TV show host and work advocate Mike Rowe explained to Fox News host Tucker Carlson about the latest way in which our culture is looking down its nose on hard work: The tokens in the board game Monopoly.
"Two weeks ago," Carlson said Wednesday, "Hasbro announced that three tokens representing blue collar labor will be disappearing from Monopoly boards. The wheelbarrow, the boot, and the thimble are out, they're replaced by a T-Rex, a penguin, and a rubber ducky."
"We've lost the thimble in favor of an over-dressed avian," Rowe joked. "We've lost our wheelbarrow in favor of a child's toy, and we've lost the work boot in favor of a dead lizard. These are dark days, Tucker."
"So this is a metaphor," Carlson asked, "you're saying, for changing attitudes about work."
"I'm saying more that," Rowe explained. "Look, the tail can wag the dog. We can talk about it in a lot of different ways, but fundamentally, it's kinda interesting and sometimes instructive to look around and find the ways we've either consciously or subconconciously declared war on work, or at least the traditional notions of work.
"This is exactly the kind of thing," he continued, "I don't know how far you want to look into it. But clearly, icons and tokens and metaphors, these are powerful things. And in a way, I believe, it's fair to say we represent and value things that make sense to our brain. And right now we're in the rubber ducky."
Rowe then explained what he's doing to push back against the societal denigration of hard work by offering a scholarship to help people learn a trade that is in demand.
One of the requirements for the scholarship is that applicants sign the S.W.E.A.T. Pledge, which Carlson found very funny:
The S.W.E.A.T. Pledge must be signed by ALL applicants. S.W.E.A.T stands for, “Skill & Work Ethic Aren’t Taboo.” Basically, you’re signing a solemn oath not to become a lazy, self-entitled drone who blames others for their troubles and expects to be taken care of. Fair warning: this Pledge is not for everyone; so if you’re offended or threatened by its content, it’s probably best to seek out a different pile of free money.
Carlson connected this lack of respect for hard work with the crippling opioid epidemic that is destroying so many blue collar communities.
Rowe is a popular advocate for the work ethic that was so highly praised in America's past, but seems to have fallen out of favor in our present.