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Opinion: Blue collar workers are treated as lesser citizens

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Everything in America is about diversity — until it comes to the work force, where if you are not white collar, you are not an equal citizen. Blue-collar workers are lower citizens. They are not considered smart, and they are not worth any time or money.

This, of course, is the view America takes until their car breaks down because they hit a pothole on their way to their white-collar job, then they run to blue-collar workers to fix both the roads and their car.

Every day in America, the stigma toward blue-collar workers grows more and more. We tell children they are only going to be successful in life if they go to college and become a doctor or a lawyer. Society teaches children that without a college education, they will be lesser people and will not have satisfied lives.

However, the reality is most of these preferred white-collar jobs have higher rates of dissatisfaction. Medical doctors are more likely to commit suicide than any other job in America, according a list from Mental Health Daily. In fact, on that same list of professions with the highest suicide rates, eight of them are white-collar jobs, while only three are blue-collar jobs.

The average yearly salary for lower white-collar jobs is $73,000, while the average yearly income for blue-collar jobs is $49,661. While some blue-collar workers make significantly less money compared to other professions, some make just as much — if not more than — your average, white-collar job. Some blue-collar jobs make more than $100,000 a year; these include oil rig workers, bartenders, police officers, contractors and farmers. In the blue-collar work force, like any other job, the better you are at your job, the more money you can make.

Blue-collar workers have often been described as the “heartbeat of America.” Without them, we would not be able to continue living as we do. On any given day, most people will interact with significantly more blue-collar workers than white-collar workers. They are the people who grow, cook and serve your food, fix your car, fix your house, maintain your electric, maintain your internet and cable, maintain your roads, cash you out at stores and make it possible for you to fill your car with gas. But yet in America, we should all be doctors because being in the blue-collar work force is only for lesser citizens and teenagers. If everyone in America was a doctor, we would all be out of work, food, housing, cars and oil.

The reality of America is having workers with a variety of skill sets is detrimental to the success for the whole country. We need diversity in the workforce, and we need people who would rather learn a trade skill than attend college. We need blue-collar workers. They are not uneducated and simple-minded. Mechanics are some are the best problem solvers you will ever meet, while electricians and plumbers can fix things in five minutes that would take anyone else 25 YouTube videos and eight hours.

Any job that provides a service is skilled and important. Being a doctor is no more impressive or important than being a mechanic — without the mechanic, a doctor cannot get to the hospital to save a life, and the hospital cannot run without an electrician. Being a blue-collar worker is not being a lesser citizen; it is performing a job that allows America to thrive.

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