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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: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 12 2014, @04:34PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 12 2014, @04:34PM (#30548)

    I think the bigger problem is the wave of professional jobs moving off shore. My company opened an office in India 18 months ago, and now has 100 employees there, mostly programmers and QA. My team now consists of three employees in the US and six employees in India. And they keep hiring more employees in India while in the US the company only hires a new employee to replace someone who quits. Everything from medical billing, back office accounting, technical support, software development, etc, if a company can move to a lower cost country, it will do it. It's a race to the bottom and the middle class is going to be wiped out. For all the talk about the "job creators", I see a lot more jobs moving overseas than not.

    The good thing about coal mining is that you can't move the company. The work is tied to where the coal is located. We should ship the coal to China and charge them a large tariff for their trouble.

    For the comment about "Would you like fries with that," the service industry is one of the few places where non-professionals can get jobs. Unfortunately, the jobs are low-pay and there is little advancement opportunities. And the service industry does everything in its power to keep the wages low, from union busting to lobbying to keep the minimum wage down. In the long run this is going to cause problems because the

    If Bloomberg wants to do something about the situation, he should move Bloomberg Inc from NYC to West Virginia. Having a large company as an anchor for inject money into the local service industry and help soften the blow when closing the coal plant.

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  • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Saturday April 12 2014, @07:01PM

    by maxwell demon (1608) on Saturday April 12 2014, @07:01PM (#30578) Journal

    I think the bigger problem is the wave of professional jobs moving off shore.

    Yeah, programming on the open sea is a bitch. All the time hitting the wrong keys because the waves shake the ship. ;-)

    The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.