Most people are aware of the many ways the poor are punished for being poor, says Alison Stine, in the form of additional financial burdens, such as “deposits for utilities, fees on check-cashing and bank accounts, payday loans—”a kind of a poverty tax—it marks you as undesirable and it helps keep you poor.”

But, notes Stine, there’s another type of poverty tax on technology that you pay with your time because “it takes a lot more time and ingenuity to access technology when you’re poor. It takes calling in favors from friends. It takes being at the mercy of parking and babysitters and business hours and irregular internet access at coffee shops and restaurants.”

While politicians ramble on about providing Internet service to poor, rural communities in far-flung places, the simple truth, says Stine, is that people in poor communities “need the internet to access help.”

 

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