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Mike Rowe Testifies Before the Senate
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Come on Corey. Who pooped in your oatmeal this morning? Razzer I am sure that in his Dirty Jobs gig he has come upon plenty of hard working, skilled Americans. You can't visit as many job sights as he has and not get a feel for what is going on in American industry. If he has a true concern for this I'm sure not going berate him for it. Just because he is an actor doesn't mean he has nothing worth while to say. Heck, I'd listen to ANYTHING Jennifer Aniston or Courtney Cox had to say. Wink



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I believe we need a national PR Campaign In high schools, the vocational arts have all but vanished. We've elevated the importance of "higher education" to such a lofty perch that all other forms of knowledge are now labeled "alternative."
Every couple of years my HS Auto Shop Teacher calls up his former students and tells us that they are going to cut funding for the Vocational Programs at NFA.

It's amusing to see all of the towing, repair shops, road service, plumbing, electrical, welding, body shop and various other vehicles that show up at these budget hearings. It brings home the point rather graphically...

I don't agree with throwing money at problems to fix it. But showing support for programs on a local level (not Federal Gov) is a patriotic stand for those who believe that the vocational educations are a needed path for gainful workforce employment - we do need these jobs - society needs these jobs - it's needed.

It's a hell of a lot better to have someone working with their hands then to have them complaining how they had no other choice then to do _______________ to support themselves or their families.

This isn't a Democrat or Republican issue - this is our problem - our reality - our lifetime.


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Don't get me wrong, I'm not blaming Mike for exploiting a position he finds himself in. If I had to point blame, it's the media and especially the news "consumer" who seems to want simple answers to complex issues.

I agree with several that have said it's not a Republican/Democratic thing, it's more appropriate to blame social evolution. No one knows what is American made anymore, no one knows who owns American companies, no one knows what country the corn in your Corn Flakes comes from. We do know that most of the items at Walmart come from Asia. It is one of the most successful companies in the world. I'd bet a nickle that most people coming out of Walmart would agree with Mike's philosophies as they head to their Japanese car with a load of Asian goods.

Here's a sad truth about many Americans, we most often feel our philosophies should be for everyone except ourselves. It's why many in the world see us as an oppressive, elitist society.

My answer is to at least not be a fake. I was lucky to be born an American, I was lucky to be born healthy, I was lucky to be born a white male, I was lucky to grow up in a great place like Maine, I was lucky to have great parents.

I was smart to work hard, I was smart to get an education, I was smart to pursue careers that paid well and offered opportunities.

I feel bad for all those that didn't get lucky and I feel contempt for those that didn't take advantage of this wonderful place and work their way to happiness.

"When you see somebody who's got a complaining personality, it usually means that they had some vision of what things could be, and they're constantly disappointed by that. I think that would be the camp that I would fall into - constantly horrified by the things people do."
Daniel Clowes




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Heck, I'd listen to ANYTHING Jennifer Aniston or Courtney Cox had to say.

Amen to that brother!




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Posts: 2307 | Location: Laurel Park, NC | Member Since: 03-16-2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I think the one thing todays government fears more than anything is dialogue. If the locals and the school board sat down and rationally discussed what is needed to go forward for the next 20 years and then had give and take to achieve a mutually beneficial goal, the government would mess their depends. The leading Democrats will tell people that ALL Republicans want to screw the little man, give all the money to big corporations and will give Social Security to Wall Street. Meanwhile the Republicans are telling people that all Democrats are Union thugs, Communists and want to give all the wealth to welfare mothers. There are many things that Republicans and Democrats have done to elevate the standard of living in America. There are many things they have both done to diminish the standard also. The problem is that we can no longer have civil discourse about America. We can't sit down and figure out the best way to handle illegal immigration, the downward spiral of the black communities or the care of the aging population. The government (read newsmedia) calls out the scare police and then we all sit around and call each other names. Thanks God I'm old!



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As you can tell, (re Tere and Jim), opposites do attract, especially if Scott Peck's theory comes into play.
By the way, look up the definition of solipism some time. There's also a good article by David Brooks in the New Youk Times, 'The Politics of Solipism". Pretty good explanation of what's gone wrong in Washington in the last 50 years and is related to an old post of mine about 'where have all the leaders gone'.
Jim (with a disclaimer by Tere who is out at Wallyworld while I'm pontificating)


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I think among other factors is a sense of "entitlement", as here.

One of my good friends is Dean of Arts and Science at Forida State College. He constantly has to deal with students who expect high grades without the effort to produce high results.

My cousin's hubster is a full professor of English literature and composition at Penn State. He's shown me some of the essays he has to grade; they'd fail in the 8th grade due to spelling errors, miserably poor syntax, lousy grammar, and the writers' inability to express thoughts coherently.

There is a prevailing thought among many young folks is that there is no need for working/learning. Somewhere along the line the connection between effort and results has been broken.


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Good luck Elaine!
I have observed the decline in respect for teachers (disipline) coincidental with the return of WWII veterans. "After what I have been through no one is going to talk to my kid (normal disipline of the time) like that or they nwill have to deal with me." Until that time if you screwed up in school and were called on it you were punished and when the word got home you were PUNISHED. Gradually this attitude progressed to the level of entitlement many of todays brats expect. Doug, I too am getting old.

Part two deals with WWII GI bill and higher education. education. another time





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Okay, I wasn't going to do this but hmm.....
Hell yea, we need skilled labor. And I believe that with society pushing higher education as the only answer for a future job, the folks that work with their hands will be in a shortage and they will some day be able to demand the hourly rate of doctors and lawyers because no one will want to do those "dirty jobs". What do you presently pay you mechanic an hour to fix your car or the plumber to fix a toilet leak or an electrician to re-wire a faulty receptacle? For most of us, it is MUCH more than you get paid an hour yourself. And trust me, it's not going to get cheaper as we move forward. Some of us still will tackle those chores ourselves because we were brought up with some sort of skill set and we try to save money by doing it ourselves. But the youth of today? Ain't gonna happen. They went to college so they can earn big money and pay some one to do those jobs. They don't get their hands dirty. Some of the responsibility of this has to fall on parents. We all went through it. Each generation trying to make it easier for the next generation. We have now created a lazy society. But I beleive that it may may a good time to encourage your kid to go into the vocational field for a future career. I mean, how many computer techs does this country actually need??? And then there is the fact that we opened the flood gates of "world economy". What did that really mean? It meant that companies could close manufacturing jobs here in the states and get it made cheaper elsewhere. So there is no more "high school education" jobs available unless you are willing to work for minimum wage. What to do now? Oh, go to college and get an education so you can get one of those "service" jobs where you don't have to get your hands dirty.....
This country will never fix itself until we get rid of the Republican and Democratic parties. We no longer do what is good for society, we do what is good for the party. And the first thing you do when elected? Figure out how to get re-elected, which usually ties you into those with money. Money has always, and will always, run this country. And anyone that thinks those in the top 5-10% of fiscal security in this country are really worried about the rest of us are only fooling themselves.
And I agree that this is a great country with many opportunities for those who choose to persue them. But I am also a realist. Like everything else in life, very few will rise to the top. It's nothing more than a numbers game and percentages. Most times it doesn't matter how hard you work or how good you are at your job. There are only a few jobs at the top of any career and many who are trying to get there. Therefore, it's just a matter of percentages. Does it really matter if your an athlete trying to get into a major sports field, a person working in a factory, a tech person with IBM, etc...? Only a few will rise to the top. The rest of us languish in the everyday efforts of trying to get there. Sometimes it luck. Sometimes it's the passing of the baton. Very few get there on hard work or skill. Don't get me wrong, there are certainly folks that have been able to start a successful business or work their way to the top of an established business, but again, it's percentages. Face it, not ALL of us can get something that there is just a few of.
And then one day you realize that life has passed you by and that 80 years on this earth is NOT really a very long time. Unfortunately for most, that is when you realize that there is more to life than money and you can't turn back the hands of time. So for some of us, wealth and success comes from knowledge. The sooner we realize that this is a world of percentages and we are not all destined for the highest bracket the sooner we learn to do what God put us here for...TO ENJOY LIFE AS IT IS PRESENTED!


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I finally got around to reading this today. It really hit home because Doug and my dad was like his grandpa. I think I was 14 before I ever learned that there were guys you actually could call to come and fix something. Dad just did everything. I like to think I can do a lot of things but I'll never come close to his overall knowledge.
On a personal, maybe selfish note, as a professional drywall technician,[I do everything], I don't have much competition from the younger guys, because there aren't any. When I started in my early 20's, everybody was getting into drywall. The few of us that stuck it out got the jobs where quality counted and could keep our prices up to a living wage. During the building boom, all the commercial and mass residential projects went to the Mexicans at 1/4th the wages we were making. They slept in their cars or the jobsite, ate 7-11 junk, and worked 14 hour days, everyone old enought to hold a sandpole included. They sent almost every penny back to Mexico so they could live the good life when they went home. The quality of the work was usually horrible, but it was getting done, and that was all that mattered to the developers.
Now they are gone, because there isn't work for them, and we are as busy as ever, taking care of clients who appreciate quality. I wonder who is going to take over in 10 or 15 years when we get out. There are no 20 or 30 something guys learning how to do it right, as he says, but in this case the influx of cheap imported labor when we should have protected our own is a large part of the problem.


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I agree with most of this. I just retired from teaching 29 years of high school Chemistry. The "kids of the today" collectively are not what they used to be. Thankfully we can indeed play the numbers game, i.e. a persistent minority of achievers is still alive and well and always will be. The good ones almost always seem to have really good parental connections (imagine that!) These people are a pleasure to work with and are the hope of the future. Look for them!

I believe that eminent domain and manifest destiny have basically played out their rampant consumption of our once seemingly "endless" resources. The children of today's society, unlike their predecessors, will not all have more than their parents did. The capable ones will but the rest are the fodder for the rich powerful business/political cannons. I think many of those born after about 1985 are now competing in a third world market for jobs and wages.
Getting old is tricky business..seems like the more I know the less I understand. However, having learned that I'm not that important or influential, I can live with not changing the world each day. Enjoy the life you already have!
(The secret to success is not to make more but to need less!)


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I think it's pretty interesting how this thread has developed. At first it appeared to be a blaming game, but in the end there have been some very interesting and profound statements of philosophical wonder and observation. I especially enjoy the views from people that have spent years in a specific profession and have such great insight. Oddly, this all easily relates to owning a RV and getting the most out of it and life.

Early in my life I was a struggling car salesman with aspirations of becoming the owner of my father's dealership. That ended when the 80s hit with imports taking over, fuel rationed and interest at 18%. My future was dashed on the rocks as our family dealership went under. This felt like the end to me and I could easily have become a blamer, but in retrospect it was just the beginning and a great opportunity in disguise.

By necessity I learned to be very frugal (I had three kids at the time), by luck I landed a minimum wage job in a high end manufacturing environment, by design I struggled my way through the rest of college (working full time and going to school full time). As Bruce stated, I took advantage of what life was willing to give me. Sometimes it was not much!

With my "tool set" acquiring new skills I set my sights higher and higher, but never lost the lesson of frugality. Despite many pitfalls I always came up swinging with a greater skill set and more determination.

My contemporaries sometimes stated that I could fall into a bucket of "poop" and come up smelling like roses. They called me lucky as they sat in their heavily mortgaged houses and went out on their over financed boats. Some of them are now a little bitter at the extent of "luck" I have had in my life. I believe you become a very good climber when you realize their is no safety net underneath you!!

The most important lesson I can pass on, a dollar saved is worth way more than a dollar earned.




Formerly: 1997 Barth Monarch
Now: 2000 BlueBird Wanderlodge 43' LXi Millennium Edition DD Series 60 500HP 3 stage Jake, Overbuilt bike lift with R1200GS BMW, followed by 2011 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited,
“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.”
 
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Originally posted by Moonbeam-Express:
I believe you become a very good climber when you realize their is no safety net underneath you!!
That's another one of the major points... we've removed the net and attached pillows to our kids asses and called it help - having failure, and the lessons learned, (IMHO) is far more valuable.

Failure equates to future success if one can learn from it. Smiler


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As Bruce stated, I took advantage of what life was willing to give me. Sometimes it was not much!

......and you gained(EARNED) great wealth which cannot be measured by dollars and cents.





later 25' '82 Euro 70% ready for the road (if I can find the fountain of youth) it is somewhere here in central FL


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having learned that I'm not that important or influential

example: place your foot in a bucket of water;
now pull it out...
see how big of a hole you made!





later 25' '82 Euro 70% ready for the road (if I can find the fountain of youth) it is somewhere here in central FL


29' 1977parted out and still alive in Barths all over the USA
 
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