Monday, June 25, 2012

Bootstrapping: Tea Bagger Style

I have a ton of useless hobbies that I waste countless hours on, but sports isn't one of them (not meant to be an insult, it's just simply not my cup of tea). However, as I've mentioned recently, I am interested in video games, as well as politics, and here we have a situation where all three subjects intersect (sorta):

In his first interview since Kingdoms of Amalur developer 38 Studios' abrupt failure last month, famed Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling says he lost "just north of $50 million" of his own money trying to keep the studio he founded solvent, alongside hefty loan guarantees and investment from the Rhode Island government.
"I'm tapped out," Schilling told sports radio station WEEI. "I put everything in my name in this company. I believed in it. I believed in what we had built. I never took a penny from this company. I never took a penny in salary, I never took a penny for anything."

A recent bankruptcy filing showed that 38 Studios has only $22 million in assets against more than $150 million owed to over 1,000 various creditors, the largest of which is the Rhode Island Economic Development Corp. that guaranteed $75 million in loans to the company. Schilling is also personally on the hook for $2.4 million loan from Citizens Bank parent RBS Citizens. "The money I saved and earned playing baseball was probably all gone," he said. "Life is going to be different."

Let me just quickly bring everybody who hasn't been following this story up to speed. Curt Schilling is an avid video game enthusiast, and decided to create his own game development studio, called 38 Studios. Schilling's original base of operations was in Massachusetts, where he tried to get the state to help keep the studio afloat. Massachusetts told him to piss off, which presumably made Schilling sad.

However, fortune smiled upon him when in 2010, then Rhode Island Republican governor, Donald Carcieri said that his state would offer him a $75 million loan guarantee to fund his studio if he relocated to Rhode Island. Fast forward to the this year, and the we find out that the current Governor, Lincoln Chafee wasn't as starstruck with Schilling, and when signs were appearing that the company was being mismanaged, Chafee decided he wasn't gonna continue propping up the studio.

Schilling tried to save the company by seeking the help of venture capitalists, but didn't have much luck. Eventually, he was forced to lay off essentially his entire work force.

This is definitely a tragic story, many good people have lost their jobs, and Schilling lost a good chunk of his own finances. But regarding Schilling himself, I'm definitely not going to shed too many tears. Why? Because apparently, it turns out Mr. Schilling is an obnoxious and outspoken conservative, of the Tea Bagger variety. This is what he said the day before Obamacare was signed into law:

It really is not that complicated, I just don’t understand HOW people don’t grasp the concept of “Free Market”, and why left alone, it WORKS!

He also said at one point in the past (an in all likeliness, several times more):

If a conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation. A liberal wonders who is going to take care of him.
Ho ho! You don't say, Curt! So here we have a guy who clearly prides himself on being some rugged, constitution lovin', self made man, who, at the first sign of difficulty decided to sell out his principles and beg the evil gubment to swoop in and save him via the tyrannical hand of socialism (hey, there's only so much bootstrapping even a patriot can do). Welcome to the club, comrade.

Well, you're probably thinking to yourself, at least he's learned a valuable lesson about hypocrisy, right? Not to be partisan or anything...but if he managed to do that, he wouldn't be a Republican. See, the only thing worse than a hypocrite, is an oblivious hypocrite:

Schilling also defending himself against charges of hypocrisy from some commentators who say Schilling's outspoken criticism of government handouts and programs goes against his acceptance of hefty state funding to support his game studio. "I’m not sure where my stance and opinion in that we need a smaller government—I’m not sure how that correlates to this," he said. "The program was there for local businesses to use. ... That money was literally coming out of the budget into our company, going right back into the local economy."

1. You asked for a handout from the government, which theoretically goes against the idea of  "small government". Though I suppose it's okay to get handouts from the government if you happen to be rich.

2. You can make that same fricken argument (the money was going back into the local economy) about ANY welfare program!

It was obviously way too much to expect a Teapublican like Schilling to acknowledge that he's an unprincipled, opportunistic douche. It's an absolute farce that right wingers like Schilling are too proud to suck on the gubment teat. If anything, the ones who preach that bullshit usually tend to be the most egregious offenders ("Get your government hands off my medicare" comes to mind). All the while sneering in contempt to anyone else not like them who does the same.

And wouldn't you know it, when the government decided to let Schilling free market his way out of this mess, he predictably whined that it wasn't oppressive enough, what with its refusal to bail him out. One blogger from Fortune magazine said it best:

When Schilling absurdly insisted that he wasn't looking for taxpayer handouts, he shouldn't have been surprised when those hands turned into fists.

Also, I bet $75 million (tax payer funded, of course), that Schilling will go on right wing media and somehow blame his failures on Obama and the Democrats. It's really inevitable.

1 comment:

  1. That seems like a reminder to business people of just how badly things can go when someone who can get in your way, does.