LOS ANGELES, CA – JULY 10: Actor Mike Rowe speaks at the’ Somebody’s Gotta Do It” portion of the 2014 TCA Turner Broadcasting Summer Press Tour Presentation at The Beverly Hilton on July 10, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/WireImage)
Mike Rowe has made a name for himself by the presentation of the unsung heroes of America, a task he says is made easier by the fact that he tries his best to avoid politics, even in turbulent times.
The former “Dirty Jobs” host focuses his efforts today on addressing the skill gap that is reportedly still millions of jobs unclaimed. Through his foundation, mikeroweWORKS, he gives scholarship money to help educate those who are willing to learn a skill and do the dirty work.
In a recent interview with UPROXX, Rowe explained how his political views on the topic of the skills gap and the economy can be polarizing to a lot of the country that he needs to hear his message.
“It is tricky, because to say that the economy is going great with a very macro thing to say. I think he is right in general terms, but that is cold comfort for a lot of people for whom the economy is not so great,” he said when he was asked about President Trump’s claims that the economy is better than ever. “Look, the reason I avoid politics is that everything you say, if a politician is by definition a generalization. You can only talk about the value of education in a very broad way. You can’t really talk about what is best for the individual. You need to talk about what is best for the most people.”
He continued: “the reason that The skills gap is politicized is because the opportunity has become politicized. People should try to figure out what that actually means to them. For example, if I tell you that there are 6 million jobs today can be filled in, usually my friends on the right will say, ‘Well, that’s because people are fundamentally lazy.’ My friends on the left will say, ‘Well, that’s because the employers are fundamentally greedy.'”
While he stopped short of commenting on his own political views, he was willing to express what he thinks the problem with the skill gap. He feels that the problem has to do with people misunderstanding the difference between a job and a career.
“As a ditch-digger has become a non-ambitious job, well, okay, that happens to be the way the wind is blowing now, and I get it,” he said. “A ditch-digger, in and of itself, is no fun, and it’s not sexy, but digging ditches is a step on the ladder. If you, for sport, or if you that sport is so unattractive that no one wants to step, then it is very hard for people in the vertical to get to the next”.