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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Schilling says RI played role in company’s trouble

Curt Schilling is blaming Rhode Island economic development officials and the governor for much of the financial troubles facing his video game company.
[...]
Schilling, 45, tells the newspaper he stands to lose all the money he saved while playing baseball, and rejects criticism that he is seeking a public handout.

‘‘I have done whatever I can do to create jobs and create a successful business, with my own income,’’ he said. ‘‘Fifty million dollars, everything I’ve ever saved, has been put back into the economy. The $49 million from Rhode Island has been put back in the economy. I’ve never taken a penny and I’ve done nothing but create jobs and create economy. And so how does that translate into welfare baby? I’ve tried to do right by people.’’

I’m pretty sure that people on welfare put the money back into the economy, too, Curt. They don’t just roll around in a big pile of welfare checks on their living room floor.

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 29, 2012 at 01:03 PM | 311 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business, curt schilling, red sox, special topics

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   1. Tripon Posted: May 29, 2012 at 02:09 PM (#4142192)
If Curt Shilling did not like the terms of the loan, THEN DON'T TAKE OUT THE LOAN.

   2. Chris Needham Posted: May 29, 2012 at 02:22 PM (#4142201)
It's the same attitude (to cross the streams) that the players who took steroids justified it: I'm working as or more hard than the 'other guy', so what I'm doing is ok.

Schilling doesn't view it as welfare because he and his company ARE (or were, I suppose) working hard every day. Welfare is for lazy people who sit around and get paid to watch Jerry Spring all day -- or so he'd say. Just as Bonds probably justified whatever he was taking as being ok because whatever he was likely on allowed him to work out harder and more efficiently than a random player.

It's their extra effort that allows them to justify these decisions in whatever worldview they have.
   3. zonk Posted: May 29, 2012 at 02:23 PM (#4142203)
Lenny Dykstra feels your pain.
   4. Guapo Posted: May 29, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4142206)
If you're wondering how this all ends, the answer is: on your TV, with Curt Schilling sitting in a boardroom being lectured by Donald Trump.
   5. zonk Posted: May 29, 2012 at 02:27 PM (#4142209)
If you're wondering how this all ends, the answer is: on your TV, with Curt Schilling sitting in a boardroom being lectured by Donald Trump.


My opinion on drone strikes has suddenly changed.
   6. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 29, 2012 at 02:34 PM (#4142214)
I really want to like Curt Schilling. He was a tremendously smart pitcher with impeccable control, which always made his starts fun to watch. He won some of the most important games in Boston Red Sox history. He was good at playfully taunting other clubs and other clubs' fans, he has some intelligent things to say about pitching, and he's a huge nerd who loves video games.

I'll be nice here, and just say that if I lost millions of dollars and saw my dreams die in front of my eyes, I'd also probably whine and complain in a manner that doesn't stand up to logical scrutiny.
   7. Tripon Posted: May 29, 2012 at 02:36 PM (#4142215)
Shilling also is now claiming he spent $50 million of his own money. He'll spend $70 million of his own money at this rate by next Monday.

Edit: Since I'm tired of talking about Shilling, lets talk about noted Yankee homer, Athony Bourdain. He's leaving the Travel channel for cnn, and taking his production crew with him.

   8. Swedish Chef Posted: May 29, 2012 at 02:41 PM (#4142216)
If he has lost it all (or most of it), wow. I love risk takers, but it's not a bad idea to salt away something for a rainy day.

At least he could make a decent living in media as a color commentator, NESN needs to figure out a way to make him stop talking every now and then though.
   9. mike f 2 Posted: May 29, 2012 at 02:42 PM (#4142217)
Shilling also is now claiming he spent $50 million of his own money. He'll spend $70 million of his own money at this rate by next Monday.

You're talking about the guy that spent $90 million of his own money!? COME ON!
   10. RJ in TO Posted: May 29, 2012 at 02:43 PM (#4142218)
It must be horrible, the way that Rhode Island forced him to relocate and take a huge loan.

I'm sorry things didn't work out for his company, and for his game, but I have a lot more concern for the welfare of the individual employees who now don't have a job and don't necessarily have all that much in the way of cash to fall back on, than I do for Schilling. Even if he lost a ton of money, he's not going to lose his house, and can easily make ends meet by just calling up whatever sports station is in the area and asking for a job as a high-priced talking head.
   11. spike Posted: May 29, 2012 at 02:50 PM (#4142223)
Setting aside his level of investment for the moment, I'd really wish they could have gotten a comment about the passing of 2nd mortgages to employees whose houses they claimed to have sold, and why the state was not notified in advance as required by Federal law of the layoffs

http://www.theverge.com/gaming/2012/5/25/3043282/38-studios-downfall-leads-to-second-mortgages-for-some-employees

http://www.necn.com/05/25/12/38-Studios-back-in-default/landing.html?blockID=714302&feedID=4753

From the second link, "Chafee also disputed repeated claims by Schilling - who earned $114 million as a professional ballplayer, including his 2004 World Series victory with the Boston Red Sox - that Schilling has put $30 million of his own funds into 38 Studios.

Chafee said that claim is "difficult to document" based on what auditors have been able to see so far, and "that's why it's so important to do that audit."
   12. Srul Itza Posted: May 29, 2012 at 02:52 PM (#4142227)
Anybody know how large a pension he gets from MLB?
   13. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 29, 2012 at 02:53 PM (#4142229)
From what I've read, it seems like the film tax credits Schilling says was promised to his company were not a part of the terms of the loan. The state claims that that while additional tax credits had been discussed, nothing was promised and, most importantly, there's nothing in writing about them.
   14. villageidiom Posted: May 29, 2012 at 02:57 PM (#4142234)
You're talking about the guy that spent $90 million of his own money!? COME ON!
Nice work, Gob.
   15. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 29, 2012 at 03:06 PM (#4142239)
Why was he getting film tax credits for a video game, anyway? They're totally different products - it's not like he was remaking "Night Trap" here...
   16. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 29, 2012 at 03:13 PM (#4142241)
I'm just at a total loss why anyone, wherever they are on the political spectrum, thought subsidizing video games was a valid governmental function. What's next, a Pavement subsidy?
   17. Tripon Posted: May 29, 2012 at 03:16 PM (#4142245)
I suppose states and cities want to create the new Silicon Valley.
   18. Srul Itza Posted: May 29, 2012 at 03:16 PM (#4142246)
If it helps to steal jobs from Massachusetts, then of course it is a valid government function.
   19. Select Storage Device Posted: May 29, 2012 at 03:18 PM (#4142249)
Why was he getting film tax credits for a video game, anyway? They're totally different products - it's not like he was remaking "Night Trap" here...


"Media"

Curt could have got a much sweeter deal in LA/TX and he wouldn't have had to pay jack-squat back.
   20. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 29, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4142253)
I'm just at a total loss why anyone, wherever they are on the political spectrum, thought subsidizing video games was a valid governmental function. What's next, a Pavement subsidy?


Video games are big business. If you support the idea of government providing tax benefits to business in a job creation goal then I think 38 Studios probably made as much sense as any other business would.

I'm not of that particular political mindset (like many here) but the video game industry is legitimately a big money maker and belongs with other industries receiving benefits if you believe in that method of economic stimulus.
   21. Tripon Posted: May 29, 2012 at 03:24 PM (#4142254)
That, and a physical permament business in your state is probably more diserable over a film that only spends a month at most in your state.
   22. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: May 29, 2012 at 03:25 PM (#4142255)
True, but SSD is right about why "film" credits. The lines between film/tv and video games have blurred tremendously (just ask IMDB).
   23. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 29, 2012 at 03:47 PM (#4142267)
The lines between film/tv and video games have blurred tremendously (just ask IMDB).


Do you have an opportunity to make choices that affect the ongoing narrative?

No, wait, that doesn't work...
   24. Johnny Slick Posted: May 29, 2012 at 03:54 PM (#4142272)
I really, really like Schilling and in fact I'm kind of hoping in the back of my mind (okay, I guess now it's moved to the front) that this incident moderates his political views. Not to get too down on conservatives but there is a certain segment of people who have never really faced adversity that they were not able to overcome. These people were able to overcome their situations through a combination of hard work and luck. I don't want to undervalue the importance of hard work in these cases - there have been plenty of people with the natural talents of Schilling who didn't work as hard as he did to nail them down - but sometimes all it takes for someone who has been in this situation all their lives to change their POV is to experience this kind of soul-crushing defeat for themselves.

But going further, I really think that politics are a small part of a person unless they want to make it a larger part, and that is sometimes a bigger deal with the person's character than the actual politics themselves. If Schilling emerges from this still defending the Free Market, I'll be disappointed but unless it turns him into some sort of bitter, ranting Paulite I'll just continue to focus more on the things #6 talked about.
   25. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 29, 2012 at 03:58 PM (#4142275)
For those catching up, CNN Money recaps the history of 38 Studios and the deal with Rhode Island. Notable excerpts:
The goal was noble: Rhode Island suffers from the second-highest unemployment rate in the nation -- 11.2% -- and has struggled to attract companies, which often prefer its northern neighbor Massachusetts. The pitch to politicians and taxpayers was that a big video game venture would help catalyze a local technology hub.
The loan was not popular with taxpayers. A poll done in September 2010 by CBS affiliate WPRI-TV found 54% of Rhode Islanders opposed the loan, versus 28% in favor. All candidates in the 2010 governor's election publicly opposed the deal, including current Governor Lincoln Chafee.
"The whole idea was flawed from the start," says Kevin Dent, a 14-year veteran of the industry who funds start-up video game companies.

"MMOs are the third rail of the industry. Even established publishers get into trouble with MMOs," he says. "The latest good product, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Electronic Arts spent $200 million to develop plus $80 million for post-launch content and support. Then they spent $50 million on marketing. You cannot make a MMO for $75 million. Rhode Island didn't do their due diligence."


Not noted in the article, but former Governor Donald Carcieri, who pushed the deal through, has thus far declined to make any statements regarding 38 Studios.
   26. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: May 29, 2012 at 03:59 PM (#4142277)
Video games are big business. If you support the idea of government providing tax benefits to business in a job creation goal then I think 38 Studios probably made as much sense as any other business would.


Is that true, though? I mean, video games are definitely big business, but I would guess they employ relatively few people, and many of those are likely to be highly mobile: a) not that many are likely to settle in your state permanently, because there aren't a lot of other game companies there AFAIK, and b) quite a few contributors to game development are ideal telecommuters. Plus, workforces tend to scale up and down depending on project lifecycle - you don't need many testers during the design phase - so if you're not careful, the least-employable end up unemployed again after a big project delivers.

Prestige-wise, I guess digging up the next Valve or Infinity Ward sounds great. In terms of number of jobs and amount of taxable income . . . not so sure.
   27. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 29, 2012 at 04:09 PM (#4142283)
Also, this:
38 Studios is a limited liability company organized under Delaware law, according to records at the secretary of state's office reviewed by WPRI.com. The company did register its business in Rhode Island in September 2010, but did so as an out-of-state LLC.

Rhode Island's tax credit law explicitly states that productions are only eligible to receive credits if the business in question is "formed under the laws of the state of Rhode Island."
38 Studios is registered as a Delaware-based entity.
   28. Johnny Slick Posted: May 29, 2012 at 04:17 PM (#4142291)
Well, as we've seen up here in "Silicon Valley North" (the Seattle area), having a base of people who know how to code makes this a really nice place for tech companies to come and live. Granted, this has a *lot* more to do with years and years of money being pumped into our universities' technology departments (Senators Scoop Jackson and Warren Magnuson, as notorious as they were for "bringing home the bacon", did a hell of a job in transforming the University of Washington into a top-20 school, probably top 10 or top 5 in computer science) and the emergence of Microsoft than one single loan pushed out to an MMO developer. As part of a larger program to entice tech companies to go to Rhode Island, though, I don't think it's the worst idea in the world.

ETA: Actually, the U-dub is 9th by the latest rankings, ahead of Yale and 4 other Ivy League schools. And as noted, that's overall; its computer science school is one of the things driving it into that ranking.

http://www.4icu.org/top200/
   29. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: May 29, 2012 at 04:25 PM (#4142298)
Wow, that "the money I took from the government went back into the economy, so it's not welfare" is astoundingly idiotic even for a conservative.

Does he honestly believe that the people he would consider to be "actual" welfare recipients are hoarding the money they get? Bullshit. It goes right back into the economy faster than Schilling could say "lucky ducky welfare queen".
   30. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 29, 2012 at 04:26 PM (#4142299)
The company did register its business in Rhode Island in September 2010, but did so as an out-of-state LLC.


Heh, awesome.
   31. Mayor Blomberg Posted: May 29, 2012 at 04:28 PM (#4142303)
even if he did put in $50M, if that's all he saved out of $114M as a player (we're not even talking endorsements in that figure) he was nobody I'd trust to handle money responsibly.
   32. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: May 29, 2012 at 04:31 PM (#4142305)
What's next, a Pavement subsidy?


Can you treat it like an oil well. When it's underground, out of sight?
   33. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: May 29, 2012 at 04:32 PM (#4142306)
Can someone here explain why so many business incorporate in Delaware? I mean, I assume it's favorable liability laws or tax laws or somesuch, but I've always wondered why.
   34. spike Posted: May 29, 2012 at 04:40 PM (#4142314)
Surprise! RI can just stiff everybody that bought the bonds if they want to.

http://articles.boston.com/2012-05-26/opinion/31849817_1_moral-obligation-studios-loan-guarantee
   35. Ned Garvin: Male Prostitute Posted: May 29, 2012 at 04:40 PM (#4142317)
Does he honestly believe that the people he would consider to be "actual" welfare recipients are hoarding the money they get?


This is exactly why raising the minimum wage is an excellent way of stimulating the economy - people earning minimum wage can't afford to save anything. They spend it all (on basic necessities), so all the money goes right back into the economy. Nothing boosts an economy like raising up the spending power of the lowest earners.
   36. puck Posted: May 29, 2012 at 04:41 PM (#4142319)
"MMOs are the third rail of the industry.


I had never seen this expression...I take it it means something along the lines of it's "too hot to touch," and not "provides the power that drives the entire train."
   37. spike Posted: May 29, 2012 at 04:44 PM (#4142326)
It means the third rail of the subway (not the two the wheels run on) is electrified and you will die instantly if you touch it.

"Social Security is often referred to as the third rail of American Politics" for example.
   38. aleskel Posted: May 29, 2012 at 04:45 PM (#4142328)
Can someone here explain why so many business incorporate in Delaware? I mean, I assume it's favorable liability laws or tax laws or somesuch, but I've always wondered why

Laws AND taxes. From Wiki:

Because of the extensive experience of the Delaware courts, Delaware has a more well-developed body of case law than other states, which serves to give corporations and their counsel greater guidance on matters of corporate governance and transaction liability issues. Disputes over the internal affairs of Delaware corporations are usually filed in the Delaware Court of Chancery, which is a separate court of equity[2] (as opposed to a court of law). Because it is a court of equity, there are no juries, and its cases are heard by the judges, called chancellors. Since 1989, the court has consisted of one Chancellor and four Vice Chancellors. The court is a trial court, with one chancellor hearing each case. Litigants may appeal final decisions of the Court of Chancery to the Delaware Supreme Court.

Delaware has also attracted some major credit card banks because of its relaxed rules regarding interest. Many U.S. states have usury laws limiting the amount of interest a lender can charge. Federal law allows a national bank to "import" these laws from the state in which its principal office is located.[3] Delaware (amongst others) has relatively relaxed interest laws, so several national banks have decided to locate their principal office in Delaware. National banks are, however, corporations formed under federal law, not Delaware law. A corporation formed under Delaware state law benefits from the relaxed interest rules to the extent it conducts business in Delaware, but is subject to restrictions of other states' laws if it conducts business in other states.

Pursuant to the "internal affairs doctrine", corporations which act in more than one state are subject only to the laws of their state of incorporation with regard to the regulation of the internal affairs of the corporation.[4] As a result, Delaware corporations are subject almost exclusively to Delaware law, even when they do business in other states. Among other reasons, this contributes to Delaware's attractiveness as a state of incorporation.[5]

While most states require a for-profit corporation to have at least one director and two officers, Delaware laws do not have this restriction. All offices may be held by a single person who also can be the sole shareholder. The person, who does not need to be US citizen or resident, may also operate anonymously.


Delaware charges no income tax on corporations not operating within the state, so taking advantage of Delaware's other benefits does not result in an income tax cost. That said, Delaware has a particularly aggressive tax on banks that locate in the state.[citation needed] However, in general, the state is viewed as a positive location for corporate tax purposes because favorable laws of incorporation allow companies to minimize the corporate expenditures (achieved through legal standardization of corporate legal processes), creating a nucleus in Delaware with operating companies often in other states.[5]

In addition, Delaware has used its position as the state of incorporation to generate revenue from its abandoned and unclaimed property laws. Under U.S. Supreme Court precedent, a state of incorporation gets to keep any abandoned and unclaimed property, such as uncashed checks and unredeemed gift certificates, if the corporation does not have information about the location of the owner of the property.[6] Delaware is becoming increasingly aggressive in auditing and assessing companies for unclaimed property. For example, it has deputized sister states to act as contingency fee auditors for unclaimed property.

A state may levy, however, a franchise tax on the corporations incorporated in it. Franchise taxes in Delaware are actually far higher than in most other states which typically charge little or nothing beyond corporate income taxes on the portion of the corporation's business done in that state. Delaware's franchise taxes supply about one-fifth of its state revenue.[7]
   39. Swedish Chef Posted: May 29, 2012 at 05:03 PM (#4142346)
What's next, a Pavement subsidy?

I'm sick of the forms
I'm sick of being misread
By men in Dashikis
and their leftist weeklies
   40. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 29, 2012 at 05:06 PM (#4142349)
even if he did put in $50M, if that's all he saved out of $114M as a player (we're not even talking endorsements in that figure) he was nobody I'd trust to handle money responsibly.

Huh?

$114M - 40% plus of that gone to taxes.
More to an agent.

It's not crazy.
   41. Tripon Posted: May 29, 2012 at 05:21 PM (#4142357)
I remember reading in 38 Studios article that the main reason Shilling wanted the tax credits, so he can in turn sell them to another company. I don't think he even sees the irony there.
   42. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: May 29, 2012 at 05:21 PM (#4142358)
$114M - 40% plus of that gone to taxes.
More to an agent.

It's not crazy.

Not to mention that how one handles a sudden personal fortune may not match how someone would manage a business.

If I run a small business, I know how to manage expansion, expenditures, etc.

If I suddenly get a multi-million dollar chunk of money personally, I'm buying a big house, a boat, and a couple of nice cars, because I bloody well want them. If that means I only have a few tens of millions of dollars left over, I'm good with that.

Of course, I won't take the remainder and dump it into some crazy business venture, but there you are.
   43. caprules Posted: May 29, 2012 at 05:24 PM (#4142360)
Shilling also is now claiming he spent $50 million of his own money. He'll spend $70 million of his own money at this rate by next Monday.


We don't know that anything about this is contradictory. Any reference to Schilling investing $20 or $30 Million could be from a year or two ago. Per the link in 25, 38 Studios was going through about $4 Million per month. $50 Million would cover just over a year. It's also important to note that while there was a loan guarantee of $75 Million, $25 Million of that had not yet been disbursed to the company.

and why the state was not notified in advance as required by Federal law of the layoffs


This is just my speculation, but my guess is they had no intent of laying off anybody. Schilling had a plan to get a $35 million investment, and it sounded like he was assuming he would get tax credits, which I believe could have amounted to up to $18 million. The credits and the investment would have paid for a years worth of expenses. That doesn't leave almost anything for promoting the game, and there is certainly reason to question whether the game would have been ready a year from now, as many MMOs seem to be delayed from initial projections. But it does sound like there was a plan to keep the company going for a year (it does seem like there were faults in that plan, as 27 seems to indicate the tax credits wouldn't be coming).

In terms of number of jobs and amount of taxable income . . . not so sure.


I believe that in order to get the full $75 million loan, 38 Studios had to have 450 employees in RI. As far as cycle with MMOs, I don't have full knowledge, but I don't know much decline of workforce there is. There will be bugs to fix, plus the company could start working on an expansion.
   44. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: May 29, 2012 at 05:33 PM (#4142367)
It's also important to note that while there was a loan guarantee of $75 Million, $25 Million of that had not yet been disbursed to the company.

I believe that in order to get the full $75 million loan, 38 Studios had to have 450 employees in RI.

Thank you for coming along and adding some critical details that, somehow, never seem to get mentioned in the press. :)

It certainly explains why they'd expand as much as they did, though that's kind of a troublesome way to secure financing IMO.
   45. spike Posted: May 29, 2012 at 05:35 PM (#4142370)
I am quite sure your speculation regarding the layoffs is accurate, certainly in in the larger sense. But Chafee said earlier the state probably could not turn down 38 Studios request for another 6m in tax credits once they paid the 1.1M due. Laying people off put them right back in technical default, which handed the state a reason to deny the credits.

//and as far as the very latest coverage in painstaking detail, this is the place to be - http://blogs.wpri.com/tag/38-studios/
   46. spike Posted: May 29, 2012 at 05:49 PM (#4142376)
And 50M was the max they were going to get from the 75 apparently. the state borrowed 75, gave Curt 50, and put 24 in an interest account to pay the bonds it issued, which will offset some of the taxpayer obligation.

http://blogs.wpri.com/2012/05/15/ri-taxpayers-actually-on-the-hook-for-112-6m-with-38-studios/

"It’s worth noting that about $23.4 million from the original $75 million loan was set aside as a reserve to pay the bonds back, so there’s some money available in addition to whatever taxpayers fork over.

Standard & Poor’s affirmed its A rating on the 38 Studios bonds, with a stable outlook, on April 20. Asked about this week’s developments, a spokesman for the rating agency told WPRI.com its analysts do not comment on rumors. The bonds are insured by Assured Guaranty Ltd.

Update: Just to clarify, Rhode Islanders are on the hook for $112.6 million in principal and interest payments on the 38 Studios bonds between now and 2020, but not every dime will need to come from taxpayers. As I mentioned above, $23.4 million was set aside in case something went wrong. Subtracting the $23.4 million from the $112.6 million total bill would put Rhode Island taxpayers’ direct tab at around $89.2 million."
   47. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: May 29, 2012 at 05:52 PM (#4142377)
Actually, the U-dub is 9th by the latest rankings, ahead of Yale and 4 other Ivy League schools. And as noted, that's overall; its computer science school is one of the things driving it into that ranking.


As a UW grad, I'd love to think that I'm an alum of the 9th-ranked university in the world, but what you're citing there is its rank in university website popularity.
   48. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: May 29, 2012 at 05:53 PM (#4142379)
ETA: Actually, the U-dub is 9th by the latest rankings, ahead of Yale and 4 other Ivy League schools. And as noted, that's overall; its computer science school is one of the things driving it into that ranking.

Dude, you linked to a ranking system that is based on google hits.

ARWU has UWash as the #22 CS department in the world: http://www.arwu.org/SubjectCS2010.jsp
   49. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: May 29, 2012 at 05:55 PM (#4142380)
coke to teddy F.
   50. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: May 29, 2012 at 05:55 PM (#4142381)
Wow, that "the money I took from the government went back into the economy, so it's not welfare" is astoundingly idiotic even for a conservative.

Does he honestly believe that the people he would consider to be "actual" welfare recipients are hoarding the money they get? ########. It goes right back into the economy faster than Schilling could say "lucky ducky welfare queen".


If he's like (some of) the conservatives I know he thinks they spend it on crack or pot or booze...

I know many many many people who *hate* what they believe "welfare" to be, and yet who have no trouble whatsoever with:

Unemployment compensation
Social Security

some have no issue with the following (but some do):
Disability
Workman's Comp
(Some people believe that fraud is so prevalent that any good that comes from such "programs" is outweighed by the good)

At a family gathering a few months ago, I mentioned feeling bad for the utterly ridiculous debt loads being taken out by students nowadays, especially grad students... I swear to god everyone over 50 and under 80 (except one whose daughter is in college), had the following reaction, "I don't care how much, they dam well better pay it back," some added stuff like, "It took me 7 years because I had to work dammit"- what really got me was the visceral anger some had at the very idea that I felt bad for debt loaded 20-30 somethings...

The people in my generation (born mid 60s), had trouble paying down student debts, we had more of it than the preceding generation, and our entry level job market was not as good as the preceding generation, now for the generation born around the mid 80s the debt load is much worse than my generation and the job market is also much worse, but the ####ing baby boomers seem utterly incapable of noticing such a change in economic/social conditions...





   51. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 29, 2012 at 06:00 PM (#4142384)
‘‘I have done whatever I can do to create jobs and create a successful business, with my own income,’’ he said.

And failed, apparently miserably and even with a welfare check. Free markets punish losers who plow too much money into unsuccesful businesses -- those are the rules. Stop asking for special treatment, Schilling.
   52. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 29, 2012 at 06:05 PM (#4142387)
The people in my generation (born mid 60s), had trouble paying down student debts, we had more of it than the preceding generation, and our entry level job market was not as good as the preceding generation, now for the generation born around the mid 80s the debt load is much worse than my generation and the job market is also much worse, but the ####ing baby boomers seem utterly incapable of noticing such a change in economic/social conditions...

In addition to setting up the conditions by which simply attending college meant accruing a massive debt, the baby boom generation has run the country utterly into the ground. The country is more punitive, more stacked in favor of the monied and privileged, and markets and people are less free.

The only real controversy is whether their actions in middle age and maturity -- the years of their power -- could have been predicted from the way they conducted themselves when they were young. I'd say yes, but the question deserves a longer treatment.
   53. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: May 29, 2012 at 06:09 PM (#4142390)
The people in my generation (born mid 60s), had trouble paying down student debts, we had more of it than the preceding generation, and our entry level job market was not as good as the preceding generation, now for the generation born around the mid 80s the debt load is much worse than my generation and the job market is also much worse, but the ####ing baby boomers seem utterly incapable of noticing such a change in economic/social conditions...

My personal, anecdotal observations tell me that older folks have a tougher time understanding how the world has changed. This is by no means universal. I'm in the same generation as you, and I certainly have no trouble seeing how things have changed with respect to student debt, but many of my contemporaries do not. Many of them also do not understand "rap" music (and mostly they mean hip-hop), and complain to each other about the way young folk don't pull up their pants.

At one point, I turned to a couple of neighbors and said, "It doesn't matter. Our opinions don't matter. Do you know what teens and twenty-somethings think when they hear people say stuff like that? They laugh to themselves. They think we're old people who are out of touch and totally irrelevant. And you know what? Advertisers are about to agree with us. We're just a few years from passing out of the 18-49 demo.

"And the most ridiculous thing is, none of you seem to remember what our parents' generation said about our hair, or our denim, or our music, or our grass. We sneered at them. Now these kids are sneering at you.

"Of course, you're entitled to your opinion, but I gotta say, hanging out in groups and ######## about kids these days seems like a horrible way to spend time. What's the point? They aren't going to change, and they especially aren't going to change because of us."

Needless to say I won't get invited to the next neighborhood party, but to be honest they've been annoyed at me since I refused to vote for the public water park.
   54. caprules Posted: May 29, 2012 at 06:10 PM (#4142391)
I thought this was interesting

Salvatore is due to receive $1.46 million from 38 Studios in October under the terms of a consulting agreement he signed with the company in 2007, according to a bond disclosure notice obtained by WPRI.com. He is also eligible to earn up to $5 million in royalties from net receipts of “Reckoning” and other 38 Studios products.


“Maybe I’ll never see a dime for those hundreds of hours [of work for 38 Studios], but I got the chance to work in the most incredible creative environment you can imagine,” Salvatore wrote. “So be it.”


I'd been hopeful for this game since I first heard about it years ago. Schilling enjoyed the same games that I did for the most part, and I wanted to see the game that he wanted to create. Salvatore clearly had faith in the vision to work without timely compensation. I won't hold out much hope, but I would love it if Copernicus gets resurrected somewhere.
   55. Mayor Blomberg Posted: May 29, 2012 at 06:10 PM (#4142393)
If he's like (some of) the conservatives I know he thinks they spend it on crack or pot or booze...


That's still part of the economy.
   56. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: May 29, 2012 at 06:19 PM (#4142402)
/and as far as the very latest coverage in painstaking detail, this is the place to be - http://blogs.wpri.com/tag/38-studios/

This is, in fact, a great place to get all the coverage. Thanks for that.
   57. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: May 29, 2012 at 06:19 PM (#4142403)
Can someone here explain why so many business incorporate in Delaware? I mean, I assume it's favorable liability laws or tax laws or somesuch, but I've always wondered why

Laws AND taxes. From Wiki:


Which can actually be boiled down to --

The head of every business that incorporates in Delaware receives a pony.
   58. villageidiom Posted: May 29, 2012 at 06:26 PM (#4142410)
I'll be nice here, and just say that if I lost millions of dollars and saw my dreams die in front of my eyes, I'd also probably whine and complain in a manner that doesn't stand up to logical scrutiny.
I'm sure Schilling has a point, in that if 38 Studios was in the neighborhood of insolvency, and it were announced publicly, prospective clients/investors would cut him off and he'd move closer to insolvency. So, in that sense, the public comments on their solvency situation did play a role in his company's current trouble.

HOWEVER...

(1) Your company bounced a check for $1.1 million, and you needed a deal with a new client in order to make payroll. To put the latter a different way, you needed to Ponzi your new customers. 38 Studios was already dead.

(2) With the money you got from the public, you made the public an interested party in the solvency of your company. If you have an inability to meet your public obligations, the public can say whatever it damn well pleases, whenever it wants. If you want to believe you got the deal with RI because of your hard work instead of some kind of welfare, well, the existence of such strings in that deal means that your hard work sucked. You stared the devil in the eye and asked him to dance. Congratulations.

   59. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: May 29, 2012 at 06:35 PM (#4142414)
You stared the devil in the eye and asked him to dance.

HEY! Which reference should Chris go with?

(A) If you want him to say, "Do you ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight," then text YES to 57514

(B) If you want him to say, "How'd you ever get the devil to dance / Get the devil to dance like that," then text YES to 57515

(C) If you want him to make an obscure Breaking Benjamin reference, then text YES to 57516

(D) If you want him to perform a Mexican hat dance, then text YES to 57517

Vote NOW!

   60. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 29, 2012 at 06:38 PM (#4142417)
You stared the devil in the eye and asked him to dance.

And now the devil knows he's dead and, well, that's not good.
   61. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 29, 2012 at 07:11 PM (#4142426)
Vote NOW!
TIL Ryan Seacrest posts on BTF.
   62. Downtown Bookie Posted: May 29, 2012 at 07:24 PM (#4142438)
The people in my generation (born mid 60s), had trouble paying down student debts, we had more of it than the preceding generation, and our entry level job market was not as good as the preceding generation, now for the generation born around the mid 80s the debt load is much worse than my generation and the job market is also much worse, but the ####ing baby boomers seem utterly incapable of noticing such a change in economic/social conditions...


One person's memories from long ago are a terrible thing to lean too heavily on; but I recall during the 1970's having several friends who, thanks to government student grants (not loans, grants) actually making a profit on going to college; as the grants they received were more than the tuition they were paying.

Yeah, times have definitely changed.

DB
   63. zenbitz Posted: May 29, 2012 at 08:04 PM (#4142489)
The old commies / beatniks / hippies 'round these parks just complain that in their day everyone went to college FOR FREE.

   64. dejarouehg Posted: May 29, 2012 at 08:50 PM (#4142571)
Anybody know how large a pension he gets from MLB?


Per an old friend, he said he was eligible to recieve $150K per year when he turned 45 years old, if he got 10 years of service in. (This was in the mid to late 90's) Every player also received 90K in misc royalties back then. Just some of the perks. Meal money (always distributed in cash), a ridiculously good health plan, great hotel room deals, etc.
   65. zenbitz Posted: May 29, 2012 at 09:09 PM (#4142595)
Wait... is Moyer earning a pension + a salary?
   66. Textbook Editor Posted: May 29, 2012 at 09:39 PM (#4142641)
What's next, a Pavement subsidy?


I totally support this. Several kegs a week, a few bricks of weed a week, picking up the cost of takeout & a crash pad/studio in Stockton... How much would that possibly cost the taxpayer per month? The feds take an ownership stake in the output/music licensing that results, and they might even make $ off the deal. A bargain for the taxpayer!

How can we petition to make this happen? And can we then move on to do a deal along the same lines for the remaining members of the Replacements?
   67. Ron J Posted: May 29, 2012 at 10:06 PM (#4142672)
#63 Don't know how much attention the student protests in Quebec are getting, but currently the fees are just under $2,000 a year. And the plan is to raise the fees $325 a year for the next 5 years.

I've talked to a few people about this and they're wondering what the fuss is about. As pretty much everybody points out they'll still be extremely low in 2016.
   68. zachtoma Posted: May 29, 2012 at 11:17 PM (#4142730)
#63 Don't know how much attention the student protests in Quebec are getting, but currently the fees are just under $2,000 a year. And the plan is to raise the fees $325 a year for the next 5 years.

I've talked to a few people about this and they're wondering what the fuss is about. As pretty much everybody points out they'll still be extremely low in 2016.


Yeah, why won't they just bend over and let themselves get shafted like students do in the good ol' USA?
   69. madvillain Posted: May 29, 2012 at 11:25 PM (#4142736)
#25 had the relevent quote:

You don't bank 50 million, or any number of taxpayer money, on a video game production company that is going "all in" with an MMO. MMO's success is seemingly mostly random. The money would have been much better spent on a company that was focused on creating low cost, small team developer based gaming apps for mobile and tablets -- to give one example. That 50 million would have went a lot further, although it's not as sexy as saying "we're gonna be the next WOW".
   70. crict Posted: May 29, 2012 at 11:45 PM (#4142742)
#68: grants are also improved, so a student from a family that has less than 65K in revenues will be unaffected or better off. Between 65K-100K, more grants and loans than before, but a bit worse. Only those above 100K will pay the full increase.

The left is up in arms over this.
   71. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: May 29, 2012 at 11:49 PM (#4142744)
The people in my generation (born mid 60s), had trouble paying down student debts, we had more of it than the preceding generation, and our entry level job market was not as good as the preceding generation, now for the generation born around the mid 80s the debt load is much worse than my generation and the job market is also much worse, but the ####ing baby boomers seem utterly incapable of noticing such a change in economic/social conditions...


Umm, baby boomer here. Currently putting kids through college. We may be crotchety, but we ain't funking blind and stupid. Sorry if it pisses you off to get shooed off my lawn, but I damned well do notice how much economic/social conditions have changed.

Needless to say I won't get invited to the next neighborhood party


And why should you? Telling the old farts that they don't "get it" is just the flip side of telling the punk kids to pull up their ####### pants.
   72. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 29, 2012 at 11:55 PM (#4142747)
If it helps to steal jobs from Massachusetts, then of course it is a valid government function.

Under that theory, a subsidy for any employer could be justified. But government isn't very good at picking winners over losers, and the subsidies end up going to the well-known, or more often, the politically connected, with all too often no public benefit flowing from the governmental subsidy. A very poor use of tax money that I would have thought Rhode Island couldn't afford.
   73. yb125 Posted: May 30, 2012 at 12:18 AM (#4142755)
$114M - 40% plus of that gone to taxes.
More to an agent.


Not that I thank that saving 50 mil of 114 is sign if poor judgment( in fact it's a pretty high savings rate) but if there is one thing I've learned from the millionaires I do know ( I only know a few and they are more of the "I could put together 5mil in cash pretty easily" type not "I make 15mil a year type") it's that the rich and smart don't pay those tax rates. They hire smart accountants that can use the tax law to their advantage and their don't pay anything close to 40%.

That being said if he really saved 50mil, that'f fairly impressive, sinking all into a AAA MMO being made by a new company is not, anyone even marginally familiar with the gaming industry could have told them it was a bad idea and I am sure some did. As others have said there are clearly way better gaming investments.
   74. Dr. Vaux Posted: May 30, 2012 at 01:10 AM (#4142763)
Kids today are mostly idiots and kids in the '60s were mostly idiots. It's not a matter of one or the other here. The kids in the '60s did something called "growing up," and started dressing more like their parents did. I suspect that's what will happen to today's kids, too. Most of them will still be idiots, though, just like most of today's 50 year-olds are idiots.

I have no idea how university tuition got so high, but I imagine it had something to do with those loans and grants. There's no ceiling on tuition, because no matter how high it goes, the middle class will borrow money to pay it. I also have no idea where all that money is going, since faculty salaries are no higher relative to inflation than they were thirty years ago, many departments are housed in old, decaying buildings, etc., etc. I can't fathom where universities are (apparently) costing so much more money to operate than they used to. They have more students, but that would be covered by having that many more tuitions paid at the former rates. Anyway, you can't cut out the loans now, because tuition is never coming back down. It's like the price of anything that way. Student debt is going to have to be treated radically differently from other kinds of debt, though, or hardly anyone from this generation is going to be able to get substantial lines of credit.
   75. Robinson Cano Plate Like Home Posted: May 30, 2012 at 02:44 AM (#4142770)
the rich and smart don't pay those tax rates. They hire smart accountants that can use the tax law to their advantage and their don't pay anything close to 40%.


Bullshit. There's precious little you can do about the tax rate you pay on wages. Schilling's MLB income wasn't capital gains.
   76. bjhanke Posted: May 30, 2012 at 04:58 AM (#4142780)
I'm a front-of-the-wave baby boomer (born 1947). My parents told me that they'd pay for 4 years of any college I could get into. I went to Vanderbilt, which wasn't cheap. I also took course overloads, so that I'd graduate in three years, and save my folks one year's money. Then I worked my way through grad school driving taxicabs and school busses. And I say this: What's happening to college kids nowadays is inexcusable. Nobody should have to work a full-time job AND go to classes AND take out ruinous loans, just to get an education. I don't know exactly what to do about it, but it's inexcusable.

Also, grants do NOT lead to "profit" just because they pay for more than tuition. There's books and HOUSING and FOOD to consider. And most grants require you to take a large load of classes each semester. I know of several people who have half a college education because they just burned out taking the required class loads while working a job to support themselves because the grant would not do that. This includes people who had spent tours of duty in the armed forces, partially to get the college help, only to find out that it only covered tuition and books and required a full course load. There's a reason that a lot of college kids are still living in their parents' basements.

So there's at least one boomer out here who did work for his schooling and who still thinks that the current mess is a disaster that needs fixing yesterdecade.

I'm also not sure that MLB players count, in the government's eyes, as "employees." They may count as private contractors, in which case, a creative accountant can get the tax bill down a lot by finding odd deductions. I should know. I worked the last 30 years of my working life as a contractor, and never had to pay anything like 40% in taxes.

- Brock Hanke (geezer who has teenage friends)
   77. BrianBrianson Posted: May 30, 2012 at 05:38 AM (#4142783)
@Vaux - there isn't any extra money; the difference is mostly that university used to be subsidised much more than it is now. This probably isn't true in all cases, after all, a business will charge you whatever you'll pay, and the evidence is pretty clear that people will pay anything for a university education, under the misguided belief it'll land you a good job. So some private universities may be making a lot of cash for their shareholders/golden parachutes/whatnot.
   78. RollingWave Posted: May 30, 2012 at 06:08 AM (#4142784)
A pro GOP millionare blaming the government for not giving him enough money.... hmmmmmmmmm

I feel sorry for Curt and his money, though talking as if the state gov owe him money for starting a busniess .. is rather dubious to say the least. and it's not like his busniess was into public contract and the governmen bounced his check or something...

   79. Greg K Posted: May 30, 2012 at 06:11 AM (#4142785)
I'm a front-of-the-wave baby boomer (born 1947). My parents told me that they'd pay for 4 years of any college I could get into. I went to Vanderbilt, which wasn't cheap. I also took course overloads, so that I'd graduate in three years, and save my folks one year's money. Then I worked my way through grad school driving taxicabs and school busses. And I say this: What's happening to college kids nowadays is inexcusable. Nobody should have to work a full-time job AND go to classes AND take out ruinous loans, just to get an education. I don't know exactly what to do about it, but it's inexcusable.


This is almost exactly my university experience (2003-present)

-Parents said they'd cover tuition for 4 years - living expenses I could cover.
-Working was slightly different. I cleaned toilets through my undergrad years, and some of grad school, but for the most part grad school has been paid for through scholarships that don't allow you to work (distracts from the thesis I guess...luckily there's no BTF clause in the scholarship contract).

Of course I did this partially in Canada (which as I understand it is relatively cheap in comparison to the US), and the UK...which is pricey, but I'm helped out by a bursary.

In the end I'm probably going to get out with a BA, MA and PhD (god willing) and about $4000 in debt (around $1500 of which I've already paid off).

Which obviously isn't to say that many students and grad students have it rough...I'm one of the lucky ones, most grad students I know are working full-time, studying full-time and taking on loans. To them I give the consolation of knowing that they are investing in a bright future whereas I'm coasting along now towards graduation and unemployment.

As for the Quebec protests...being out of the country I don't exactly have my finger on the pulse of Canadian political culture, but the unanimous opinions of my friends back home (mostly lefty, some right) is that the protesters are idiots for the reasons stated in #70.
   80. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 30, 2012 at 06:23 AM (#4142787)
I'm just at a total loss why anyone, wherever they are on the political spectrum, thought subsidizing video games was a valid governmental function. What's next, a Pavement subsidy?

I've been scratching my head ever since this story first broke, trying to figure that one out for myself. I'm getting the sinking feeling that this is one, two, many metaphors about the state of our country right about this.

---------------------------------------------------

If it helps to steal jobs from Massachusetts, then of course it is a valid government function.


That's as non-partisan a "bingo" as I've ever seen here.

Under that theory, a subsidy for any employer could be justified. But government isn't very good at picking winners over losers, and the subsidies end up going to the well-known, or more often, the politically connected, with all too often no public benefit flowing from the governmental subsidy. A very poor use of tax money that I would have thought Rhode Island couldn't afford.

Joltin' Joe, I think you need to adjust the dial on your sarcasm detector. That was Srul who made that comment, not the Governor of Corporate Welfare.

---------------------------------------------------

But going further, I really think that politics are a small part of a person unless they want to make it a larger part, and that is sometimes a bigger deal with the person's character than the actual politics themselves. If Schilling emerges from this still defending the Free Market, I'll be disappointed but unless it turns him into some sort of bitter, ranting Paulite I'll just continue to focus more on the things #6 talked about.

I've always liked Schilling in spite of his simplistic politics, but I hope that he realizes that if he talks the talk, he's gotta walk the walk. And next time he gets a brilliant idea like this, he might try kickstarter for his financing instead of the government.

---------------------------------------------------

At a family gathering a few months ago, I mentioned feeling bad for the utterly ridiculous debt loads being taken out by students nowadays, especially grad students... I swear to god everyone over 50 and under 80 (except one whose daughter is in college), had the following reaction, "I don't care how much, they dam well better pay it back," some added stuff like, "It took me 7 years because I had to work dammit"- what really got me was the visceral anger some had at the very idea that I felt bad for debt loaded 20-30 somethings..

I'm nearly 68, and I have no problem sympathizing with (most) students saddled with debt**. Duke cost a total of $2,100 a year in tuition & room (or $16,000 a year in 2012 dollars) when I entered in 1962, and now it's well over three times that. Not to mention that the unemployment rate has gone up by a staggering 190% since the month I graduated.

**But only if they don't own a smartphone and a wide-screen TV!!!!! (/homage to Ray)

---------------------------------------------------

In addition to setting up the conditions by which simply attending college meant accruing a massive debt, the baby boom generation has run the country utterly into the ground. The country is more punitive, more stacked in favor of the monied and privileged, and markets and people are less free.

The only real controversy is whether their actions in middle age and maturity -- the years of their power -- could have been predicted from the way they conducted themselves when they were young. I'd say yes, but the question deserves a longer treatment.


Jesus, there's no simplistic overgeneralization like a BTF simplistic overgeneralization.

So first the Boomers get blamed for draft-dodging and getting wasted on drugs, and now they're blamed for parroting the Tea Partiers, even though half the time you post here you make the Tea Partiers sound like the National Welfare Rights Organization.

Yeah, the Baby Boomers can't win. I'm sure glad I was born before 1946, or my guilt might lead me to hara-kiri.

---------------------------------------------------

Kids today are mostly idiots and kids in the '60s were mostly idiots.

True, but other kids in the 60's helped bring Jim Crow to its knees, and most kids today are far less susceptible to the right wing noise machine than their parents or grandparents. Give credit where it's due.

I have no idea how university tuition got so high,

There's no one answer to that, but the auction mentality is a big part of it. Take a look at where the Supreme Court and recent cabinet members all went to college or law school, and you'll see why the Ivy League and other elite schools are pushing the demand part of the equation through the roof. When parents see that an insanely disproportionate number of visible high government officials went to those schools, they think that without degree from one of them, their children will be sweeping streets for a living. And what do you think that this hyperdemand for an elite degree does to tuition? It sure as hell doesn't lower it.

Throw in the pullback in state tuition subsidies for public universities, and you've gone quite a ways towards explaining those frightening tuition costs.

   81. Downtown Bookie Posted: May 30, 2012 at 07:42 AM (#4142800)
Also, grants do NOT lead to "profit" just because they pay for more than tuition.


I have no doubt that they no longer do.

But I also know, for a fact, that for the time frame that I mentioned, for some that I knew, they did.

And, for the record, this is why I began my earlier post as I did:

One person's memories from long ago are a terrible thing to lean too heavily on; but I recall during the 1970's having several friends who, thanks to government student grants (not loans, grants) actually making a profit on going to college; as the grants they received were more than the tuition they were paying.


Because I knew odds were good that someone, who doesn't know me, would come along and claim to know more about my own personal experiences than I do; and also try to tell me that what happened in regards to my friends, who he also doesn't know, didn't really happen.

But that's the internet.

Anyway, bottom line is we do agree that the cost of a college education today has far exceeded that which a reasonable person would claim it should be.

DB
   82. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: May 30, 2012 at 07:51 AM (#4142801)
I have zero sympathy for Schilling. At the end of the day, he's still a rich guy with no real problems. Boo hoo, his video game fantasy company didn't work out. He can go make six figures being an analyst for baseball tonight now. I do feel bad for the employees who lost their jobs, though I would think talented programmers/designers could get rehired fairly easily (then again, who knows in this economy).

Plus, he is totally blind to his own hypocrisy.
   83. bjhanke Posted: May 30, 2012 at 08:00 AM (#4142804)
Bookie - No, I don't know your personal history. However, my point still stands. Paying for just tuition is not paying for all of college. If you made a profit on your grant, ONLY because it paid for more than just tuition, who was paying for your room and board? Tuition isn't the only cost involved here. I'm perfectly happy to have you tell me where the disconnect is, but all I see is that you claim a profit by ignoring all costs except tuition. How did that work for you? Were you living with your parents? - Brock (now thoroughly puzzled)
   84. Greg K Posted: May 30, 2012 at 08:05 AM (#4142807)
I recall during the 1970's having several friends who, thanks to government student grants (not loans, grants) actually making a profit on going to college

This was me during my MA. My grant covered tuition and living expenses, and a month-long vacation around Europe after it was over.

My current grant more than covers tuition, but in terms of total yearly funds I'm having to dip into my own funds a tiny bit to cover other expenses.

I'm probably the worst planner/fineprint-reader in the world, but when I was applying for PhD programs 2-3 years ago it seemed like most of them provided automatic funding. I recall having the impression that the University of Toronto provided full tuition funding and an accomodation allowance for anyone who got into the PhD program, and that this was quite normal. Does someone with a bit more knowledge on the matter have any insight?
   85. bookbook Posted: May 30, 2012 at 08:07 AM (#4142808)
Corporate welfare sure is swell. RI isn't different tan the other 49 states in trying to use loans and incentives to draw jobs, but it often backfires.
   86. Greg K Posted: May 30, 2012 at 08:10 AM (#4142809)
I'm not directly involved in this discussion, but I see I can address some of your questions in my experience Brock. For my MA I received a SSHRC Grant (I believe a committee established by the Canadian government to award grants to grad school applicants - as noted above I tend to be pretty oblivious to my surroundings). It was for $20,000 a year. Far more than I needed for tuition (I forget, probably something like $3000 a year) and an apartment, food etc. I wasn't allowed to work while I was receiving that funding (aside from part-time TA stuff) so it was my only income. I did have a full-time job the summer before I began my MA to save up money for it.

As it turns out I finished my MA in 2008 I think with enough grant money left over to pay down a big chunk of my undergrad debt, and take the Europe holiday.
   87. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: May 30, 2012 at 08:15 AM (#4142810)
I think about suicide at least once a week because of my student loans. I'm not kidding. Not, like, actionable thoughts, but definitely thoughts.
   88. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: May 30, 2012 at 08:17 AM (#4142812)
I'm probably the worst planner/fineprint-reader in the world, but when I was applying for PhD programs 2-3 years ago it seemed like most of them provided automatic funding. I recall having the impression that the University of Toronto provided full tuition funding and an accomodation allowance for anyone who got into the PhD program, and that this was quite normal. Does someone with a bit more knowledge on the matter have any insight?

I can't imagine getting a PhD without full funding. Who the hell would borrow for 6-8 years (average is 7 years now, I think). Maybe in a STEM field you could get some return on investment, but in Social Sciences or Humanities you might as well drive a car off a cliff.
   89. Downtown Bookie Posted: May 30, 2012 at 08:24 AM (#4142815)
One person's memories from long ago are a terrible thing to lean too heavily on; but I recall during the 1970's having several friends who, thanks to government student grants (not loans, grants) actually making a profit on going to college; as the grants they received were more than the tuition they were paying.


Bookie - No, I don't know your personal history. However, my point still stands. Paying for just tuition is not paying for all of college. If you made a profit on your grant, ONLY because it paid for more than just tuition, who was paying for your room and board? Tuition isn't the only cost involved here. I'm perfectly happy to have you tell me where the disconnect is, but all I see is that you claim a profit by ignoring all costs except tuition. How did that work for you? Were you living with your parents? - Brock (now thoroughly puzzled)

emphasis added - DB

No offense, Brock, but, based on the areas I emphasized, I'm starting to wonder just how closely you read my post. 8-)

Anyway, to answer your main question, yes, I had friends in the 1970s who received government grants to attend college, where the grants exceeded all their college costs. Their situations varied; for example, some stayed local and lived at home; many went to state colleges where tuition costs were minimal-to-non-existent; but the bottom line (if you'll pardon the pun) was that, after all was said and done, the funds they received from the government to attend college were greater than their total costs to attend college.

DB
   90. Greg K Posted: May 30, 2012 at 08:25 AM (#4142816)
What's interesting about PhD in the UK (or at least I found it interesting when I found out about it a few weeks after I started mine - that fine print again!) is that you either finish in 4 years or tough luck, go home.
   91. formerly dp Posted: May 30, 2012 at 08:35 AM (#4142819)
Throw in the pullback in state tuition subsidies for public universities, and you've gone quite a ways towards explaining those frightening tuition costs.

The recent NYT article does a good job laying out the complexity of the issue, but I think the cutbacks in state funding are a stealth factor-- schools have been passing those cuts along to students via tuition hikes. Faculty salaries certainly haven't risen, while workloads in may places have spiked.

I work in higher ed, at a state school (went to a state school for my BA and MA, private for PhD but only b/c of funding, paid a total of $15K in tuition for those degrees). What amazes me on a daily basis is, for some students, how little thought goes into selecting a school. Some of our students are paying $17K in tuition alone, and they literally have no idea why they chose to come to our institution as opposed to another (beyond "the girls are hot" and "campus looks pretty"). Of course, for 80% of them it was a decision taken very seriously; for the rest, they're saddling themselves with debt without much foresight. As the NYT piece makes clear, it's not really their fault-- the bigger conversation we need to have is about how difficult a time they'll have paying off that debt, and that's where schools need to step up to the plate.

   92. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 30, 2012 at 08:53 AM (#4142823)
I'm probably the worst planner/fineprint-reader in the world, but when I was applying for PhD programs 2-3 years ago it seemed like most of them provided automatic funding. I recall having the impression that the University of Toronto provided full tuition funding and an accomodation allowance for anyone who got into the PhD program, and that this was quite normal. Does someone with a bit more knowledge on the matter have any insight?

I can't imagine getting a PhD without full funding. Who the hell would borrow for 6-8 years (average is 7 years now, I think). Maybe in a STEM field you could get some return on investment, but in Social Sciences or Humanities you might as well drive a car off a cliff.
Insane as it is, it's also very common. In my field (Religion), only some of top- and second-tier programs offer only fully-funded places in the doctoral program (Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Emory, Vanderbilt, Duke (I think)). Chicago has several tuition-only or partial-tuition slots, as does Brown, Indiana, the UCs, Drew, UNC. I don't know for sure about other Ivies or the big Midwestern schools because they don't really have programs in my subfield, so they might be on the good list.
   93. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: May 30, 2012 at 08:54 AM (#4142824)
Drew has a PhD in religion? They just axed their PhD in English. Pretty campus, but the University suffers from a weird lack of sense of itself. It is not a Tier 1 Research U, but a very good regional university.
   94. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 30, 2012 at 08:57 AM (#4142828)
my grandson got a full ride to go to med school and get his phd and by full ride i mean tuition, books, and a living stipend. didn't know such things existed.

and yeah in the states and not in some backwater wiseguys.
   95. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 30, 2012 at 09:00 AM (#4142831)
Throw in the pullback in state tuition subsidies for public universities, and you've gone quite a ways towards explaining those frightening tuition costs.

The recent NYT article does a good job laying out the complexity of the issue, but I think the cutbacks in state funding are a stealth factor-- schools have been passing those cuts along to students via tuition hikes.


And that's exactly my point. BITD many of the best state universities were either tuition-free or had nominal rates of a few hundred dollars a year, and the auction mentality surrounding universities today wasn't even a factor.

Conservatives will often counter by stating the obvious, that there's no such thing as "free tuition". And of course they're right, but as usual they avoid the key question: Does society have a legitimate interest in seeing that costs become a non-factor, or at least a relatively trivial factor, in deciding who gets to go to college? Scholarships and grants can help applicants whose families are below a certain cutoff point, but they do little or nothing for those from middle income families who aren't prodigies in either sports or other specialized fields. It's students like that who become prey to the loan sharks.

And in this case, the critics of the Baby Boomers have a point, since the Baby Boomers themselves were the ones who were the chief beneficiaries of a far more enlightened policy that was a legacy handed down from previous generations. It's sad to see so many of these former students turn into latterday Ronald Reagans now that their own college days are well behind them.
   96. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: May 30, 2012 at 09:00 AM (#4142832)
PhD and MD? Why?

My program paid full everything plus stipend. $14k when I started, up to $18 k now. That was baerly enough to make ends meet in Boston.
   97. Greg K Posted: May 30, 2012 at 09:05 AM (#4142837)
My program paid full everything plus stipend. $14k when I started, up to $18 k now. That was baerly enough to make ends meet in Boston.

That was the advantage of a standard national grant. I'm assuming the $20,000 was designed for living in Toronto. In Saskatchewan it was like being a millionaire.
   98. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 30, 2012 at 09:06 AM (#4142839)
Drew has a PhD in religion? They just axed their PhD in English. Pretty campus, but the University suffers from a weird lack of sense of itself. It is not a Tier 1 Research U, but a very good regional university.
Drew has a Div School which is reasonably well-funded, and they have built a world-class faculty in fields related to Christianity - HistChrist, theology, and so forth.
   99. formerly dp Posted: May 30, 2012 at 09:07 AM (#4142840)
Does society have a legitimate interest in seeing that costs become a non-factor, or at least a relatively trivial factor, in deciding who gets to go to college? Scholarships and grants can help applicants whose families are below a certain cutoff point, but they do little or nothing for those from middle income families who aren't prodigies in either sports or other specialized fields.

That's the debate, but we're not having it-- instead we've just shifted the burden to families without having any sort of public conversation about it. Our public college system in this country is amazing, but it didn't build itself, and it won't last without funding. I've been at my current job for 3 years, and in that time our support from the state has dropped from around 12% to 8%.
   100. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 30, 2012 at 09:09 AM (#4142842)
PhD and MD? Why?
MD/PhD is a good way to get your MD without taking out huge loans. (And it's good credentialing for medical research.) The only drawback is that it takes 7-10 years to finish your double doctorates, and you still have at least three years of residency to follow. Can't imagine putting myself through that.
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