[Beowulf] a postdoc in Canada
landman at scalableinformatics.com
Thu Mar 27 14:22:14 EDT 2008
Joseph Mack NA3T wrote:
> On Tue, 25 Mar 2008, Glen Beane wrote:
>> These stipends are exempt from FICA tax.
> This is just a way of short changing the post-doc by not giving them the
> same pension benefits that every other working person gets.
Hmmm.... deviating quite a bit from beowulfery ... but ...
not "every other working person" gets pension benefits. Last I checked
here in the US, there isn't a national pension system (yeah we have
social security ... anyone want to try to live off of that?). Small
companies, and most newer companies don't do pensions (for a very good
reason), rather using 401k's and similar devices.
That is the sidebar to the OT.
When I started looking at postdoc (eek ... that long ago?) positions, it
was not uncommon to see theoretical physics PhDs earning ~16-19k/year
US. No FICA exemptions. For a family of 4, this put you under the
Somehow, I am not quite convinced that the science departments offering
these grasped how the invisible hand of the market would decimate their
supply of new PhD's for these positions. You can fight the market, or
accept that there is a market and deal with it. The former is not a
wise course of action (though it had been standard practice when I was
looking at postdocs). The old Young Scientists Network had formed then
to discuss some of the abuses of the market and attempts to manipulate
the demand/supply curves to oversupply the market with talent, thus
keeping the price of talent low. There is a cost to every decision, and
flooding the market (then) has had longer term effects that are being
Back to your regularly scheduled cluster ...
Joe (a free-market capitalist)
Joseph Landman, Ph.D
Founder and CEO
Scalable Informatics LLC,
email: landman at scalableinformatics.com
web : http://www.scalableinformatics.com
phone: +1 734 786 8423
fax : +1 866 888 3112
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