The Stimulus Is Buying Hardware but Not Delivering Jobs

Kudos to InfoWorld
for taking a
hard look at stimulus spending
and coming to the conclusion that
something’s not quite right here. Ponder these data points:

Empty OfficeComputer Sciences Corp. (CSC) won two IT projects at NASA that total nearly $10 million. But no jobs are being created with that money.

CDW Government received two contracts, one for $2.4 million and another for $3.9 million, both for computer equipment and services at the U.S. Department of State. On both contracts, CDW said the "cumulative effect" of the awards resulted in four retained jobs.

Oracle was awarded $1.25 million for "custom computer programming services" for the Social Security Administration, but that project created no new jobs.

IBM was also awarded a Social Security Administration contract – this one worth about $8.5 million – to upgrade systems around the country. IBM put the number of jobs created or saved at 16.8.

In total, these projects represent about $26 million in federal spending and account for about 21 jobs either created or saved.

The article is full of intriguing facts and figures that vacillate
back and forth between optimism and pessimism, with pessimism seeming to rule
the day. While the federal government claims that stimulus money has created
640,000 jobs, it’s also been determined by consulting firm the Hackett Group that worldwide, 630,000 back office jobs were
lost this year, and more than half of those were IT-related. On and on it goes.

— Don Willmott