Essay 309 – Technology is increasing the gap between rich and poor

GT Writing Task 2 / Essay Sample # 309

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

Some people think that the range of technology currently available is increasing the gap between rich people and poor people. Others think that it is causing the opposite effect.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

Model Answer:

It is considered by some that the extensive use of modern technology is widening the gap between affluent and poor people, while others refute the statement. Although affordable technologies continue to permeate the developing world and help reduce the disparity between the rich and the poor at the initial stage, I believe, it risks widening the divergence between the rich and impoverished in the long run by shifting investment to advanced economies and wealthy people.

On the one hand, poor nations narrow the gap between people from different walks of life with the use of affordable technology such as computers, laptops and the internet when the technology is embraced by all. In simple words, access to technology allows lower-income groups to develop specialised skills and, help connect to employers to find jobs online. A good example here is “impact sourcing”, which refers to the businesses employing underprivileged people to carry out processing tasks that need human interaction but can be carried out on an outsourced basis. A study commissioned by the Rockefeller Foundation revealed that the market for impact sourcing was $30 billion in 2020. However, this is just the initial state, and the rich start to reap the wider benefits of technology by controlling that in the long run and eventually being richer. This risks the wealth disparity among people even more.

Moreover, many technologies like robotics, computer architecture, artificial intelligence, and machine learning also widen the discrepancy between the rich and the poor by shifting investment to either the developed world or to wealthy investors. This means that robots replace many unskilled workers, and the artificial intelligence revolution causes an increase in productivity, this in turn fuels overwhelming demand to invest in robots. Consequently, investment diverts from the poor nations to finance robot accumulation in the developed world, thus resulting in a decline in GDP in the developing nations. A recent study carried out by World Bank revealed that the divergence in per capita income between the rich and the poor has increased dramatically because investment gets to divert to industrial countries.

To conclude, although access to affordable technology initially helps bridge the gap between the rich and poor people, costly technology makes society more polarized. Therefore, the government should invest in raising skill levels so that the labour force can complement sophisticated and complex technologies like robotics and artificial intelligence.

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