Mike Rowe went on the record, saying he wants “everybody who works hard and plays fair to prosper,” then he outlined the possible downside to raising the minimum wage. The latter upset liberals on social media. They wasted no time expressing their disapproval.
Mike Rowe, who’s known for his work on the Discovery Channel series “Dirty Jobs” and the series “Somebody’s Gotta Do It,” is out to prove how the world is more connected than we think with his show “Six Degrees with Mike Rowe.” In the series, the Emmy-winning TV host “explores major moments in American history and connects the dots with surprising tales and humor,” Fox Business explained.
Rowe sat down for an interview with the news outlet to explain what he hopes his audience will learn from “Six Degrees,” but it was his remarks as he also weighed in on the $15 federal minimum wage debate that’s garnered a lot of attention. Rowe outlined what he believes could be the downside to raising the minimum wage, and it wasn’t long before upset liberals responded online, according to The Blaze.
“I want everybody who works hard and plays fair to prosper,” Rowe said before he delved into the opportunities that might be lost to workers if the minimum wage is raised. “I want everybody to be able to support themselves. But, if you just pull the money out of midair you’re going to create other problems,” he warned.
“[T]here is a ladder of success that people climb and some of those jobs that are out there for seven, eight, nine dollars an hour, in my view, they’re simply not intended to be careers. They’re not intended to be full-time jobs. They’re rungs on a ladder,” Rowe continued, further explaining his viewpoint.
According to Rowe, lower-wage jobs are opportunities for workers with few skills to learn new ones in order to gain better employment later. “[Those jobs] are ways for people to get experience in the workforce doing a thing that might not necessarily pay you as much as you’d like, but nevertheless serves a real purpose,” Rowe explained. He also expressed his fear of “unintended consequences,” such as incentivizing people to stay home.
“I worry that the path to a skilled trade can be compromised when you offer an artificially high wage for, I hate the expression, but an unskilled job,” Rowe explained. “So to me, the brightest line needs to be drawn between skilled and unskilled work. We need to encourage more people to learn a skill that’s actually in demand,” he added, and anyone who’s followed the minimum wage debate knows that he isn’t alone in his concerns:
Of course, not everyone shared Mike Rowe’s sentiments. Unsurprisingly, those who support raising the minimum wage were angered by his assertion and took to Twitter to lambast him and berate his beliefs. One such person who took issue with Rowe’s remarks was Charlotte Clymer, an LGBTQ activist who first took aim at Rowe’s own work history.
“Mike Rowe has never had to actually earn a living from a low-wage job. Ever. He went straight from training in music and theatre in college to hosting broadcast television. Which is fine, except he’d have you believe he’s a blue collar worker. He never has been,” Clymer alleged. While this isn’t completely true (I’ll get to those fallacies in a bit), even if it were, Mike Rowe undeniably knows the value of hard work as the former star of “Dirty Jobs,” where he performed some of the toughest, most difficult, and even grossest occupational duties imaginable alongside typical employees.
After his experience with “Dirty Jobs,” Rowe has more appreciation than most for the dignity of labor, but that means little to Clymer, who went on to criticize him further. “I come from a family of minimum wage and blue collar workers. I worked minimum wage jobs before and during college to pay the bills after I left the Army. Guys like Mike Rowe are hacks who perform white masculinity and ‘American Exceptionalism’ with remarkably uncalloused hands,” Clymer continued in her tirade against the TV host.
Of course, there were others who agreed with Clymer, such as liberal journalist Jessica Huseman, who chimed in to allege that Rowe doesn’t “value” or “give two sh*ts about” the people he introduced his audience to on “Dirty Jobs.” Nathan Bernhardt shared similar sentiments, tweeting that the “real” Mike Rowe “is nothing like the dude who shows up on television to sell trucks, starvation wages, and right to work.”
It is worth noting, however, that a government analysis of the Democrats’ plan to increase the minimum wage by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that it could lead to the loss of 1.4 million jobs, according to The Blaze. It is also estimated that raising the minimum wage would increase the government’s deficits by $54 billion over 10 years. So, Mike Rowe isn’t wrong in his concerns regarding the potential ill effects of raising the minimum wage. As for Clymer’s assertions, at least one is dead wrong.
In 2015, Rowe recounted a job he had in 1979, working at a movie theater for $2.90 per hour — the minimum wage at the time. “He served his customers, learned a host of new skills, and received several promotions in due course. Eventually, he decided to move on, pursuing areas closer to his vocational aspirations,” Action Institute explained. “He worked. He learned. He launched,” the outlet added, debunking Clymer’s retort against the TV host. Unfortunately, it seems she didn’t do her research before making assumptions, but perhaps she did teach us something: When it comes to raising the minimum wage, we shouldn’t jump to conclusions without research either.