Presidential hopeful Joe Biden pissed a lot of people off with his plan for “jobs of the future” and creating a greener economy, stating that blue collar job loss can’t stand in the way of it.
The former Vice President is now urging coal miners to just “learn” to code because anybody can do it. If that’s the case, I wonder why Biden isn’t a computer programmer. Since it’s so easy.
“Anybody who can go down 3,000 feet in a mine can sure as hell learn to program as well,” sleepy Joe said to a crowd in Derry, New Hampshire. “Anybody who can throw coal into a furnace can learn how to program, for God’s sake!”
Biden riffing on how Obama put him in charge of judging the "jobs of the future" suggests re-training miners as coders.
"Anybody who can go down 3000 feet in a mine can sure as hell learn to program as well."
This sort of "just transition" stuff was murder on Clinton in 2016...
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) December 30, 2019
The former vice president, in particular, suggested retraining programs were the key for workers in industries hardest hit by globalization and increased environmental regulations, especially those in the coal mines of Appalachia.
Biden’s speech came just weeks after the sixth Democratic primary, in which he promised to “sacrifice” the growth of the economy and possibly “displace thousands or hundreds of thousands of blue-collar workers” in the interests of a “greener economy.”
“The answer is yes because the opportunity for those workers to transition to high paying jobs is real,” he said.
Regardless of the former vice president’s claim, job retraining and other transitionary programs for displaced workers have mostly failed to live up to their promise. Retraining programs are often a poor fit for blue-collar workers, an overwhelming majority of whom tend to be older and lack a college education, in terms of skill set and technological literacy. Even more troubling is that the jobs eligible for retraining often are either in short supply in areas hardest hit by globalization and automation, or pay significantly less than those initially displaced.
For instance, the average pay a coal miner can expect to make, under a contract negotiated by the United Mine Workers of America union, “comes out to at least $61,650 a year, and closer to $85,000 a year with overtime.” This does not include healthcare, pension, and other benefits usually offered by such jobs. Meanwhile, the jobs available after workforce retraining generally tend to be lower-paid hourly wage positions.
He is not doing himself any favors with such nonsense claims.