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Serious Business


Debate Info

6
4
Yes No
Debate Score:10
Arguments:9
Total Votes:10
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 Yes (5)
 
 No (4)

Debate Creator

ddjxie(58) pic



Is Giving an XO Laptop to Each Homeless Person a Good Idea?

In modern society, people are evermore relying on the Internet for tasks such as banking, job searching, keeping updated on recent news, remaining connected with friends and family, and finding various resources quickly. In "Internet access is 'a fundamental right'", published in BBC News on 8 March 2010, a BBC survey is discussed wherein it "found that 87% of internet users felt internet access should be the 'fundamental right of all people'." In order to access the Internet, a computer must be used.

However, homeless individuals have few worldly possessions and what they do have is worth relatively little. In particular, homeless individuals cannot normally afford to own and make use of a personal computer due to financial restrictions. Therefore, the following question is raised: should cities grant each mentally-sound homeless individual in the city a personal computer?

The computer in question is the XO Laptop, which is a laptop that costs under $200 when ordered in bulk. It was designed for the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) initiative by "experts from academia and industry" to be a "rugged, low-cost, low-power, connected laptop with content and software designed for collaborative, joyful, self-empowered learning." In addition to providing Internet access, this computer would enable the homeless to easily make use of open source productivity software that for tasks such as writing CV's and cover letters.

Although there are publically available computers with free Internet access offered by the public libraries, they provide limited time slots on the computers and the libraries are not always open. This deters people who are completely reliant on the public computers from working on projects that require large periods of time. In addition, the computers in public libraries do not allow individuals to install software which may be required for a particular task.

Yes

Side Score: 6
VS.

No

Side Score: 4
No arguments found. Add one!

Why should I pay for someone else to have a laptop? I know someone who just got their first computer, they're not homeless. What about the people who aren't homeless, but still don't have a computer? They still have to pay for internet service, if they can't pay for a computer, then I doubt they can pay for internet service. Then you would have to go through the whole, who's mentally sound and who's not discrimination. So, no. It would cost too much in the long run and would probably be more harm than good.

Side: No

Actually, if the homeless person takes his pan handled money to Starbucks, he can get free internet access. Lol, a homeless person at Starbucks accessing the internet through his laptop! It boggles the mind ;)

Side: No
Rob1ofme(3) Disputed
1 point

People were not born and raised homeless. They had good paying jobs at some point they had condo's, apartment's car's, some were even home owners with bachelors or PHD educations. They keep their belongings in storage and carry laptops to search for employment and affordable housing or living situations. Sometimes domestic disputes and violence cause them to loose their homes or get locked out or divorce legalities keep assets frozen, skills are outdated computer programmers are in homeless shelters, medical students are in shelters, people who just cant afford rent are in shelters because family and friends don't help them. So if you lost your job prospects because a political arrangement with China meant Chinese Americans will be hired instead of you and your friends and family want to see you fall on your face and don't help you. You will be homeless sitting in a Starbucks with your laptop searching for ways to make your college degree and skill matter and find a job or housing somewhere or in libraries or anywhere with a toilet and wifi....

Side: Yes
Rob1ofme(3) Disputed
1 point

I guess it's a matter of pride and reaching a successful stage in life where you have enough stability, wealth and satisfaction that you CAN help someone else. It's funny that urge or inclination to share or make someone else happy by seeing they have something they've always wanted or just have a craving for actually get it and have a moment of inner glow. Think of all the trouble shooting skills they will gain and online free training they will now have access to. The reputation or pure hype that America is the richest nation in the world would suggest all apartments come with built in desktops or have computer labs available in the basement or rooftop wireless labs as part of your rent bundle. I guess it's as simple as this "What kind of world do you want this to be? Would you rather see everyone have with the latest electronic gadgets and laptops and know you were a part of the richest nation on earth or do you feel that without inequality your acquisitions mean nothing and inequality in America gives you power as an elite in America?

Side: Yes
1 point

Nope, it's cheaper to have a dedicated room in libraries that are filled with computers for the homeless only, operating 24/7. This could be managed much more easily.

Side: No
1 point

Why would a homeless person need a laptop? Their main concern is finding food to eat and somewhere dry and comfortable to sleep. I know that if i were a homeless man i would sell the laptop and get a little cash out of it.

Side: No
Rob1ofme(3) Disputed
1 point

you will need access to aid information homeless organizations and social services wont tell you. Like which building have their own section 8 and financing if you are unemployed and homeless or low income and the right time to apply is only announced online and not in newspapers because they don't want an overwhelming number of people not truly needy trying to get it. Decent long term shelters where you are not thrown in with ex-cons, drug addicts & mentally ill people but may even have your own room or kitchenette. 24 hour job search and access to maps to arrange cheap ways to travel long distances or to other states for employment like $1 bus trips to Boston Washington etc...and the fact dept of homeless services will pay for your plane or bus ticket and keep your shelter bed if you need to return.

Where to find free clinics for blood test, treatments, dental, medications, medical devices, emergency care and referrals. Community colleges partnered with companies and vouchers to pay for job specific training with guaranteed placement upon completion. There are endless numbers of people to chat with, free social and holiday events, and good quality foods served to stay in touch with humanity.

A laptop is a way to keep trying to find something that will help you get back to normal living keep searching for jobs good pay, housing anything that will help you stay alive and become self sufficient and informed. Most people today are homeless because they have 3 low wage jobs but cant afford rent. They are perfectly normal but have no reliable connections like family or affluent friends to help them.

Side: Yes
1 point

Exactly. Having a laptop when I was homeless allowed me to find temp work (like stuffing envelopes), as well as find helpful services and free assistance. You get that warm, dry place to sleep and food to eat BECAUSE you have a laptop and a cellphone.

Side: Yes