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Podcast #308: The Case for Blue Collar Work With Mike Rowe | The Art of Manliness

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In America, there’s an assumption that the most meaningful careers are found in office buildings, among those taking part in the information economy rather than in the nitty gritty of blue collar trades. To be eligible for these desirable white collar jobs, you need to take out tens of thousands of dollars in student loans so you can go to college for 4 years to get a degree. The sacrifice is always worth it though, or so we’re told.

My guest today on the show has made a career of questioning this narrative. In fact, he argues that our obsession with 4-year colleges and white collar work, to the denigration of the blue collar kind, has left us economically and spiritually poorer both on the individual and national level. His name is Mike Rowe.

You might have seen his popular show Dirty Jobs. Since his time as a TV host, he’s become an ardent advocate for trade work through his foundation mikeroweWORKS.

Today on the show, Mike and I discuss where the idea for Dirty Jobs came from and why a show about blue collar workers became a surprise hit. We then explore why we devalue blue collar work, the societal and individual consequences of that devaluation, and what Mike is doing to make pursuing vocational and trade work cool and viable again.

If you’re a young man trying to figure out if college and an office job is right for you, or if you’re a guy in a dead end office job looking for an alternative, Mike’s going to make a strong case for why you should consider putting on a hard hat and getting your hands dirty.

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