Former Vice President Joe Biden has a track record for continually saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. Even so, his recent admonition to coal miners to “learn to code” marked a new low for the gaffe-prone Democrat.
Coal miners, journalists, and even fellow Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang effectively shredded former the VP comments, making it clear to both him and his fellow Americans that it is impossible to wipe out thousands of jobs and automatically expect those who lost their livelihoods to seamlessly move on.
Biden’s suggestion to coal miners to “learn to program” was met with silence by an audience who came to listen to him, and it’s not hard to see why. Retraining programs have a questionable success rate. Even those who successfully graduate and find another job often earn much less than they did when mining coal. What is more, programming and IT jobs may be plentiful throughout the nation, but they aren’t abundant in the areas where most coal miners live. In other cases, miners may not be able to leave due to rising costs of living and moving expenses.
As Democrat presidential candidate Andrew Yang accurately points out, many coal miners may have no interest in learning to program, and these individuals should be allowed to do the work they want.
Commentators are also pointing out that telling people what they should and should not do to earn a living comes across as incredibly snobbish. Careers in coal are indeed declining, and many coal miners may need to find another line of work at some point in the future. However, these hard-working individuals aren’t children who need to be taught how, where, and when to work. There are plenty of non-IT related job opportunities that local miners could receive training for. Good options of this nature include tourism, education, healthcare, and construction. However, elitist Democrat politicians tend to ignore these fields in favor of pushing retraining programs that look “modern.”
The former VP’s “learn to program” statement is reminding many pundits and voters alike of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s promise to “put coal companies and coal miners out of business.” It’s not hard to see why, as Biden also promised at the last Democrat presidential debate that he would be willing to displace hundreds of thousands of workers in order to pursue a “greener economy.”
The “learn to program” rant won’t soon be forgotten by swing-state voters. In the end, the Biden’s careless admonition could cost him the election.