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Technology Gets a Piece of Stimulus

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The $825 billion stimulus plan proposed by U.S. President Barack Obama and House Democrats includes a $37 billion investment in three high-technology areas: broader high-speed Internet access, computerized medical records, and smarter electrical grids. A study prepared for the Obama transition team concluded that putting $30 billion into those three areas could produce more than 900,000 jobs in the first year. In addition to creating jobs, advocates say government investment in these areas will create a foundation for more business innovation and efficiency, and help create new digital industries. "The appeal of these kinds of investments is that you not only get the stimulative effect but also build a platform for productivity gains and long-term growth," says former Federal Communications Commission senior official Blair Levin, a technology policy adviser on the Obama transition team.

Investing in the U.S.'s digital infrastructure will create as many jobs as public works projects, advocates say, and would be the modern equivalent of building highways in the 1950s. All three initiatives would require a broad base of skilled workers.

From The New York Times
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