February 17, 2020

If you thought that Mike Bloomberg’s old comments about minorities and crime were bad news for his presidential campaign, then these resurfaced comments could explain why he opted to skip the Iowa Caucuses.

Speaking at Oxford University’s business school in 2016, Bloomberg described the job of farming like this: “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.” In contrast, he said today’s information era jobs require people to learn “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.”

(FYI: his comment about the low mental difficulty of factory workers’ jobs was hardly any less dismissive.)

Naturally, this is not going over too well with the agricultural community, who, surprisingly, know how to access information on the Internet and how to read. As one commenter put it, you couldn’t ask for a better example of a clueless New York bubble dweller quote – short of saying that ranching is easy because meat comes on little Styrofoam trays so you just have to put plastic wrap over it. I could just as well reply that it’s easy to learn to code because all you have to do is “learn to code.”

There’s an entire literature of jokes built on farmers outsmarting arrogant city slickers, and those stretch back to long before farmers were using advanced technology to plan and time crop rotations, calculate yields, track weather patterns and run giant, Internet-connected farming equipment like this:

I’ve said before that running for President these days is like undergoing a particularly thorough colonoscopy without anesthetic. Bloomberg’s billions can’t insulate him from having all his past statements dug up and parsed. And apparently, there are a lot more to come. His own employees even compiled a book of them, which shows that minorities and farmers aren’t the only people he doesn’t have much respect for (warning: some rough language at the link):

And his reported comments to female employees, particularly about pregnant employees, aren’t likely to endear him to women voters.

Maybe Bloomberg mistakenly thought running for President is easy: you just buy billions of dollars’ worth of ads and order your reporters not to say anything bad about you, only about the other guy. If so, he should’ve had more gray matter than to think that.

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  • Eva Shellene

    02/19/2020 02:27 PM

    I have read several responses from farmers and they are angry and hurt about the ignorance, nearsightedness and insult from Bloomberg, farming is a very technical job and is not only about growing the food that we eat daily, but also about keeping records, estimate next years crop, monitoring weather, caring from animals like cows,sheep, chickens, horses.... keeping them healthy and so much more.

  • Cynthia Rasmussen

    02/19/2020 06:01 AM

    I receive and read your commentary regularly and agree with it. Yesterday I did a search on the internet (not sure which search engine) using my Mac, looking for biographical information about Michael Bloomberg. As I was clicking through one of the sites my computer suddenly made a strange noise, locked up and gave me a message to call “Apple Help”. It said that the Zeus virus had broken through my firewall etc. I was unable to close the screen or do anything so I force closed it down. When I turned it on again it came up with the same screen so I turned it off and tried again. This time when I got the same screen I was able to close it and it the computer appears to be acting normally but I am taking it to the “Geek Squad” today so they can check it out. However, this morning I was unable to open your email newsletter from my iPhone when it has to open from a link so am not sure where the problem is located. Because there are so many political dirty tricks out there I am highly suspicious and wonder if any of your other readers have had similar problems. Also wonder who this can be reported to and how to warn others. Thank you for allowing comments.