Some people believe the range of technology available to individuals today is increasing the gap between poor people and rich people. Others think it is having an opposite effect. Discuss these points of view. What is your opinion?
Technology seems to promise infinite benefits for mankind. While it could be argued that the development of new technology always expands the gap between rich and poor, it is also true that the level of technology used in developing countries and low-income countries has been quicker than the developed countries over the last few years and this has helped to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor. So, both views have some ground which I shall be discussing in this essay.
There are many reasons why people say that technology increases the gap between rich and poor. To begin with, new technology itself tends to be affordable by only the richer elements of society and the poorer elements are denied the opportunities that this provides, such as the ability to be able to train for better paid work. It is understandable that because of their ability to acquire new technology, the learning ability within the richer elements of society is much improved. Therefore they get better job placements and continue to grow further.
What is more, with the power that wealth and knowledge brings, richer segments are more able to exert influence over the direction of society, usually to their own benefit. The poorer segment does not have this ability, and therefore their demands and needs tend to be driven lower down the list of political priorities.
On the other hand there are reasons to hold the opposite view. While it is true that the initial level of technology in lower-income countries was much lower to begin with, there is strong evidence of catch-up between middle-income and high-income countries. Technological progress increased 40% to 60% faster in developing countries than in rich countries. Use of some new technologies, such as mobile phones, has risen quickly.
Technology has created huge opportunities for the poor where none existed previously. For example, some technologies such as communications or networking give poor people a chance to earn a better living. It is not uncommon for some people who used to live in poverty becoming millionaires or billionaires by taking advantage of the internet. This has definitely led to narrowing the gap between the rich and the poor.
In conclusion, I believe that, technology can do both – widen the gap between the rich and poor as well as narrow the gap if the poor get access to it. Therefore, it is not the technology to blame for the gap; it is the access to technology which is to blame. So, we should see to it that everyone gets equal access to technology.