Nowadays, the internet is all pervasive with virtually any country in the face of the earth being connected to the World Wide Web. As one can understand being connected does not solve all the problems. Yet here one should remember that the amount of internet users and the availability of internet technology is what matters in the future development of the Hi tech industry in the given country (Stephenson, 91). The first world countries of the USA, Japan and Western Europe have computers everywhere and a great opportunity to be involved in the development of technology.
Speaking about developed countries I would like to note that 100% of businesses in the USA and Japan have computers at the work place, while this number is 98% in Western Europe (Perelman, 34). The amount of computers at home is also relatively high with the figures of 45%, 60%, and 20% for the USA, Japan and Europe correspondingly (Perelman, 34).
The Less developed countries of Eastern Europe and Asia although have computers at work and home yet show much smaller results (60% and 10% correspondingly).
As for the Underdeveloped countries I would like to note that the computerization of such countries is extremely low. Less than 10% of businesses and 1% of homes have computers in the underdeveloped countries, with the absolute absence of one’s own technology or productive capacity (Perelman, 36).
Speaking about the implications of such digital divide I would like to note that it does matter in the long run whether a country produces computer or potato chips and whether it uses computers or calculators at the work place.
The under-computerization of the under-developed countries does not positively impact their future economic development. The first world countries that are Technology intensive, yet have expensive labor, utilize the computer and information technology to minimize costs and related expenses. By doing so, they managed to reduce the overhead and make their goods very competitive on the global arena. The underdeveloped countries that are low-tech yet rather labor intensive have cheap labor as their sole advantage that allows them to compete for the place under the sun with the first world countries. With the advent of the new information technology, these countries are no longer able to compete, because the first world countries currently start to drastically minimize costs and compete with the third world countries (Stephenson, 90).
Such difference in the technological divide that currently exists in the world makes the richer countries even richer while the poor countries even poorer. The children are not able to learn as productively as they could have should their schools or homes have the Internet. Thus, these countries initially have an educational disadvantage which in the long run means the whole country poor economic growth (Perelman, 37).
This situation indeed is essentially different from the past instance of technological inequalities as it has been the case with the electricity and combustion engine of the past. With the industrial revolution the European countries received the increase in productivity when electricity and gasoline if applied to machines or lighting allowed the factories employ fewer workers while receiving the same productivity. The good lighting allowed these factories run around the clock, thus utilizing all 24 hour day for productive work that is impossible in the underdeveloped countries. Yet still, much of the thinking and analytical work during the electricity and gasoline time had to be done by men.
Therefore, the underdeveloped countries in the past, I assume could compete with number of people employed and still receive large total output even with lower productivity. For instance the Soviet Union although technologically developed, still had a very inefficient agricultural sector. Yet, that country deployed a great number of workers and large fields and still managed to receive large total output despite minuscule yield per worker. With the advent of the internet, the communication, technological development and idea inter-exchange, let alone trade, entertainment takes place around the world 24 hours a day. Many of the contracts are singed by the click of the mouse, while the world e-commerce totals for more than 4 billion annually. Even if the underdeveloped countries manage to present a good product to the market, without the information technology and internet, they would have a hard time searching for clients or distributors, thus increasing their costs to the point of unattractiveness of their product (Stephenson, 93).
In conclusion I would like to say that the digital divide as a matter of fact, is a serious problem of the third world countries and of those who want to help these countries monetarily with hopes to boost their productivity and economy. Without the sufficient internet access that in turn allows to increase the education efficiency, work productivity and minimize costs, these underdeveloped countries are doomed to seclusion from the world largest economies and will experience negative growth of their economies.