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posted by LaminatorX on Saturday April 12 2014, @08:34AM   Printer-friendly
from the If-only-we-had-crumbling-infrastructure-in-need-of-repair. dept.

Barry Levine writes that former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is urging environmentalists to have some compassion for the coal miners they help put out of work because they can't be easily retrained to do other jobs. "Mark Zuckerberg says you can teach them to code and everything will be great. I don't know how to break it to you but no" said Bloomberg. "You're not going to teach a coal miner to code." Bloomberg, who is an environmental activist, said while he gives "a lot of money to the Sierra Club" to shut down coal-fired power plants and to promote green energy projects, society needs to "have some compassion to do it gently."

Thousands of coal mining jobs have been shed throughout the country, there were about two thousand fewer coal miners in March 2014 than at the same time last year. Coal-reliant states, like Kentucky have been hit especially hard with more than 2,200 mining jobs lost in that state alone last year a 23 percent decline. Bloomberg suggested subsidies to help displaced workers, like coal miners, and maybe even retaining. But Bloomberg said retraining isn't always an option, especially in an economy becoming increasingly tech savvy. Bloomberg stressed the need for the retraining to be "realistic."

 
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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by hemocyanin on Saturday April 12 2014, @03:54PM

    by hemocyanin (186) on Saturday April 12 2014, @03:54PM (#30541) Journal

    "The Republicans have been doing their share, "

    Indeed they have, ramping up national debt, massive redistribution of wealth upwards, starting unwinable wars...well done republicans.

    I totally agree except for the implication that Democrats have not been doing the same. All these free trade agreements with third world economies that bear no resemblance to ours -- that got legs during the Clinton administration. We've offshored significant swaths of manufacturing. People tend to look askance at the blue collar worker and just say "be motivated, go to school, learn to be a coder/accountant/doctor even though it's been 30 years since you were in school." But knowledge work is susceptible too -- even doctors aren't immune because it is so much cheaper to have an MRI read in SE Asia that here.

    examples:
    http://www.brw.com.au/p/sections/professions/benef its_of_offshore_accountants_z8jyi8TwasPeviRKj7XVHM [brw.com.au]
    http://www.nbcnews.com/id/44949425/ns/health-cance r/t/doctor-reading-your-x-rays-maybe-not/#.U0lg-Si RvkE [nbcnews.com]

    Free trade agreements between equal economies are good things, but the same agreement with a third world economy is suicide. And it's the Democrats who really got that rolling. Not that Republicans aren't happy to help. In other words -- they both suck beyond the ability of science to measure.

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