Personally, I think the question in the editorial is slightly skewed. I don't care how much training money is spent on my per year, but I do care that overall I get enough relevant training opportunities to ensure I can continue to do my job.
I don't think the amount spent on training should be used at all, except as a comparision with the cost of NOT doing it. Just because a training course costs a lot doesn't automatically make it efffective, and when you have a team of techies working together, the cross-pollenation of ideas and skills can sometimes mean a lot of the necessary learning is happening even before the courses are booked. I have even come across a few companies who set fairly generous training budgets, then use the fact as a weapon. "We've spent XXX on training courses for you. How come there are still problems you can't solve?"
I'd say the most enlightenment can come by looking at how decisions to train are reached. If your company integrates it into the whole performance review process, that's a good thing. If your company treats it in isolation, there's something wrong.
Oh, and for me, some years my company has spent £5k - 6k on training courses for me, some years it's spent almost nothing. However, the important point is that whenever I and my manager have decided some training is useful, my company has never said no.
Semper in excretia, sumus solum profundum variat