You need a telephone to get a job. It seems a pretty fundamental idea these days. Heck, it's nearly mandatory you have Internet access to find a job with a large number companies as Craigslist continues to usurp the lowly newspaper classified ad and a large number of jobs are only advertised online. This is not to say you need to own a computer, but at the very least you must have access to a public terminal at a library and a free email address from Google/Yahoo/Hotmail etc.
Of course, with continued threats of closures and cutbacks at the Philadelphia Free Library and I am sure similar situations in other cities, that's not necessarily a viable option. If you already have a job, but are looking to better your situation, and the library cuts evening and weekend hours, or shutters the branch in your neighborhood, then what do you do? You can't go to the library to check for new job postings during the day, you're already at work. Options? Did you see the new cyber cafe over on Tioga? I didn't either.
I can understand folks getting upset when they hear about the Free Government Provided Cell Phone! and wonder why their tax dollars are going to fund a life of luxury for someone else. But that's not really the case. From Slacktivist: "You can't get a job at McDonald's without a phone number." Further, that incredible luxury of a Free Cell Phone (with a whopping 68 minutes a month!!) assumes a maximum monthly income for a single person of just over 1,200 dollars, or about 14,600 dollars a year. Have a kid or two? How about gross income of 24K? Priced rent in Philly recently? A recent survey found a family of four in the City of Brotherly Shove needs nearly 60K a year to survive without government assistance.
Sobering numbers, and an interesting touchstone. What are you closer to, 60K/year or millionaire status? I'm guessing a majority of folks I interact with on a regular basis are far closer to, or even below, that 60K mark. So in a sense, most folks I know, and myself and family, are a lot closer to being poor than rich and have a far higher probability of becoming the former than the latter.