- that's about all I would ask of them,” he added.
Click here to see more of Rowe’s thought on jobs in America.
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