The Permanent Underclass: How Technology Affects the Classes

Essay by rdauffenbachCollege, UndergraduateA+, March 2004

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The issue of unemployed unskilled labor is becoming an epidemic in the United States. Currently technology is such a predominate force that it's not hard to see why those with little or no technical skills or specialized job training are finding themselves below the poverty line and out of work. The lack of technology and technological training available to the poor and lower class has lead to a division of the wealth in America. The digital economy is compelling employers to give preferential hiring treatment to those who have technology skills, and leave those with out to rely on our already strained social services.

A quote from a statistical brief from the U.S. Commerce Department summarizes the problem: "access to computers among children was closely linked to family income, race and education. For children at the lower end of the economic spectrum, lack of access to computers during their school years may further limit their employment opportunities as adults".

A study commissioned by the California Department of Education found 43% of families making less than $40,000 a year had a computer in the home, while 90% of families making $80,000 or more had a computer in the home. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that blacks make up 4% of the technical workforce at 33 major Silicon Valley employers; while Latinos constitute 14% of the workforce in the state they only occupy 7% of the technological workforce.

Personally I don't believe that race is the primary factor in this issue, although the numbers would seem to disagree with me. I believe that this problem is based solely on demographics and geographical location. It makes since that those in a poverty stricken area attending schools in poverty stricken areas would have less exposure to technology than those in an area of greater...