U.S. Science Programs Could Fall Behind Via Fiscal Cliff's Sequestration of Federal Funds
November 26, 2012 10:12 PM
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The top states that would be hit are California, Maryland, Virginia, Massachusetts and Washington D.C.
Science programs in America may take a very hard hit if sequestration of federal funds takes place, according to a new study.
The study, conducted for the Aerospace Industries Association by Center for Regional Analysis Director Steve Fuller, shows that large cuts in employment in U.S. science programs could affect scientific progress and even non-scientific jobs across the country.
Currently, the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that 1,082,370 U.S. citizens work in the life sciences such as biology. However, if the fiscal cliff's sequestration of
becomes a reality, 31,000 of these citizens could lose their jobs.
"The 31,000 figure does not include the indirect job losses, such as subcontractors, suppliers and vendors, or the induced job impacts," said Fuller. "Induced jobs are those supported by employee's spending on goods and services, so these are unlikely to be STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) type jobs but rather retail, consumer services, education and health, construction and those types of occupations.
"The direct jobs are clearly the immediate losses and encompass most of the STEM-type jobs. There will be some subcontractor job losses, including some STEM type jobs. For DOD contracts in general, subcontractor jobs are about 26 percent of the total where the direct jobs are about 30 percent. The remaining job losses, 44 percent, are induced."
Furthermore, a potential $56.7 billion cut to the Department of Defense (DOD) would eliminate 14,982 science jobs out of the total 325,693 lost. Another $59 billion cut to the U.S. Geological Survey would mean another 15,980 science jobs lost.
Matthew Hourihan, director of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), further added that certain states like California would be hit the hardest with a potenial $11.3 million loss. The other four states in the top five included Maryland, Virginia, Massachusetts and Washington D.C.
An even more troubling outcome pointed out by Hourihan would be that American science would be set back by about a decade.
Another issue is grant proposals. Scientists will spend more time writing these grant proposals to keep their labs running and staffed rather than working on actual science. Also, a cut in federal spending could mean a $586 million loss for the American Institute of Biological Sciences, and a grant proposal success rate drop from 22 percent to 16 percent.
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RE: Keep cutting!
11/27/2012 2:11:43 PM
He's referring to MMT, a theory that explains modern monetary policy. It is derived from the understanding that sovereign debt and sovereign debt instruments do not behave like household debt, although people make the analogy (usually people seeking power) because it makes sense to the laymen even if it's totally inaccurate. When you realize that the Fed could simply buy US bonds and not collect interest on them then you truly realize that the US can spend unlimited amounts of US dollars. When you accept that to be true, you realize that the only thing that limits gov't spending is inflation, specifically demand-pull (too much money chasing too few products). Fortunately for the US, capacity utilization is low and unemployment high which makes demand-pull inflation unlikely.
Greece is another beast in the sense that its fiscal and monetary policy are detached. They have local fiscal control but are beholden to Europe's monetary authority. The other countries have imposed steep cuts upon them which have only served to increase their unemployment without closing the spending gap all that much, which kind of makes sense. If a large part of their GDP was public spending and they simply cut that spending then they also reduce their GDP and their tax revenue decreases opening up a new hole, which they continue to chase. Greece's best bet is to move off the Euro and regain some monetary independence. This will probably mean more expensive imports for them, but in the long run it will bring back employment.
And one thing you need to remember is that those countries you listed held debt denominated not in their own sovereign currency, something not true of the US debt. And many conservatives implicitly understand that the treasury could eliminate the debt tomorrow if it simply printed (rather digitally fabricated) the money. The concern is and always has been inflation and not some arbitrary debt or deficit number.
It has nothing to do with a "debt-based" economy or anything of the sort and more to do with the fact that the US operates its own sovereign currency that is non-convertible. When the currency became non-convertible (and really even before), monetary policy began playing a whole new ball game even though traditional thinking about sovereign debt hasn't moved away from its household debt metaphor even if the two have nothing in common.
RE: Keep cutting!
11/27/2012 3:43:57 PM
Is that you Cullen?
RE: Keep cutting!
11/27/2012 4:11:37 PM
If you're referring to Pragmatic Capitalism... no. My primary introduction to MMT came from Mitchell and Wray.
As far as I can tell, the primary use of measuring the debt and deficit is as a weapon against the other guys.
"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson
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