Every welfare recipient will not only receive a cell phone, but also receive 250 free minutes.
An article on the Daily Mail online is reporting that the $4 billion Universal Service Fund will provide Pennsylvania’s poor, along with schools and libraries, free cell phones. The task of paying for the service goes to telecommunications companies, who then apply a universal charge to their paying customers’ cell phone bills to recoup their costs.
Reading and thinking about all of this, my question to you is simple: is having a cell phone a civil right?
There was a time when the answer would have been a straight-forward “no”. Cell phones were luxuries. But nowadays, even children are being provided with cell phones, with reasons being cited including safety.
Assurance Wireless, a contract-free company that provides cheap cell phones (around $10 per handset), says that there are over 5.5 million potential users of the free cell phone program in Pennsylvania alone. That’s a lot of cost to cover.
Talking to the Pittsburgh-Tribune Review, Robert Rector from Heritage Foundation said that free cell phone programs are wasteful and unnecessary; especially given the current economic situation. Others agree. The Fox News video took the stance that providing cell phones as part of a welfare package was frivolous.
What do you think? Are cell phones a civil right?