Economic Stimulus Advice


The transition team’s been getting lots of advice from a lot of corners.  Even IBM has been in the game.  The Wall Street Journal reports that IBM chief executive Sam Palmisano offered advice on the economic stimulus package – investing $30 billion in expanding broadband access, computerizing healthcare records, and improving the electrical grid could create nearly 950,000 good-paying jobs.

The advice was based on a request from the transition team to help analyze whether technology infrastructure investments could help stimulate job creation.  IBM vice president Chris Caine said “There are lots of econometrics on the number of jobs from traditional infrastructure investments; there aren’t any metrics for these kinds of calculations.”  So IBM worked with the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation to analyze job creation possibilities in these three areas and concluded:

  • Investing $10 billion in broadband networks to provide high-speed access to the internet could create 498,000 new jobs a year.
  • Investing $10 billion in computerizing healthcare records would create 212,000 jobs.
  • Investing $10 billion in monitoring electrical transmissions by utilities could create 239,000 jobs.

The IBM recommendations are in keeping with the company’s broader focus on a “Smarter Planet” where businesses, governments, and society can together tackle major challenges such as reducing energy consumption, addressing traffic congestion, and improving healthcare and food safety.  IBM has launched a “Building a Smarter Planet” blog, along with YouTube videos to encourage dialogue on these and other areas “challenging the planet.”

Here’s a link to the ITIF report, “The Digital Road to Recovery: A Stimulus Plan to Create Jobs, Boost Productivity, and Revitalize America.”

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