IBM Worries about US Losing Technology Edge

Sam Palmisano is putting 200 million dollars towards training workers to help keep jobs in the U.S.

The $200 million will be spent to train 100,000 IBM (nyse: IBM – news – people ) employees to compete for "high-skill jobs" like services, middleware and Linux systems. These jobs, he says, may otherwise have gone outside U.S. borders to countries like India, South Korea and China, which are rapidly "replicating the structural advantages that historically have made the U.S. the center of innovation."

It is this phenomenon that so troubles Intel's (nasdaq: INTC – news – people ) Grove. Earlier this month, he blamed the loss of U.S. tech jobs on protectionism, declining productivity, intellectual property litigation and lack of U.S. government support for sciences education. "I'm here to be the skunk at your garden party," Grove told the crowd at the otherwise upbeat conference.

I like ideas like this because I think protectionism doesn't work. The government should not help a particular company or industry stay in business, it should help citizens to be the best, most innovative, most productive that they can be. That is a better use of government funds, and will help the U.S. continue to rise to new levels of innovation while other countries play catch up.