It seems that nobody told Joe Biden that telling people to “learn to code” is hate speech now…
First, “Job-Killing Joe” said in the last Democratic debate that he’d be willing to sacrifice economic growth as well as hundreds of thousands of jobs in the oil and gas industries to transition to a “greener” economy.
Then he said that he thinks that fossil fuel executives should be jailed for what they’ve done to the environment.
But now it’s not just hitting at the executives, he’s going back to attacking the blue-collar workers in the industry. He’s elite-splaining that they should really change jobs and “learn to code.”
Did Joe Biden just tell coal miners to learn to code???pic.twitter.com/mco2ZSWa4U
— The First (@TheFirstonTV) December 31, 2019
Even Gizmodo said that this suggestion for blue-collar workers to learn coding is callous and doesn’t take into account what they want to do.
What, exactly, these blue collar workers in the mining and coal-shoveling sectors should learn to code is unclear. A December jobs report by Challenger, Gray, & Christmas found that the mining and tech sectors are both shedding thousands of jobs nationwide. (So too is everything coal-related.) It’s fair to say the long-term prospects for IT workers are better, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting that computer and information technology jobs will grow “12 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations.” Meanwhile, dirty energy jobs are dying left and right despite Donald Trump’s best efforts to slash regulations.
But the issue has less to do with whether programming is a desirable skillset—it is, in the same sense that speaking Arabic or having a master’s degree in mechanical engineering are desirable skillsets. To Biden’s point, there are plenty of success stories, including with laid-off miners. This instead has more to do with whether everyone has the desire or aptitude to learn programming to plunge into an ultra-competitive job market for developers, whether job retraining programs are actually effective or will be adequately funded, or whether advising someone to just get a much more lucrative job in a high-tech sector actually comes across as helpful.
As Weigel noted, being told what you really need to do is pivot to making smartphone apps or coding a payroll system can instead come across as callous indifference to the what is currently happening to workers right now. (Especially so, given the future is not synonymous with STEM jobs and the gaping disconnect between how the tech sector generates wealth and how it doesn’t really share it.) That’s exactly why “learn to code” became the far right’s taunt of choice when mocking laid-off journalists. Maybe, uhh, nip this particular line in the bud and instead focus on the infrastructure, clean energy, and labor organizing stuff.
[By the way, those on the “far-right” taunting laid-off journalists were reminding said journalists that they told blue-collar workers that it was easy to “learn to code” and that was where the job market of the future was, so… I have no issue with the mocking tweets.]
Saagar Enjeti of The Hill TV explains how this is a “Hillary 2.0” moment for Joe.
That was some political analysis, right there!
You know, it’s said all of the time, but this disregard of the blue-collar, energy sector workers is literally how Trump won in 2016. As Enjeti points out in his video, the moment Hillary said that she was going to put coal miners out of work, she lost.
But Joe is picking up her talking points and using the very same message.
It doesn’t seem like Sleepy Joe is in it to win it.
He sure as hell won’t win against Trump if he keeps tossing blue-collar workers from the fossil fuel industry under the bus.
And, although he’s in the lead right now, there’s no guarantee that he’ll win the Democratic nomination.
Good luck in winning the nom, Joe. But I’m thinking the DNC isn’t rigging it in your favor as they did with Hillary…