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Updated: 2017-11-19T20:18:12+00:00

 



Raising the taxes of graduate students by as much as 300% will be a disaster for the USA

2017-11-19T16:24:07+00:00

Science and technology development has been the story of the past 100 years. The discoveries and innovations are progressing at a dazzling rate, much of this lead by researchers at universities in the USA. At these universities, a substantial amount of the work is done by graduate students, who work long hours (80 hours weeks aren't unusual) for little pay. These graduate students go on to work in good paying jobs, where their innovations make more jobs for others.

Start-ups develop to bring new innovations based on the skills graduate students learn (Google was the project of a couple of Stanford grad students, even Reddit benefited from the skills of a physics grad student/PhD, /u/keysersosa, the current CTO.) Grad school has been for decades a path to prosperity for those who come from humble beginnings but are willing to work hard, and make sacrifices, a system that has greatly benefited all of us.

This is why we scientists are shocked and appalled by the recently passed tax bill in congress which will result in the tax bills of already poor grad students going up by as much as 300%, which would see their take-home pay drop by 25%. As a former grad student myself, I can tell you that I would not have been able to continue if my pay had be reduced by $7,000, and many students would make the same conclusion. Instead, some will not go into science or they will leave the USA to be a grad student in Europe or Asia, most of these students will never return to the USA.

This is why every major science organization has voiced opposition to the current tax plan, make no mistake, this plan will undermine research and eventually the economy of the USA.

In comic form from PhD Comics.

What can we do to stop it? Call your representatives in congress and let them know. It hasn't passed yet, but it's about to. If we don't raise voices now, we will all regret it.

Edit: There is an official White House petition you can sign to express your opposition: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/opposition-taxation-graduate-student-tuition-waivers-and-remissions

submitted by /u/nate to r/science
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