IBM and ITIF calls on President-elect to pump $30B into IT

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From coverage at The Register

In December, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Palmisano made a presentation to Carol Browner, the incoming White House coordinator of energy and climate policy, and Julius Genachowski, a tech adviser to President-elect Obama (and presumably in the running for the chief technology officer of the U.S. position that Obama has said he will create) detailing how a $30bn stimulus package geared to IT would create jobs.

In fact, 900,000 jobs, according to a report in the WSJ.

International Business Machines Corp.’s chief executive, Samuel Palmisano, advised the Obama transition team last month that $30 billion in government investments in expanding broadband access, computerizing health-care records and improving the electrical grid could create more than 900,000 U.S. jobs.

The Register makes a reasonable observation about the healthy suspicion with which we should view this recommendation

Asking IBM if $30bn in IT investments could stimulate jobs is a bit like asking a four-year-old not only if they want a lollipop, but if they want to eat a whole bag of pops. What kind of answer do you expect from IBM? “Not many jobs, Mr. President-elect?” Not in this reality.

No mention of supercomputing in the document, which is too bad, and odd considering IBM’s position in our community. I think that taking a strategic 50 year view of the majority of where infrastructure investments should go would steer most of that federal money into steel and concrete since those have been largely ignored nationally since Eisenhower. But some IT investment is certainly reasonable.

El Reg, however, is not convinced on the merits of IBM’s total argument (I’m being polite)

So not only is IBM’s contention that a $30bn investment in these three areas (and presumably others) create 900,000 jobs in America suspect, it is laughable.


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