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
Billionaire Michael Bloomberg had a decidedly condescending take on farming at an Oxford University business school talk in 2016.
At one point the nanny state mayor-turned-Democratic presidential contender contrasted the amount of “gray matter” needed to succeed in today’s information economy versus the agrarian society of yesteryear.
“It’s a process,” he went on to say, referring to the agrarian economy 300 years ago, “you dig a hole, you put a seed in, you put dirt on to, add water, up comes the corn.” He then said working in the modern information economy is “fundamentally different, because it’s built around replacing people with technology and the skill sets you need to learn are how to think and analyze and that is a whole degree level different, you need to have different skill set, you have to have a lot more gray matter.” [emphasis added]
Despite Bloomberg’s attempts to couch his comments as being about farming’s past, his clumsy explanation and dismissive tone outraged critics from both the left and the right, who pointed out that modern agriculture is also, in fact, a very demanding, high-tech job that requires intelligence and critical thinking skills to be successful.
Here is a sampling of the near-universal condemnation he received online.
Fun fact: The first home computer I ever saw was an IMSAI, back in 1978. My Uncle Les used it to help manage his (wait for it) farm. https://t.co/FDY7o0GKxX
— Kevin Creighton (@ExurbanKevin) February 17, 2020
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
Farm tractors and combines pack far more tech than a Bloomberg Terminal. They are mobile data centers.
America’s farmers are now experts in agronomy, tech, data analytics, & other advanced skills.
Grateful for their work. 🇺🇸 https://t.co/PZt3nF7Xyd
— Brendan Carr (@BrendanCarrFCC) February 17, 2020