Six Days Without Internet: What It’s Like
Economic Inequality and Age Discrimination in the 21st Century
by Minister Paul J. Bern
I live in an apartment building 2 miles from downtown Atlanta built for seniors, the disabled and the homeless. We get a discounted rate for our rent and electric bills. We also had free Wi-Fi for internet access, up until this past week when it was inexplicably shut off without warning. That was this past Thursday, November 16th. At first I thought the internet was down, so I patiently waited until the following morning before I reported it. I waited all morning Friday, but hours later I still had no Web connection. When I checked back after lunch, I discovered that all the company employees all had internet, but the residents did not. That’s when I signed up for internet service on my own for the first time in over 5 years.
Access to the Web Is a Basic Human Right
The way that the residents’ internet access got abruptly shut off has really been bothering me, Here we are, one of the most vulnerable of citizens, the elderly, disabled and retired (I fall into the last two categories), and we get our internet taken away unfairly. There is no advantage to take away our formerly free internet connection, so there was no profit in it for the property manager, nor for the board of directors of the nonprofit who owns the building. They apparently did it just because they could, knowing that there would be nothing the residents here with me can do about it. It raises the cost of living at a time when retirees like myself and my neighbors can least afford it. That’s why I’ve been saying for many years that internet access is a fundamental human right. You know, like education?
America in the 21st Century: Home of the Disposable Human Being
The ugly truth about life in 21st century America as a disabled retiree is that once any worker reaches their 50s, they get thrown away by our vaunted capitalist economy. Evidently there are certain people in corporate America who think that discarding older workers is considered to be ‘good for the bottom line’. Yet it was Thomas…