NEW YORK CITY- Michael Bloomberg has a knack for insulting various demographics and classes of people, typically through his own pompous outlook on life.
They’re starting to backfire.
Comments from 2016 have surfaced where Bloomberg insulted those working in the agricultural industry – by implying that anyone can learn to be a farmer and that farmers won’t thrive in the information age of the economy.
The venue that Bloomberg attended in 2016 was the Distinguished Speakers Series at the University of Oxford Saïd Business School. The now Democratic candidate was responding to a question regarding if middle Americans can find common ground and build rapport with coastal state voters.
In his response, he stated an obstacle against relatability would be blue-collar worker’s inability to learn skills relevant to the modern information age.
Well, that doesn’t seem at all demeaning or stereotypical at all.
In Bloomberg’s deep-winded explanation of why blue-collar workers are technologically inept, he started off with the following:
“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.
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.”
That’s a very rudimentary explanation of farming. By that logic, all you need to learn to be a police officer is “stop the bad guys”.
If I’m not mistaken, farming actually has a very specific science to it when it pertains to planting time-tables. Then of course there’s determining proper soils needed, humidity levels, factoring in weather conditions, combating diseases from spreading in plants, and so on. But sure, dig a hole and pop in a seed and see what happens.
From there, Bloomberg took us through the evolution of the American worker, pointing out the industrial age:
“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.”
Sure, because there weren’t processes associated with forging metals, designing the actual machinery, understanding how the machine works so that workers can navigate issues.
All people did was turn the crank for hours on end.
Bloomberg explained that at one point, 98 percent of the world worked in agriculture, and now only 2 percent of the world is in that field.
He segued to the modern information era where the people who have built their livelihoods around agriculture won’t be able to complete in the job market.
His rationale behind this was that working in the information economy requires a larger brain than what your standard blue-collar worker holds.
“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.”
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 (@NYBackpacker) February 15, 2020
First off, nearly anyone can learn to navigate information technology skills in either the hardware or software field.
Are more jobs going to gear toward those fields in the coming years? Absolutely. Can someone who has never functioned in an I.T. role professionally learn skills relevant to an evolved economic landscape?
Once again, absolutely.
However, if you’re Bloomberg, you genuinely believe that blue-collar workers of today won’t be able to learn any of these kinds of skills:
“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.”
Bloomberg is ignoring two very important things in his radically obtuse observations. The first being that there’s always been evolving factors of the economy, and people have always managed to thrive.
The second being that even with automation – the agriculture industry isn’t going to disappear anytime soon.
Not to mention, most farmers are adapting quite well to the era of technology, seeing that modern farming incorporates a lot if I.T. systems in their operations.
Perhaps it’s time for Bloomberg to drop the race, unless he just enjoys wasting his money on YouTube ads.
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