Bloomberg Faces Backlash For Belittling Farmers: 'I Dig a Hole, You Put a Seed In...'
White House hopeful faces new controversy days after audio tape surfaced
White House hopeful Michael Bloomberg once claimed that agricultural and manufacturing jobs didn't need much brainpower, compared with the information economy.
While speaking at the University of Oxford Saïd Business School in 2016, the former New York Mayor was asked if Americans living on the coast could unify with the predominately conservative areas in middle America.
“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,” he continued.
“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.”
Bloomberg then claims that those in farming jobs are now at a disadvantage because they lack adequate education and intellect.
“Now comes the information economy and [it] 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 skillset; you have to have a lot more gray matter.”
Bloomberg faced a backlash from both left and right on social media.
New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof said, "Hm. And farmers in Oregon can teach anyone to be a financier..."
Bloomberg on why farmers can’t work in information technology— Pete (@PeterMentes) February 15, 2020
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”
The skill 4information technology is completely different you need more grey matter#farmers pic.twitter.com/HM13tA6goz
Hm. And farmers in Oregon can teach anyone to be a financier:— Nicholas Kristof (@NickKristof) February 16, 2020
1. Buy low
2. Sell high
3. Lobby for the carried interest loophole https://t.co/Hj7DKrmJfd
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. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 17, 2020
He will never fight for them because he couldn’t care less about them. https://t.co/03CmskF5Vn
This “can teach anyone” quip is ignorant.— SalenaZito (@SalenaZito) February 16, 2020
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
Donald Trump Jr. said, "Bloomberg wouldn't last 3 seconds as a farmer... but like his comments on minorities, you can tell he really hates regular hardworking Americans."
Journalist Selana Zito also pointed out that farming requires a significant amount of technology and advanced intelligence.
"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," she said.
The news comes just days after the presidential hopeful faced backlash after an audiotape of him defending an aggressive strategy of policing minority neighborhoods during a 2015 speech to the Aspen Institute.
In the speech, Bloomberg pushed the idea of cities taking action on instituting and enforcing gun bans.
“Cities need to get guns out of [the]… hands” of individuals who are “male, minority, and between the ages of 15 and 25.," The Aspen Times quoted Bloomberg.