Has Information Technology benefited the poor ? If so how?
The IT revolution is very impressive by any standard. But who has benefited ? And who has lost?
Yes.Directly it helps poor people. Think about telephone(sms etc...) technology. If telephone is not there how poor people send messages cheaply.There are 1000s of examples
Whenever computerization is done there is lot of hue and cry and fears are raised that people will loose their job. However, it has proved wrong. Computerization and introduction of IT has proved immensely beneficial. If you take case of computerization of railway reservation, it has eliminated corruption at least by 80 %. Corrupt people are trying to resist computerization on the fears that it will leave no scope for them. Poor people are also benefited by the IT. During the manual reservation era, poor people had to bribe for booking their ticket but now they get it done easily at booking counters.
It's tough to say it has benefited the poor as a whole, or any group of people by income at that matter. It has benefited anyone who is technologically savvy, and if you so happen to be poor but good with computers or other technological inventions, than yes it has helped them.
I was on the train the other day and a guy was telling me how technology sucks, and that he used to be a toll booth collector, and now he's out of a job because of EZ pass, automated tolls. Well, yeah he's out of a job, which sucks, but he went on to tell me he was making $48,000 a year working at a toll booth and he got a pension. I then couldn't feel bad for him, considering I spent about that same amount to go to school get my degree, and am not even making that much yet either. Either way, he definitely wasn't poor but technology did not benefit him. But I also look at my one friend who is real poor, who know makes 80,000 a year right out of college, because he is smart with computers, and he's probably getting a raise this year to 100,000 a year. So it gives limitless opportunities for the poor, but you just have to take advantage of those opportunities.
My opinion is, technology is a passive object or body of knowledge, it can neither help anybody nor harm anybody. Such as a knife it can not cut a fruit nor kill a being until an active object do anything with it. alike this, IT helpfulness depends on how the powerful groups leads the world. The environmental impact of IT and its support industries are harming the poor lot more than the rich. It will be clear if anyone study the poor in china, India, Bangladesh. There poor people can use cellphone but can not afford the basic need such as quality health service, healthy food. Reversely, I think the over racing of technology is better than world war. But IT do not provide any special benefit to the poor, IT just make them consumer by using their weakness in sense of being well as a human.
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