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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Friday, May 25, 2012

It's not a game

The apparent demise of 38 Studios, with the loss of 400 jobs and Rhode Island taxpayers on the hook for millions in a major league tragedy. And it's an instructive tale about "welfare" in today's society.

First, let's stipulate that Massachusetts made a similar bad bet on Evergreen Solar. And that the future prospects for solar energy and gaming companies suggest each of these cases may just be the natural course of business.

But it is hard to ignore the high-profile founder of 38 Studios and his behavior in this saga, from his attempt to hold up governments in two states to finance his dream, then walk away without so much as a courtesy of telling Rhode Island officials he was throwing in the towel.

Schilling's greatest sin, as previously noted, is his preference to criticize government handouts unless it involves his own hands. There were also serious questions about the viability of his company, questions former Republican Rhode Island Gov. Donald Carceri failed to ask in his bid to gain what he saw as a PR coup in snatching a company away from Massachusetts.

The saga leaves a bad taste in the mouth of those who believe there is a role for government to play in encouraging businesses to build successful ventures that can create jobs and tax revenues. And it leaves an even worse taste about the business practices of a former Red Sox star who has come to personify the "do as I say, not as I do" mentality that afflicts all too many in our society today.

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