Farmers and factory workers may not be to happy about comments from Bloomberg that just surfaced from 2016 where he is rather dismissive about the skills it takes to run a farm or work in a factory:
Bloomberg on why farmers can’t work in information technology
MB: “I can teach anyone how to be a farmer 1 dig a hole 2 put a seed in 3 put dirt on top 4 add water 5 up comes the corn”
— Pete (@PeterMentes) February 15, 2020
FOX NEWS – Presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg appeared to belittle both farmers and factory workers in 2016 comments made at a university forum, continuing a trend of old remarks resurfacing to plague the billionaire’s bid for the Democratic nomination.
Joining the Distinguished Speakers Series at the University of Oxford Saïd Business School, Bloomberg was responding to a question about whether it is possible to unite people in middle America and the coasts. One of the issues standing in the way of that, Bloomberg said, was the inability of blue-collar workers to adapt to the information economy even if they have their education subsidized.
“The agrarian society lasted 3,000 years and we could teach processes. I could teach anybody, even people in this room, no offense intended, to be a farmer,” Bloomberg said. “It’s a process. You dig a hole, you put a seed in, you put dirt on top, add water, up comes the corn. You could learn that. Then we had 300 years of the industrial society. You put the piece of metal on the lathe, you turn the crank in the direction of the arrow and you can have a job. And we created a lot of jobs. At one point, 98 percent of the world worked in agriculture, now it’s 2 percent in the United States.”
Bloomberg continued: “Now comes the information economy and the information economy is fundamentally different because it’s built around replacing people with technology and the skill sets that you have to learn are how to think and analyze, and that is a whole degree level different. You have to have a different skill set, you have to have a lot more gray matter. It’s not clear the teachers can teach or the students can learn, and so the challenge of society of finding jobs for these people, who we can take care of giving them a roof over their head and a meal in their stomach and a cell phone and a car and that sort of thing. But the thing that is the most important, that will stop them from setting up a guillotine someday, is the dignity of a job”
This is not going to bode well for Bloomberg at all. In an election year, the last thing any group of voters wants to hear is some rich mogul saying that any dummy can do their jobs. Also, with the huge amount of money he’s spending on ads, his opponents will take anything they can get to stab him, to keep him from rising in the polls as these primaries continue.
I expect Bloomberg will be apologizing soon for his comments, just as he did the other day for his comments about stop and frisk.