Computer technology or basic needs (2)? Компьютерные технологии или базовые нужды?
Many people believe that governments should spend as much money as possible on developing or buying computer technologies, while others think that governments should spend money on more basic needs. While both spending on computer technologies and on basic needs of the society are important, I think that government should concentrate on the latter. Computer technologies are not very good investments from the point of view of society as a whole, while investments in essentials have a much higher rate of return.
Investment in areas related to computer software, networks and hardware are not very profitable and will not improve life of ordinary citizens. Several years ago many people believed that by investing in computer-related fields we can improve performance across the board, but the reality has not been what we have thought about. Most of Internet companies and dot-coms went bankrupt. Although huge money was poured into those companies, many of them cannot stay in business anymore. The promise of improved performance has never come true.
Even in the United States, the most powerful and prosperous country in the world, there are still more than 20 million people who live below the poverty line. More than third of the earth population live on less than one dollar a day -the official threshold of poverty declared by United Nations. We can greatly improve the life of those people by investing in public education, organizing loan agencies or other projects that can help to alleviate poverty. What is more, computers can actually make this problem worse, because with the application of computer technology, more and more people are losing their jobs - thus making most of the world"s uneducated population obsolete and without means to sustain themselves.
Analysts expect that in several decades more than third of the population on the Earth will not have access to clean water. This can result in famine, deteriorate public health and other disasters. Some argue that we might have wars for the access to clean water. To prevent this scenario we need to invest a large amount of money in projects that will help to save clean water on our planet.
In conclusion I want to say, that investments in computers will not solve a single problem of our society. Computers will not prevent famines, which are so usual today, or help poor people. On the contrary, computers can make poor blue-collar workers out of work and money to support their families. So governments around the world should spend all available money on basic necessities of our society, not on some dream projects.