The Virtual Middle Class Rises

The poor around the globe may still live on a few dollars per day. But price pressure on electronics like smart phones and computers have lowered costs of education and communications and increased the ranks of a virtual middle class. Expanded numbers of people connecting via the internet will have political and economic repercussions, notes Thomas L. Friedman in his column for the New York Times. New technologies are contributing to drinking-water safety, reliability of electricity in rural areas, affordable health care as well as dissemination of best practices in agriculture and other fields. The technologies have yet to reach full scale, Friedman explains. In his column he quotes Nayan Chanda, editor of YaleGlobal, as suggesting the technologies are rapidly expanding a new version of the middle class, built with connections and political empowerment rather than mere income. For example, the rape of a young student in India immediately ignited outrage, protests and demands for human rights and good governance. – YaleGlobal

The Virtual Middle Class Rises

A virtual middle class is rising in Asia, based on digital connectivity, not income – sparking a revolution, demands for human rights and good governance
Thomas L. Friedman
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Friedman is a columnist for the New York Times.
Copyright © The New York Times Company

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