Mike Rowe takes on wealth envy: ‘I worked with people who don’t have time to talk about who’s got it worse and who’s got it better’

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Brendan Bordelon Contributor
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Mike Rowe, the former “Dirty Jobs” host under fire for partnering with Wal-Mart, dismissed leftist worries over income inequality and attacked wealth envy, saying he “work[ed] with people who don’t have time to talk about who has it worse and who has it better.”

Rowe recently worked on a commercial with Wal-Mart extolling the virtues of hard work and American manufacturing — drawing the ire of liberals angry over the corporation’s perceived anti-union policies that keep its workers in poverty.

But in an interview with CNN’s Erin Burnett, Rowe made it clear he has little patience for left-wing screeds on income inequality, The One Percent and the haves and have-nots. “Context matters,” he explained. “So if you’re going to talk about ‘The One Percent,’ you can’t do it in a vacuum. Is it one percent of the United States, or is it one percent of the world?”

“We’re in a global economy,” he said. “We compete globally, we import, we export. That’s how we measure ourselves and our country. But how come when we’re talking about who’s ‘The One Percent’ and who’s not, we’re not looking at the population of the globe? Why do we suddenly narrow it to our country?”

“I’ve spent ten years crawling through sewers, painting bridges, sexing chickens, milking camels,” he said, referencing various iterations of his former show. “I worked with people who don’t have time to talk about who’s got it worse and who’s got it better.”

“The jobs on ‘Dirty Jobs,’ to a T, were opportunities,” he added. “And that was the big lesson. That’s what people looked at. It wasn’t about, ‘There’s more over here, there’s less over here.’ It was about, ‘What can I do to advance faster?'”

Rowe also admitted he agrees with New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie’s claim that enforced income equality breeds mediocrity — and disagrees with Vice President Joe Biden’s earnest attacks on the rich.

“The idea that everybody who’s poor, and everybody who’s in the middle, and everybody who’s wealthy stays there their whole life — that I don’t believe,” he claimed. “I think there’s a lot of moving back and forth. And I think it’s dangerous to say, ‘This group is always going to be in this spot.'”

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Brendan Bordelon