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Man looking in microscope.
Add college students and researchers at universities and in the government to the long, long list of people who will be totally screwed by the sequester. Tens of thousands of students will face cuts to work study hours and other forms of aid, and cuts to research grants mean cuts to research jobs:
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) would be forced to delay or halt vital scientific projects and make hundreds of fewer research awards. Since each research award supports up to seven research positions, several thousand personnel could lose their jobs.
Those research cuts could affect students directly, as well:
With the loss of these federal grants, undergraduate research assistants would likely be the first to get cut, University of Washington vice provost for research Mary Lidstrom told Oregon Public Broadcasting.
It's not just the people, either. When you cut researchers, you delay or even lose the work they're doing, and if the researchers don't find new jobs in their fields, they may not be able to keep up with new developments such that they can easily come back if funding ever returns. So you lose the expertise and potential for innovation of at least some of the people laid off. This isn't a threat that exists only for less skilled researchers, either:
Although Harvard University has the largest endowment by far, they depend on federal dollars for 60 percent of research funding. With the sequester looming and after years of flat funding, Harvard has already begun to scale back its research, the Crimson reports.
You know if there are cuts happening at the richest, most prestigious university in the country, it's far worse at less wealthy, less elite institutions. So the sequester doesn't just mean pain right now for people who will lose work study and financial aid or their jobs. It means a major setback in the capacity of the United States to research health and science and more, not just now but for years to come.

All so Republicans can protect tax loopholes for giant corporations and the wealthiest people. (Of course, Republicans are not exactly the biggest fans of science, so what do they care?)

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 10:52 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It sounds like they are trying to make (3+ / 0-)

    the cuts as painful and unpopular as possible. Is that really the only way they could have cut the budget?

    •  THEY aren't interested in 'helping' the budget. (5+ / 0-)

      Repubs do everything to destroy our government functions, particularly wanting to eliminate any ability of the govern,ent to regulate anything.

      Repubs definitely want to scuttle the ship.

      If the cuts go through the GOP will work hard to make them permanent because they want to shut the government down and make it ineffective so corporations can come and go and do as they please.

      it's like a sociopathic child dreaming of killing their parents so they can stay up late, eat crap and watch tv.

      The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 11:10:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Repubs are still smarting from GINGRICH'S (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pluto, TheDuckManCometh, Rogneid

      shutting down the government during the Clinton years: that backfired so badly it's why few believe the GOP will let the shutdown happen if they believe they can't pin it on Obama.

      They want it shut down but want the blame on Obama.

      The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 11:12:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The actual government shut down (0+ / 0-)

        ...doesn't begin until March 27th -- when the debt ceiling crisis hits again.

        The Republican position is that either we gut Social Security, Medicare, and Obamacare -- of they will force the Federal Government to default on its mandatory spending, including interest payments to global creditors. That will immediately cut the deficit to zero.

        Will the President hack away at entitlement programs -- or let the dollar and the national economy die all at once?



        Denial is a drug.

        by Pluto on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 01:02:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The sequester (10+ / 0-)

      was designed to be SO BAD that the two parties would have to come to an agreement to prevent it going into effect. That was the whole cockamamie plan all along.

      I was just talking this morning with my colleagues about what we can do to make an impact in our field, if we're unable to get new funding after our current grants run out.

      Do you not see that it is the grossest idolatry to speak of the market as though it were the rival of God?

      by kismet on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 11:13:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The cuts are across the board (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rebel ga, TheDuckManCometh, wasatch

      ...and arbitrary -- both in defense and discretionary spending. There is absolutely no nuance or cherry picking in the legislation.

      We are looking at a pattern that marks the steep decline of an empire, here. This shows up first up in such sectors as education, research, and science -- because both require a very strong central government to underwrite them and invest in the necessary human capital. A strangled and asphyxiated Federal government is little more than a zombie bureaucracy -- not the stuff of vision and greatness.

      Over the next few years, the US will be eclipsed by both India and China in the number of research papers published and patents acquired.

      The research and innovation will still occur, but the US will no longer be at the center.



      Denial is a drug.

      by Pluto on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 12:49:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  that's quite an optimistic prediction (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pluto

        With science and education so underfunded, there will be a vacuum for theocrats--who are always handsomely funded--to step in.

        The office of faith-based initiatives remains open, in defiance of the Establishment Clause, funneling public monies into the hands of private religious institutions.

        As legitimate educational institutions close down, all sorts of bizarre religious organizations of "learning" (i.e indoctrination) will flourish, preaching the most reactionary forms of superstition.

        The 1% cultivated the religious right in order to be assured of a power base that would obediently pull the lever in support of corporate interests. Religious fanatics can be relied upon to mindlessly obey their leaders; normal people are a little more restive and less compliant.

        It is a less extreme version of what is done in Saudi Arabia. And we will be like Saudi Arabia soon enough; our fossil fuels ripped up from the ground and exported to make corporate overlords overseas extremely rich, while American society gradually returns to the Middle Ages.

        "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

        by limpidglass on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 02:39:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Dear Limpidglass: (0+ / 0-)

          This is the first time that anything I've said at Daily Kos has ever been called "optimistic."

          I'm feeling a little flush, here.

          (I would like to tell you that I have been thinking a lot about Saudi Arabia. I firmly believe that, in the end, they will be our undoing. Probably sooner rather than later. Petro-Dollar, RIP.)



          Denial is a drug.

          by Pluto on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 05:23:29 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Sour Grapes! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TheDuckManCometh, wasatch, Pluto

      Republicans lost so now they're being as bad as they possibly can in retaliation.

      Guess Republicans never want to win another election; anytime, anyplace, ever again! Old saying gop, be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.

      I have a new diary. Occupy The Sequester/Immigration Info, Education Resources And Cesar Chavez

      Song for the gop. If the shoe fits

      Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

      by rebel ga on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 12:54:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is such a huge win for Ronald Reagan (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MPociask, ReverseThePolarity

    and the GOP agenda to destroy the US government.

    If it happens.

    Normally I think it would be just another case of bullshit kabuki and at the 11th hour and 58th minute a deal will be had and we'll go through this sociopathic bullshit again in 3-4 months.

    But, the GOP seems to think the can have their government shutdown - which gives all their little peckers a charge - while blaming it on Obama: Friggin GOP Holy Grail.

    I see that Obama likely has the upper hand in this, which is good, given that it does appear to be HIS bright idea to begin with. Neither here nor there, though.

    I think we will have Kabuki, once again.

    that's what I think based on history.

    The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

    by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 11:07:41 AM PST

  •  Dr. Elias Zerhouni, former NIH head (2002-08)... (7+ / 0-)

    had this to say:

    I think the suddenness of it and the depth of it would be a disaster for research, which is not an activity that you can turn on and off from year to year. It’s an activity that takes time. The most impacted are the young, new investigator scientists, who are coming into science, and will now abandon the field of science. There will be a generational gap created.
    I can speak as a working scientist who relies upon NIH funding.  This is really going to fuck us over from a scientific research perspective.  In addition to the basic jobs issue.
  •  People leave their fields in science every year (10+ / 0-)

    because they can't get a grant when it is needed.

    NIH/NSF already only fund 1/10 of the grant proposals they find worthy of funding.

    Most people doing science at universities aren't tenured and have no job security. They have to bring in their own money, or have a tenured prof bring it in. No money, no job.

    When people wonder why more Americans don't get PhDs in STEM fields, this is part of the reason why.

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 11:24:13 AM PST

    •  The main reason though continues to be (0+ / 0-)

      that that shit is HARD. In a country where your average guy or gal is math-phobic and has trouble with anything beyond simple arithmetic, it's not easy to find thousands of people who have no problem with differential equations, or Laplace transforms, or tensors. If they want more PhD's in subjects like physics they need to make the subjects easier (if that is possible).

      •  After the last five years... (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ltsply2, raboof, elfling, mudfud27, JerryNA

        I'd never suggest to any kid that they become a scientist.  It's not about the work being hard -- there are plenty of enthusiastic young ones that can work as hard as anyone ever has.  It's that the window of opportunity for young scientists is slamming shut.  The opportunities for "young" scientists -- in quotes, because the average "young" investigator is well into their forties -- are becoming scarcer every day.

        I'm a PhD scientist, and basically I've lost five very key years of my career.  I'm now "over the hill" and never really had a chance to get started. I'm not sure how much longer I have as a researcher.  I am literally spending over half my time chasing dollars that are moving further and further out of reach, which means that I don't have the time to do actual science.

        I'm watching really good people around me getting kicked around, watching good research projects die.  There's no fat to cut.  As people go, projects are understaffed, and everyone is falling behind.  

        I feel like I have to apologize to the others in my life -- my wife, my kids, my parents -- for being so stupid as to enter science.  I ask myself why I couldn't have just taken my analytically skills and done something this country actually values... I could have started a fraudulent hedge fund!  I could have written software to siphon money from poor people's bank accounts by new and exciting fees and penalties!  I could have devised new ways to lie, cheat and steal!  Instead, I wanted to try to figure out why kids get psychiatric diseases, in hopes that we can find a treatment.  Stupid, stupid, stupid.

      •  The reality is that we train scientists (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mudfud27, radarlady

        every year, even sometimes to the PhD level, who end up leaving their fields. There are a lot of PhD physicists working as computer programmers, and here and there, some working as photographers... or even baristas, because they needed health insurance.

        There are some very sharp frictions in hiring in STEM fields. You and I know that PhD physicist is a smart person with a strong background who can quickly come up to speed in a new field. However, there are fewer jobs for PhD physicists than we graduate each year, and those other graduates often find that people don't want to hire them because their specialty is slightly wrong or they're overqualified for the job opening at hand.

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Sat Mar 02, 2013 at 07:16:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The worst thing about it is how it affect new (5+ / 0-)

    grant applications. Existing grants may be cut by a few percent. Unfortunately, these cuts have become common in the last few years. But approval rate for new grants may be cut in half if the sequester continues for a while. That's b/c a lot of NIH budget goes to intramural research that won't be cut much and to existing grants that can't be cut all that much either. New applications get whatever is left.

  •  hits my biz too (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wasatch, LakeSuperior, Pluto

    I am sales director for a large biotech company that does most of our business in R&D at academic institutions.  Our company is in near panic mode over this.  I have now been told to freeze my three positions i have open to hire sales people.  That's 3 more jobs of people that will make a good living that gets taken out of the economy.  This thing just ripples everywhere and all so hedge fund billionaires and oil companies don't have to pay taxes.

    •  That's kinda the awful truth. (0+ / 0-)
      ...so hedge fund billionaires and oil companies don't have to pay taxes.
      But I have a question for you. You say you work for a biotech company that relies on academia research -- which takes place because we the people give them grants to do so.

      Do we the people get our money back -- or share in any profits, even -- if the grants we give yield a lucrative and commercial breakthrough?



      Denial is a drug.

      by Pluto on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 05:33:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sounds like pat's company is selling equipment. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fuzzyguy, Pluto

        Speaking as a researcher, we most certainly can't build everything, so we spend grant money on equipment. No grant, no money, no purchases going out to equipment manufacturers. And that's not even considering  the long-term damage cuts to science will do.
        O_O

  •  The head of research at Mt. Sinai Hospital (NYC) (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    UTvoter, raincrow, fuzzyguy

    was interviewed today and said they stood to lose $14 million in research grants.

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 07:33:02 PM PST

  •  It's worse than you think (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    UTvoter, beltane, raincrow, fuzzyguy

    My job as a database administrator for a cancer research program went away in the first round of austerity when the economy went to shit in 2008-2009. That job never came back and eventually I wound up back in printing, which is what I did when I was putting myself through college. This new round comes on top of those old research programs and their attending jobs that never recovered. Looks like "American Exceptionalism"® no longer extends to science.

    "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

    by MargaretPOA on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 07:35:39 PM PST

  •  It will also lead to brain drain (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ArchTeryx, mudfud27

    The best scientists at the best institutions can work anywhere in the developed world.  If their own country won't support their work, they don't have to stay.  We saw some of this in stem cell research when Republicans blocked funding to the field.  We'll see it in a huge way if the idiots keep taking a hatchet to the federal budget.

    Right now, on this round, it probably won't be a major impact.  The best scientists won't be the first ones to feel the cuts.  But it's inevitable that they will feel it, even if only in institutional support like lack of new faculty or undergrad research assistants or support staff or instrumentation, if the cuts continue.  And then they'll go where they're wanted.

    "And the President of the United States - would be seated right here. I would be here. And he would be here. I would turn - and there he’d be. I could pet ‘im." - Lewis Black

    by libdevil on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 07:46:14 PM PST

    •  The very top... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fuzzyguy, mudfud27

      ...i.e., the most established scientists, can go elsewhere, yes.  However Europe, locked in the grip of austerity itself, is not a very good destination right now for scientists.

      The rest of us?  We're basically going to be left to starve, metaphorically or not so metaphorically, along with the masses of the newly unemployed.  That our scientific capacity takes a generational hit is just the whipped cream on the crap sundae for those of us in the trenches, that never have known a prosperous scientific job market.

      •  I'm right there with you (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mudfud27

        I finished grad school right into the teeth of Bush's first recession.  Was finishing up my post-docs (plural) when he completely imploded the economy.  And now the Dems are on board with strangling it further.

        "And the President of the United States - would be seated right here. I would be here. And he would be here. I would turn - and there he’d be. I could pet ‘im." - Lewis Black

        by libdevil on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 10:41:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Oh c'mon, cuts only affect the nail ladies (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beltane, LeftyAce

    and all those other little people who don't really understand how it all really works.

    YES WE DID -- AGAIN. FOUR MORE YEARS.

    by raincrow on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 07:55:57 PM PST

  •  science (0+ / 0-)

    thats numero uno on the gops hit list, hell, they can't even spell the word much less understand it.

  •  Giant corporations don't do a lot of science (0+ / 0-)

    they mainly wait for the federal government to do it and then steal the scientists and their patents.

  •  None of these cuts will hurt Repugs (0+ / 0-)

    This is a party that doesn't believe in science so to them a bunch of scientist being out of work is perfect.

    ...the GOP seems perfectly willing to hold their breath until the whole country turns Blue.

    by tommy2tone on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 08:15:22 PM PST

  •  Hooray. (0+ / 0-)

    Cuts that hit everybody.

    If crap had been allowed to hit everybody in 2009, maybe we wouldn't have record levels of long-term unemployment now.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 08:24:10 PM PST

  •  Republicans don't care. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    The GOP can't win on ideas. They can only win by lying, cheating, and stealing. So they do.

    by psnyder on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 09:02:29 PM PST

  •  Hard times for a new engineering graduate (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drmah, elfling

    Hiring freeze since January at all the national labs. Most aerospace companies seem to be in a holding pattern, not filling  current openings or cancelling the job without filling. So much for the STEM field shortage!

  •  National Science Foundation also affected. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elfling

    NSF plans to reduced the number of grants awarded by about 1,000 (close to 10 %). PDF statement.

    "Great is the power of steady misrepresentation; but the history of science shows that fortunately this power does not long endure."--Charles Darwin

    by Hopeful Monster on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 09:08:24 PM PST

  •  Millions of $ of investment down the drain (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elfling, JerryNA

    The US government has already spent millions of dollars training researchers and this will all go down the drain as they dry up the jobs.  By training, I mean years and years of training.  After undergraduate, ~10 years of training (in biology) before someone can run their own lab in addition to the many more people who after that 10 years work in other research capacities in academic centers. Most of this training has been supported by federal research money to the tune of 10s of thousands of dollars per year (salary/stipend, benefits, training, research supplies, etc).  
    When research grants dry up and labs shut down and these people we've so heavily invested in go elsewhere and do other things, the echo will linger for long after the sequester is finally done.

    .-. . ..-. . .-. / - --- / - .... . / --- .-. .. --. .. -. .- .-.. / -.. --- - ... / .- -. -.. / -.. .- ... .... . ...

    by delphis on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 09:19:48 PM PST

  •  How long will it take to rebuild? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kristin in WA

    As the all-out onslaught against everything that was so difficult to build through the sacrifice, hard work, literal blood, sweat and tears of millions with a vision to create a great country continues at lightspeed - with the full co-operation of our 'Progessive' leadership; we helplessly watch the destruction of our system of education, women's rights, civil rights, workers rights, the very infrastructure of the country including roads, air traffic, police, fire, emergency services. How long before that heavy pendulum swings back, and the advances so hard won and torn away, are built again? Decades, another century - if at all? I'm now certain it won't be in my lifetime.

    Increasingly I feel like a passenger on the Titanic, watching what was once so grand and fine sink inexorably beneath me, and I stand on the deck helplessly with nothing I can do, and nowhere to go.

    Bqhatevwr, dude. Srsly. Bqhatevwr.

    by Fordmandalay on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 09:35:57 PM PST

    •  Rachel last night (0+ / 0-)

      was asking guest, Dan Rather, if he doesn't think this will make us all so much more vulnerable and less likely to be able to respond in the event of a major crisis.  Well, duh, of course but still it needs to be looked at and talked about.  It might not be just during the sequester but the ripple effects.  it certainly makes the country as a whole look like we've lost our shit.  I was making dinner so I didn't follow the whole discussion.

  •  Was The Deal Cut Weeks Ago? (0+ / 0-)

    Republicans got what they wanted.  They pleased
    their base.  They didn't close loopholes or create new
    revenue.  They can go home & tell their gerrymandered
    districts they did good.  They didn't back down to Obama.

    And what did the Democrats get?  They got to cut defense, leave entitlements untouched & blame the Republicans.

    It was a win-win for both, don't ya think?  

  •  They've been doing this since Dubya (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elfling, mudfud27, JerryNA

    I lost a research job when Congress cut NIH grant funding for the wars.  This kind of thing has been going on for a LONG time.  We probably don't even REALIZE from day to day, how much cool (and necessary!) stuff we don't have today because a bunch of research that was supposed to happen a decade ago was cancelled. :(  Someday, though, I think that pain is going to catch up.  My cancelled research was in the field of disaster preparedness.  That research might have one day prevented somebody from dying...  But now it's not going to.  We need to think more carefully about the long-term effects of de-funding research.  It's not just an inconvenient pain for universities and students-- what we lose might end up being our lives.

  •  republicans hate science (0+ / 0-)

    so this won't trouble them at all.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Sat Mar 02, 2013 at 04:24:37 AM PST

  •  The "Reason" Hard Righties Are Anti-Education Is (0+ / 0-)

    a subject of much research with some conclusions already in.

  •  Actual cuts are around 5% (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    radarlady

    NSF - 290M/5754M
    NIH - 1553M/31049M
    DoE Energy research programs - 5%
    NOAA - 5%
    NIST - 5%
    Department of Education:
    Elementary and Secondary Education - 789M/15772M
    CDC - 289M/5752M

    Our NSF program officer has said they are trying their best to mitigate the effects on existing awards, but new awards will be affected in a more significant way,

    Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd. Voltaire

    by Suvro on Sat Mar 02, 2013 at 09:39:16 AM PST

    •  That's 5% for the fiscal year... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JerryNA, radarlady

      but we're already 1/3 through the fiscal year, so the cuts are going to be around 8% going forward.

      Fighting for peace is like fucking for virginity, only not as much fun.

      by Toktora on Sat Mar 02, 2013 at 05:46:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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