Democratic presidential candidate and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is under fire for comments he made in 2016 that denigrated farmers and factory workers.
In December 2016, Bloomberg appeared at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School. During his comments, he said technology is limiting the ability of low-income individuals to find work.
“The agrarian society lasted 3,000 years and we could teach processes,” he said. “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.”
Bloomberg then said factory work was equally simple.
“Then we had 300 years of the industrial society,” he said. “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. Today it’s 2 percent in the United States.”
Bloomberg said the current economy is different.
“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,” he said. “You have to have a different skill set. You have to have a lot more gray matter.”
Bloomberg said he was unsure whether low-income people could be trained for these emerging jobs.
“It’s not clear the teachers can teach or the students can learn, and so the challenge for society is to find 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 cellphone and a car and that sort of thing. But the thing that’s the most important, that will stop them from setting up a guillotine someday, is the dignity of a job,” he said.
The comment drew ridicule from many on social media, including President Donald Trump’s eldest son.
“Bloomberg wouldn’t last 3 seconds as a farmer … but like his comments on minorities, you can tell he really hates regular hardworking Americans,” Donald Trump Jr. tweeted.
Bloomberg wouldn’t last 3 seconds as a farmer… but like his comments on minorities, you can tell he really hates regular hardworking Americans.
He will never fight for them because he couldn’t care less about them. https://t.co/03CmskF5Vn
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 17, 2020
I would love to see the look on his face if he had to load, start and drive a 48 row corn planter. You go for it Little Mike.
— Larry Stephens (@Stephens_Farm) February 17, 2020
Bloomberg has his “deplorable” moment, claiming that farmers don’t have the brain power to compete in the modern era.
He then explains how he thinks the $1.053T Ag Economy works.
“Dig a hole, put a seed in, put dirt on top, add water, up comes the corn.”pic.twitter.com/s0ROkjEknt
— Bryan Dean Wright (@BryanDeanWright) February 17, 2020
And yet Bloomberg has managed to make himself unelectable despite his multiple billions.
It must be his superior gray matter working.
— Wyatt Earp ⭐️⭐️⭐️#FlynnWasSetUp (@JamesDoss50) February 17, 2020
This “can teach anyone” quip is ignorant.
Farmers are electricians plumbers, mechanics, scientists, vets, engineers & H2O/soil conservationists; they take care of the crops that fill our cupboards & care for the animals who provide dairy & meat for our feasts.
But Ok GreyMatter https://t.co/I28Z1ji7pO
— SalenaZito (@SalenaZito) February 16, 2020
Well there goes my plan to start “Farmers for Bloomberg” https://t.co/iNceMh5q7e
— Cameron Gray (@Cameron_Gray) February 17, 2020
Does anyone believe Bloomberg has ever even kept a potted plant alive? How dare he look down his elistist nose at people who excel in agriculture and help feed our nation?#farmers
— Linda Suhler, PhD (Text TRUMP to 88022) (@LindaSuhler) February 17, 2020
Dear Mr. Bloomberg,
God made a farmer. Our farmers are our backbone. Insulting them is insulting us all.
— illDiscourse🧉 (@illdiscourse) February 17, 2020
The remarks were also prime fodder for a website supporting the candidacy of Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
“Time and time again we see Bloomberg insulting the middle class and the working class, union members and not yet union members. Maybe it’s time for pundits to stop pretending he’s just another candidate, Bloomberg is an oligarch spending his play money to buy the White House,” the group tweeted.
Time and time again we see Bloomberg insulting the middle class and the working class, union members and not yet union members
Maybe it’s time for pundits to stop pretending he’s just another candidate
Bloomberg is an oligarch spending his play money to buy the White House https://t.co/9ybob6ztID
— People for Bernie (@People4Bernie) February 16, 2020
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