Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America / CC BY-SA (

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg had a decidedly condescending take on farming at an Oxford University business school talk in 2016. 

At one point the nanny state mayor-turned-Democratic presidential contender contrasted the amount of “gray matter” needed to succeed in today’s information economy versus the agrarian society of yesteryear.

Per Mediaite:

“It’s a process,” he went on to say, referring to the agrarian economy 300 years ago, “you dig a hole, you put a seed in, you put dirt on to, add water, up comes the corn.” He then said working in the modern information economy is “fundamentally different, because it’s built around replacing people with technology and the skill sets you need to learn are how to think and analyze and that is a whole degree level different, you need to have different skill set, you have to have a lot more gray matter.” [emphasis added]

Despite Bloomberg’s attempts to couch his comments as being about farming’s past, his clumsy explanation and dismissive tone outraged critics from both the left and the right, who pointed out that modern agriculture is also, in fact, a very demanding, high-tech job that requires intelligence and critical thinking skills to be successful.

Here is a sampling of the near-universal condemnation he received online.

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