Former New York City mayor and current Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg – you know, the guy who shows up during every commercial break on local television – has become a lightning rod for criticism as his candidacy gains traction.
Recently, we’ve seen criticism of Bloomberg’s stop-and-frisk policies, as well as for his comments about women. And now, a video is circulating of Bloomberg from 2016 in which he insults the intelligence of America’s farmers and other blue collar workers by stating that they can’t compete in today’s information economy.
Fox News quotes the speech in more detail:
“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”
It’s obvious that Bloomberg hasn’t been anywhere near a farm in a long time, if ever. Today’s agriculture is more high tech than it’s ever been, and farmers have plenty of information at their fingertips at any given moment.
Farmers may lead simple lives, but that doesn’t mean they lack intelligence. Farming requires knowledge of biology and chemistry, as well as more than a passing familiarity with meteorology. Farmers need a head for business as well.
Many of the Bloomberg ads tout the notion that “Mike gets things done.” If you want to talk about people who get things done, let’s look at America’s farmers. They get up early and put in long hours of hard work. Farming may not be flashy or cushy, but it’s honest work and something our country needs. After all, the old cliche that agriculture is the lifeblood of the American economy is true.
Michael Bloomberg is a piece of work as a presidential candidate. Not only does he want to buy his way to the presidency, but he thinks he can win the hearts of voters by insulting those who don’t work white collar jobs. That’s a shame, and it’s yet another reason why he doesn’t need to be anywhere near the White House.