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.