back to article IT questions Obama's IT stimulus

As Republicans in the US Senate take their sharp knives to President Obama's stimulus plan, the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) has some free advice for America's lawmakers. CompTIA is thrilled that IT is playing such a big role in the stimulus package, accounting for $37bn of the $825bn in the House …


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  1. Richard Hebert

    This aint protectionism

    Exactly .. this is a stimulus package , a one shot deal meant to boost back the US economy ..

    So we all have to understand this is not something permanent .. we're talking about US taxpayer

    dollars and the way this is used to make a maximum effect on the home economy.

    I totally agree with them. Their money in their pockets where feasible economically.

    IT's just plain common sense .. Reverse the situation and think about your hard earned

    money .. would you like to send it overseas ?


  2. Andy Bright

    Yeah right

    All I see in this is a plea to let them stimulate the job markets in India and other parts of Asia. Being forced to pay decent wages isn't part of the deal for them.

    But fortunately stimulating the economies of foreign countries is not what this bill is about, nor is it about stimulating the pay checks of IT CEOs.

    What they seem to want to ignore is that we have a tiny little problem of unemployment in the US, and a lot of that has to do with greed. Greed that rewarded quantity of transactions over quality of transaction in investment banks being a prime example. Greed that saw jobs shipped overseas is another. Cheap shite from China being sold in Walmart and Best Buy are examples of why so many manufacturing and IT jobs have disappeared.

    Yes it means the cost of things goes up if we buy American. But that also means more people are paid US wages, which means that perhaps they can afford to pay a bit more for the shite they sell in Walmart and Best Buy.

    A worry statistic if you like. Small businesses, usually the last to lay off workers and the first to employ them, let over 140,000 jobs go this month. That means there are not very many ways left for businesses to cut costs before they go bankrupt. Somehow I doubt this recession is drawing to a close any time soon, which means without some sort of stimulus, and this time a real stimulus and not just a multi billion dollar pay out to the pricks that created this mess, this country is going to go well and truly into the crapper.

  3. Daniel B.

    Re: Yeah right

    Man, I wholeheartedly agree with this. In fact, we are also victims of the Chinese offshoring! Mexico was *supposed* to benefit from NAFTA, only to find that most "maquila" stuff suddenly moved to China, leaving a bunch of Mexicans out of a job (and swelling the lines of border jumpers!) just because of greedy corporations who couldn't even keep the NAFTA deals.

    The other side-effect of the "maquila" economy has also hit recently, as most of the "maquila" industry is geared towards the automotive industry. Oops! Basically, tying our industry to depend on the US market means that when the US goes down, it takes us down as well.

    Anyway, the "Buy American" clause goes for infrastructure projects. It is only fair for US projects to benefit US taxpayers!

  4. Ian Coutts

    "Buy American" False Promise

    A subtle point that seems to be missing from the "Buy American" argument is that national economies are intrinsically dependent on international trade and commerce. I agree that on the surface at least it would appear that if America buys only American goods, and other nations also buy American goods, then America will benefit.

    One trouble is that plenty of goods are assemblies of parts that are themselves made in (perhaps several) other countries. It would be hard to distinguish what parts of a dishwasher, for instance, are acceptable to "Buy American" proponents and which parts must be left behind at the border.

    Another problem is that if non-American countries don't benefit in parallel to America then they won't be able to afford to buy American products. They will therefore either buy less of them, or buy equivalent product from less-expensive supplier nations. This would inevitably contribute further to migration of technology development centres outside of America. If we can't sell our stuff to America then we won't buy America's stuff, and we'll sell our stuff to all those other countries who need it but can't or won't buy America's.

    I fear the whole concept would extend the developing social, political, and military isolation of America from the rest of the world to economic isolation as well. Britain's experience with "splendid isolation" at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th led to two great wars with a global depression in between, and ultimately to universal recognition that global trade with reduced barriers was fundamental to global prosperity. Those who don't learn from history are destined to repeat it.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Nice rant until it went xenophobic

    There is no savings in sending IT jobs off to Eastern Europe or India.

    Eastern Europeans charge as much as an American if not more and do we like it or not - there it is a question of skill.

    Indians theoretically cost 10 times less. When you buy 10 Indian heads you pay for 1 worker, 2 in-laws in the supply chain, 1 cousin in facilities and 6 "Satyams" (or as they call them in Russia - "Mertvye Dushi") to provide the outsourcing company boss with a guaranteed bonus. Savings? My arse.

    So as far as any Indian jobs they can be insourced as long as productivity is boosted to ensure that 1 US or EU worker is indeed equal to 10 Indians. That can be the case, but it usually is not.

  6. Branson Connell
    Thumb Down

    Ya Know ...

    Since it's not your money being spread around, why don't all you people, including the author, just shut the fuck up.

  7. Mark
    Thumb Up

    IT skills shortage

    Doesn't it work like this

    1. Place ad for job with salary stated at well below market rate

    2. Get no responses

    3. Claim skills shortage

    4. Get in the boys from Bangalore.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Thank you for your input. We will cease to express our opinions when the US takes steps to limit its impact on the rest of the world (rampant bankers, sub-prime loans, dodgy wars, extraordinary rendition, political interference, abuse of WTO procedures etc etc etc).

    Until then please recognise that pretty much everything you do as a nation for good or ill impacts on the rest of the world.

  9. Anonymous Coward


    So, we need people to make things, things to make things with, and people who are also making enough interesting things that they can afford to buy the things that are being made by other people.

    That's an economy, folks.

    If the number of people able to afford to buy things isn't expanded, but is decreased, then you will end up selling less. This is why Protectionism is a *bad thing* (tm).

    The only long term stimulus that can work is to make the developing countries richer... This is especially true for the "developed nations" (US/EUR/JP etc.) where populations aren't expanding rapidly if at all, and we already have all we need. We need to create customers.

    ...but then we run into the fact that we're destroying our environment by constantly removing more stuff to make things with. I think a decade of depression might do more for teaching us energy efficiency than anything else, so I'm thankful for each and every ignorant protectionist redneck who's commented here so far. tx, really. tx agin.

  10. Joe K
    Paris Hilton

    Well, someone needs a cockpunch

    America leads the way in canning as many IT jobs as humanly possible, offshoring the rest to save some purely theoretical money, and making the industry about as attractive as asbestos mining, THEN worry about skills shortages for jobs that don't exist anymore anyway.

    Thanks America!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Evidently for CompTIA, IT = Indian techies...

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Also @Branson

    Keep in mind that it is our 'money being spread around' too. This is the discussion of the US stimulus package, but all the major US trading partners are doing the same sort of deficit spending. 'Buy US' clauses would be matched by 'Buy EU clauses, 'Buy Canadian' clauses and there general protectionism that made the Great Depression long and deep.

  13. vincent himpe

    of course they don't find IT people

    willing to work for a reasonable salary. Most IT people expect 100K+ dollar a year with no skills, simple because they buy a house and car way out of what they can afford ( or could ever afford).

    Everybody want a very well paid job ( and that is a perfectly normal human behaviour ) but only the ones with experience will get it. If you don't bring something to the discussion table , you won't get it.

    I know lots of 'specialists' driving around in luxury cars , living in upscale homes, that have 0 dollars ( or most of the time negative) in the bank. When they have to do something really difficult they bomb out. When they get sacked those are the first ones to complain they got replaced by a foreigner. Those foreigners get the same salary ( can't get a visum if you don't pay the same salary ) but are willing to work to build a future. And they will put in the extra effort. I know a bunch of immigrants too. Their kids are in all sorts of extra classes (mathematics sciences etc) do all sorts of extra work. Western kids are hanging in front of the xbox or wii nad drive big cars when they are 16...)

    The parents work fulltime, do weekend or evening school to get an additional degree or training. Westerners ? we loaf around in shopping malls and the beach.

    My point is : have reasonable expectations, do an honest days of work , put in some extra effort , and you will get and keep a job. These days it's all gimme gimme gimme.

    Unfortunately too many people are being led by example ( examples being: the fat cats in wall street and corporate top) Don't fall in that trap.

    One observation : most of the time the real specialists blend in. Over the years i have learned to shy away from the spit and polish guy that arrives in a suit, Nissan Z. and lives in a 750K dollar condo , yet comes straight out of school, or only has 2 or 3 years of 'experience'. That is an alarm bell going off.

  14. Mike

    Buy here first....

    No matter what country you live in, you should have the policy of buy here first. If you can't get something in your own company/city/state/country, then you should buy where you can, but buy here first should be your policy, even if it costs a little more to do so. Its the devil you know.

  15. Anonymous Coward


    The Porkulus Package will do nothing to shorten the recession and will likely prolong it. The Dems are in the midst of a feeding frenzy right now and are going absolutely orgasmic over the fact that they can get all their lovely little socialist programs in place. If actual stimulation of the economy is the desired outcome, it would be cheaper to send a cheque for $10 000 to each household in America! That will never fly, though, as it doesn't fit in with the design of making more of the populace dependent on gov't services nor does it provide the much-needed graft that more than amply lubricates the cogs of Big Government.

    Despite the cries of the revisionists, the New Deal didn't end the Great Depression - it prolonged it. And though some needed safeguards and controls were implemented, there was an awful lot of pork-barrel spending that accomplished nothing. Unfortunately, it took the Second World War to pull the economy out of the doldrums.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    @vincent himpe

    what utter balderdash and baloney ! The only IT persons I know who wear suits are the managers who scream for help whenever they manage to get their display inverted, and the wretched consultants. And they are the last ones to get off-shored.

  17. Ian Michael Gumby

    @vincent and AC


    The only IT people who wear suits are those interviewing for a job or the contract workers who have the skills to bail the companies out because their underpaid and undertrained staff only know the latest and greatest pieces of the pie. Try getting a junior java programmer to learn python scripting.

    You want irony? Check out cnn's money section. IBM Is offering their RIF'd employees a chance for work in a low paying foreign company. Meaning that they are trimming jobs in the US and if you're one of the US workers let go, you can go to India, work for Indian wages and if you lose your job in India, tough luck.

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