The Promise of Access book cover

Daniel Greene looks at the politically expedient idea that the problem with the workforce is that they don’t have access to computers (technology) and the skills to use said electronic devices. This lets politicians off the hook in addressing the structural problems (poverty, homelessness) that contributes to lack of work and skill development and simply stick computers in schools and libraries and say that their job is done because now people have access. This is a typical capitalist trope that says everything is there for you, so it’s your fault that you’re not succeeding.

I found Greene’s book interesting, if somewhat dense. It’s very suited to an academic or someone that deeply understands the economics and gentrification of Washington DC, parts of which were over my head as not an academic or US citizen or someone that’s deeply interested in the politics of another country. Still, there was much good in this book and I’d recommend reading it if you want to understand how libraries and schools (the two examples used by the author) are used as a vehicle to reduce public services and turn everything into “business”.

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