Monday, May 21, 2012 • 9:09 AM Post a Comment

A Schilling For Your Hypocrisy

posted by Pete Redington

Nothing ruins one’s staunch criticism of the nanny state like suckling from its coffers.

Former Sox pitcher Curt Schilling’s video game company, 38 Studios, was lured to Providence, Rhode Island from its offices in Maynard, Massachusetts by a $75 million state loan. But now that his company can’t pay the money back, and the Ocean State’s taxpayers could be left footing the bill, espoused fiscal conservative Schilling is being called a hypocrite by both fans and critics alike.

"For libertarian gamers stuck working today and unable to play the just-released Diablo III, here's something else to annoy you," Scott Shackford wrote at the website of "Free Minds and Free Markets," reason.com. "Rhode Island gave a game developer [Schilling] a $75 million loan guarantee, and now the company is in financial trouble."

I can think of 75 million reasons why someone like Schilling might accept this loan. But at the same time, I'd like to think that someone like Schilling would have more faith in his own advocated beliefs. (Even if they are beliefs of which I'm critical.)

"Curt Schilling, maybe you heard, is a Republican. He's made that clear many times in many different forums. He's campaigned for John McCain and Scott Brown," writes Kirk Minihane for WEEI.com. "And Schilling isn't a moderate Republican, this isn't Olympia Snowe or Susan Collins ... he's a Tea Party guy, wants the government out of our everyday lives, Tim Thomas with a splitter."

As Minihane points out, Schilling the blogger/radio guest/baseball analyst would be one of the first people to criticize Schilling the state-dependent video gamer businessman.

"If this was, say, 2010," continues Minihane, "and the state of Rhode Island had royally screwed up (which it did, the fault starts there) and was forced to bail out a company for $112 million, there's a pretty good chance you would have a spirited post on [Schilling's blog] about it."

It looks like the state of Rhode Island, and Schilling's 38 Studios will be sorting out this mess for some time. I have no idea what the best course of action might be.

But I agree with Boston Globe editorial cartoonist Dan Wasserman, who suggested that, in the meantime, Schilling is faced with a more immediate personal decision: "Game over, or abadon your free market fundamentalism and go begging for more state welfare."

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