What the author apparently missed is that the Internet is not a tangible item like a car or apartment. It is instead mostly about access to education and the American Dream.
I grew up in America in the 50's & 60's, and the "American Dream" we knew was a big deal. It has been defined many ways; but, for me, it meant the opportunity to change your economic standing and circumstances through hard work & determination. This opportunity happened via access...access to education, access to job opportunities, access to our government, access to the political process, access to mentors, access to healthcare, access to food/water and access to healthy activities.
Fifty years ago, the US Government, US businesses and US citizens understood the value of giving a hand up. They knew that we were all in this together and what made America great was what it valued – the health, education and welfare of its citizens. All of them.
Access was granted via public schools, local and state colleges, Pell Grants, low interest student loans, public transportation (freeways, trains, buses, subways), the US Postal Service, food stamps, a reasonable minimum wage, low cost healthcare, public utilities, US Parks and Monuments. These government-provided benefits were only the beginning. American businesses and corporations proudly offered their workers tuition reimbursement, pensions and healthcare insurance. America was proud of the American Dream, and the access we had made us the envy of the rest of the world.
That access is the reason that I, as a single mom of 2 kids, was able to support my children by working full-time and going to school part-time. We weren't rich, but we managed to have a decent life. After 17 years of going part time to school, I graduated with my bachelor's degree (and only $5,000 in student loans @ 5% interest!) Then I continued my education so that I could qualify to sit for the CPA exam. My dream was to be able to afford to help my kids pay for their college by the time they were in high school.
What I accomplished would be impossible today. America's focus has shifted from the health, education & welfare of its citizens to the almighty dollar & the economic welfare of corporate shareholders. As a result, access is being denied more and more. Education costs have skyrocketed and Congress wants to raise student loan rates, our freeways are giving way to toll roads and public transportation in most of the country is non-existent, healthcare and insurance costs have exploded, minimum wage hasn't even begun to keep up with the inflation rate, and water comes in bottles that cost as much as soda. Corporations no longer provide any type of pensions to their workers, and most don't provide education benefits either. It's no wonder that more and more are sinking into poverty, opening an ever-widening chasm between the Haves and the Have-Nots.
Our last, best hope for access to the American Dream is the Internet. Here we can access education/free facts; job listings; better prices for the things we need; our bank accounts, accounts for utilities, credit cards, student loans & every other imaginable type of account we can accumulate; news; family & friends; potential mentors & employers; political action; etc.
If we turn the Internet over to Corporations, access for those who can't afford to pay will be lost. And you can go ahead and bury that American Dream.