Oral Communication

2021 ISSUE 02: Big Tech

Money is like stamina. The less you have, the harder it is to get even a decent amount. But the more you have, the easier it is to acquire even more.

The success of Big Tech has created a new class of the “hyper-rich”. In many developed countries with new burgeoning industries, it seems that even as the rich get richer, so too the poor get poorer.

1. What are the different groups featured in the video?

2. Could you describe a time you felt the need to help someone less fortunate?

RESPONSES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

on what propels her research on inequality in Singapore

“There are a lot of people who work as hard as I do, who are no less than I am, but who end up with very different outcomes because their employment does not give them the wages that could help them rely on themselves.”

 
on how her own hard experiences motivated her to volunteer with underprivileged children

“What surprised me most is how just a simple encouragement or a little talk when children are feeling down can do wonders. I think everyone can be a hero to someone else in their own way, and every hero is different. . . I hope I can be someone whom I needed when I was younger.”

 
on what motivated her short film to raise awareness and build empathy for foreign workers

“[Both foreign workers and us] work hard for a living, to feed our families… It’s weird how we see them everywhere, but we don’t know much about them… We know them as migrant workers, but we don’t see them as individuals with their own stories and lives”.

 

3. Can the rich be expected to help to the poor?

speaking to a tech giant on why they should give back more

“You made that money off the backs of… people being paid under the living wage and all of those people who are literally dying. No one ever makes a billion dollars. You take a billion dollars.”

 
on the stigma in Japanese society against accepting hand-outs

“Some women feel that their children won’t be able to walk with their heads high if they are on welfare.”

 
on social mobility being key in helping the poor

“[This] means making sure there are good jobs for locals –both graduates and non-graduates–with good career and wage prospects. Singapore needs companies and industries which not only contribute to the economy but also offer jobs that match [citizen’s skills].”

Note: Social mobility is the ability of a particular income group to improve their lives or social status in society.