Democratic presidential hopeful and former US vice president Joe Biden told unemployed miners, particularly those in the coal sector, to learn to code so that they can access the jobs of the future.
According to Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel, at a rally in Derry, New Hampshire, Biden said that if miners are able to go underground 3,000 feet or throw coal into a furnace, they surely have the ability to learn how to program.
Biden’s comments come at a moment when natural gas has taken a good share of the market previously dominated by coal and when coal generation continues to go down. At the same time, coal exports from the US to Asia and Europe are experiencing a series of roadblocks imposed by towns and cities that decided to put limits on how much of the fossil fuel is shipped from their ports.
The former vice president’s remarks were not entirely well-received, even within his own party. Brianna Wu, candidate for the House of Representatives in MA District 8 and a software engineer, tweeted that Biden’s comment seems to be tone-deaf to the needs of mineworkers who have lost their jobs.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 53,300 people were employed in coal mines in September 2019, far below the 79,400 people employed in the sector a decade ago.
It’s not the first time Biden has made comments that call into question his connection to the realities of unemployed Americans.
Following a presidential debate on December 19, the Washington Examiner published an op-ed titled “Is Joe Biden trying to lose the Rust Belt?” This, after the Democratic candidate did not elaborate on how, if elected, his government would provide opportunities to blue-collar energy and mine workers to transition to well-paying jobs as the US is pushed to move toward a green economy.
Anybody notice the resemblance between Joe Biden and Walter, comedian Jeff Dunham’s talking dummy. Just saying.
Computer programming requires an aptitude to a certain type of thinking and an understanding and ability to use logical thought. To think that a group of people can be taught computer programming and apply it effectively shows a total lack of understanding of what is involved. There are plenty of college undergraduates in Computer Science that assume they can program and while they can write some code it doesn’t make them truly good programmers. The truth is Joe Biden hasn’t a clue what he is talking about anymore than he understands how to retrain miners in new skills . His comment is at the least laughable and an insult to miners intelligence. I spent a good part of my working life in programming so I have a little more knowledge in this area than Joe Biden
Russ how did you get in to coding? now why couldn’t a coal miner do the same thing?
Russ, I’ve been telling people this for years. You can learn the technical aspects of programming but if you don’t have the aptitude for it, it isn’t going to happen. I saw this with my kids and with their friends who went to college with the intent of becoming programmers and then quickly changing to business administration.
To Russ, maybe you should try it and see how you make out…
Oops. The last part was meant for Brent.
I did, and I am a software engineer, I think you’re being pretentious if you think because people are coal miners they cant be coders. That being said this isn’t a plan to help anyone but with help and effort i believe anyone can code
“You can still be anything you wanna be” ~ ye