"The italian Information & Communications
Technology (ICT) industry is in dire straits. On March 10, 2010,
Assinform, the association of the bigger italian ICT companies,
announced that their 2010 forecast includes an estimate of 8000
lost jobs, after the 16000 already lost in 2009. One of the
solutions Assinform proposes to fight the crisis is what you may
call a "cash for software clunkers" program: state-financed
discounts for all companies that replace with newer applications
obsolete software that isn't working well anymore. At first sight,
this looks like a dumb, or at least useless, idea, for the reasons
explained below, but it could do well, after all, if implemented in
the right way. Cash for software clunkers does very little good...
"According to several italian ICT portals (Punto Informatico, Pc
Professionale and Nebenet) Paolo Angelucci, the Assinform
president, explained that, since human contribution in software
production is 2.5 times bigger than in automobile production:
""the positive impact on employment rates of every Euro of
public financing to ICT is 2.5 times bigger than giving the same
money to the automobile sector. In our case, financing would
promote consumption not only of mere goods or services, but of
human resources, with important positive effects on the employment
rates and overall productivity of the whole sector.""
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