In a nutshell? Because of the work environment. when it’s cold outside you’re all bundled up with long John underwear, jeans and a flannel shirt jacket. At the end of the day you’re still cold and stiff, your hands hurt, and your face and nose hurts. When it’s hot outside you just can’t take off your clothes. Your work environment dictates that you wear sturdy leather boots with safety toes, sometimes long sleeves and long denim pants. When it’s wet and rainy, you’re going to get wet. Snowing? You get cold and wet. Windy? Suck it up and deal with that cold, hard wind that’ll hit you in the face or knock you down if your’e walking or standing; either way, elements have to be dealt with.
I myself hold a blue collar position and I make more than college-educated people. I encourage people to get their college degrees. If they end up in blue collar jobs then that’s fine, but I would want them to have the option of having that degree and using it for a good purpose and to let that degree give them the options that they WANT. When the people I advise want a job they should get one where they don’t have to deal with any inclimate weather that will harm their lives and do other things just to keep them from makng a living.
I think it’s natural for people to want a kinder and easier life than those before them had. At least that’s what I would want for my child (or children although I do have a child) and I would have no problem with holding a white collar job either for both blue and white collar positions have stressors and benefits. I’m lucky enough to have a job as it is because it can be hard out here in this world and trying to make it with little is WAY better than making it without a damn thing at all.