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Being a RINO can be quite harmful
kunaifusu wrote in conservatalk
People in the video games industry had been observing this happening during the past two weeks:

To digest: a guy has founded a game studio and then went after the government money, resulting in swift yet dramatic bankruptcy of the studio and ~400 people being suddenly laid off with quite a few problems on top of being unemployed.

Why am I posting this here? Well, the guy's name is Curt Schilling, who has been pretty vocal about his Conservative views. If only he had followed what he preached this would not happen. And I don't mean anybody taking government money is going to fail, quite the opposite - there are so many people who prosper on the tax payer's dime. I just don't think the government does charity work for your private enterprise. When you take such money you have to kick back and in order to do so you need to stick to the certain moral standards. Seeing the result I doubt Schilling had this type of morals.

Here is something to think about: has this done any good (i.e. showing all the damage the government can cause when you try to deal with it honestly) or will this only be remembered as yet another Conservative being a hypocrite?

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I'm trying to digest your digest, but it is giving me indigestion.

a guy has founded a game studio and then went after the government money, resulting in swift yet dramatic bankruptcy of the studio

So you are saying that taxpayer money is jinxed? You drew a straight line between receiving the money resulting in an auto-trigger of FAIL.

It sounds more like their game sucked more than other games suck, so it didn't sell fuck-tons of units. 3 Million to break even on a product with no moving parts? Yeah, it's obviously the gummit's fault!

And what is wrong with getting a hand up from government? Are you insisting the money flow be only one way; from our pockets to the Treasuries?

I only read a couple of stories from a gamer blog, who probably has gamer bias. So I may not have all the facts. But all I see here is a bad investment, not some hammer hand shenanigans of the Mighty Rhode Island Gaming Industrial Complex shafting it to the little guy.

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a poor track record with how they invest tax payer money.

You may be right, but I can think of a few examples off the top of my head.

The Interstate Highway System
power grids
water management (damns, reservoirs, Corps of Engineers etc)
Wildlands management

Yes, every system has waste. And the more complex the program the more likely there is corruption in the process.

But looking that the bottom line, those programs seem to be doing just fine, from a ROI perspective.

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If you insist on narrowing the discussion to this one bad investment as THE example of 'business as usual', then I'll light a match to that strawman.

*poof* Now, let's get back to the meta.

Again, Pookie, you are not looking at the intangible return on investments in these programs. Tangible or not, there is a return on tax investment.

1. NASA (neither infrastructure or conservation) targeted funds yielded technology spin offs resulting basically in all of our present technology. Including computers.

2. The amount of commerce potential because of the Internet (arguably infrastructure) is in the quadrillions of dollars.

3. The economic impact of hydroelectric power (energy is neither infrastructure or conservation) is measured in the trillions of dollars.

4. Careful managed leases of public land (granted; definitely conservation) resources is measured in the tens of trillions of dollars.

You think any of that would have gotten off the ground without federal seed funds?

There is a bigger picture out there. It just takes the perspective if history to see it.

Be well.

Why should banks be picking winners and losers in the marketplace?

People in government simply are not in a position to know what a good or bad deal is, clearly. Either it's a situation where they're completely blinded by their desire to accomplish something that they ignore the track record

Wow, you just did it! With that comment, you drew a straight line between being a person in government service and stupidity.

But, um...


Even the 50th state on the list has over half the state elected officials with a college degree.

Yes, Jeff, government is entitled to take risk in tough economic times to help create jobs. In this case, the difference between success and failure was 1.5 million gamers worldwide buying a product.

Would you have felt better if the money had been spent on a small section of mountain road?

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In this case the conditions on the loan would destroy anybody:
the studio had to be relocated to the state physically and staff up to 450 people. All for 50 M they've got in total.
They needed about 2-4M a month just for the salary alone and the cost of relocation and hiring so many people I don't even know -on the West Coast hiring a single developer is 20-50K but there are many people who already live here or want to move, I'd imagine the great state of Rhode Island is neither as attractive nor as densely populated with the game industry professionals.

Edited at 2012-05-28 03:45 pm (UTC)

I'm not sure this had anything to do with the government money. It was about an unproven game company with a new IP thinking they were going to be a massive hit, then buying another game company. They over-leveraged, and needed 3 million sales on an RPG (hardly the most robust sector of games) that no one had ever heard of before, sold mostly on the back of R.A. Salvatore's "world-building" (which even most of his fans have never seen, given that Salvatore writes for other people's settings).

In any event, don't blame Schilling alone. Yeah, he was a bit hypocritical, but the reality is that Rhode Island's government had even less idea about the game industry than he did. He was promising that he'd grow his studio to be bigger than the current largest game company in the Northeast (Turbine) in ~3-4 years. All this on the back of an RPG - again, a much more "slow and steady" sort of market than, say, FPS games or sports games. 38 games was obviously simultaneously over-ambitious and desperate. They were willing to up and move for the money, which no one in the private market was willing to give them. That's two problematic signs. Then they bought Big Huge Games, a pricey acquisition for a studio that hadn't published so much as a demo. And yet, Rhode Island wanted the star power that Schilling brought, and to poach a "growing" (if you believed Schilling's baseless hype) company away from Massachusetts.

The reality is that, in this case, the government just made a shitty investment decision. I don't know that you can blame Schilling for taking a loan from them, one he originally intended to pay back. You can certainly blame the governor for giving it to him, though. I mean, do we call people who take out Staffords "hypocrites" because they're getting government help for their education?

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Of course, there is the question of why government making a shitty investment decision is any worse than private industry making the same bad decision...

Private industry does not make decisions like this - a bad decision in private industry is investing into something that does not bring profit, here government made sure that the investment will bury whoever takes it. There similar programs in many other states and nobody takes them for real business. Usually there are some hidden clauses that will let you take money for yourself, you just need to hire the people who made the law as "consultants" and they will happily consult you on the proper way of action.

So private industry doesn't make sure-to-fail bets? What, precisely, was the subprime/ARM home loan bubble, then?

Subprime was regulated so it was neither the private industry's nor sure to fail.

They over-leveraged indeed, with the government loan on the impossible conditions. So yeah, it's pretty much has to do with the government money.

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