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Opinion: Michael Bloomberg’s fatal conceit

Michael Bloomberg

Video has resurfaced, as it has a habit of doing during elections, of Bloomberg discussing the progression of the economy from an ancient agricultural society, to the Industrial Revolution, to the burgeoning information economy. He began:

The agrarian society lasted 3,000 years, and we could teach processes. I could teach anybody, even people in this room – no offense intended – to be a farmer. It’s a process. You dig a hole; you put a seed in; you put dirt on top; add water; up comes the corn. You could learn that. Then we had 300 years of the industrial society. You put the piece of metal on the lathe; you turn the crank in the direction of the arrow; and you can have a job.

Bloomberg contrasted these forms of economic life with the information economy, which “is fundamentally different.” Learning “how to think and analyze” requires “a different skill set,” he said. “You have to have a lot more gray matter.”

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