State Subsidies To Hollywood: Almost Every Program Has Been A Dismal Failure, Costing Taxpayers

from the where-are-those-jobs? dept

So we've had a couple stories recently about the immense failures of taxpayers being forced to shovel money to Hollywood studios via various local "incentive" programs to try to convince the studios to film their movies in various locations. The studios, with the help of the MPAA, of course, continually argue that these programs create jobs, jobs, jobs. However, as the NY Times investigation pointed out, those "jobs" really don't seem to be appearing. Instead, film crews ship in a crew from LA or NY and hire just a couple of locals for low-level jobs... which last a few months and that's it. The impact on the local economy appears to be minimal. And, basically, the studios just keep asking for more money playing different locations off of one another.

Adding more data to this mess (which has grown massively in just the last decade), Adam Thierer points to a survey of studies looking at how successful those programs have been in various states... and found that nearly all of them have flopped. The various studies show that the return for such subsidies tends to be less than par (i.e., a loss) in nearly every state studied. There were only two exceptions: New York and New Mexico -- and both of those studies were done at the behest of the local film offices. With New Mexico, in particular, a separate, independent study found the exact opposite to be true, and found that the subsidy resulted in significant costs to the economy.

“Based on fanciful estimates of economic activity and tax revenue, states are investing in movie production projects with small returns and taking unnecessary risks with taxpayer dollars,” noted a 2010 Tax Foundation study. “In return, they attract mostly temporary jobs that are often transplanted from other states.” Studies of specific state incentive programs confirm this finding, almost universally finding miniscule revenue gains for every dollar of film subsidies offered. The adjoining table, derived from a meta-survey of film incentives studies by the Center on Budget & Policy Priorities, illustrates how much revenue was lost per net job created by film tax credits as well as how little revenue each program generated for every dollar of state revenues awarded.

 State Net Revenue Foregone per Net Job Created by Film Tax Credit Revenue Gained from Feedback Effects per  Dollar of Film Subsidy Claimed($)
Massachusetts $88,000 $0.16
Connecticut $33,400 $0.07
Louisiana $16,100 $0.13
Louisiana $14,100 $0.18
Michigan $44,561 $0.11
New Mexico $13,400 $0.14
New Mexico ($400) $1.50
Pennsylvania $13,000 $0.24
New York ($2,000) $1.90
Arizona $23,676 $0.28

The only two studies that have revealed positive results for such film incentive programs were both conducted by Ernst and Young on behalf of the New York and New Mexico film offices. All others have shown consistent negative returns.

In case it's not clear, that last column shows the return per dollar spent on subsidies. If it's less than a dollar, it means that taxpayer money is being lost and it's not benefiting the local economy. If you're wondering why there's such a big difference in those two New Mexico studies, the full report goes into detail of just how weak the methodology was for the NM study claiming economic benefit. It involved massively overestimating the tourism benefits, contrary to actual data, and then double counting much of the supposed "benefit." For example, the study claims that a significant "benefit" is the salaries provided to producers and directors... but those are rarely local residents:
As discussed above, such highly skilled talent tends to be imported from other states, especially California and New York. Consequently, these individuals likely spent a much smaller percentage of their compensation in New Mexico than resident employees did. While non-resident employees do spend money on food, housing, meals, and other items while working in New Mexico, those expenses are covered by allowances, which did qualify for the film subsidy and, therefore, whose economic impact had already been taken into account. E&Y’s apparent assumption that highly paid non-resident employees spent most of their salaries in New Mexico, on top of their living allowances, amounts to double counting.
Basically, nearly all of the evidence shows that these programs harm the economy, rather than help it. But they do seem to help studio bosses.

So why are states (and countries) so eager to hand over taxpayer subsidies to Hollywood?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    fogbugzd (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 1:39pm

    Politicians want to be seen as doing economic development activities. The problem with real economic development activities is that they tend to disrupt existing businesses, which is a big no-no for most politicians. And so they have to select things that are clean and benefit local businesses rather than providing local competition. That leaves a very short list. In fact, until recently just one of the few safe economic development activity was promoting tourism.

    Movies look like a godsend to politicians. It is clean. It helps local businesses but does not compete with them. It is flashy and the public (at least the public outside New York and California) loves to see their streets being closed so that someone can film a car chase. As an extra freebie the politicians often get to rub elbows with some movie stars.

    How can any self-respecting local politician avoid throwing fistfuls of money at the movie studios?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 2:16pm

    This article is ridiculous, Masnick, even for you.

    Your intellectual dishonesty truly knows no bounds.

    Of course they ship in crews, they're making a fucking movie. Do you think they can just go down to the corner grill and ask Clem to be a key grip?

    A big part of the economic benefit for the states and municipalities comes exactly from these crews and other participants coming to the location; a town's revenue goes up via restaurant and hotel bookings, and the scenery functions as a world-wide tourism commercial for the state/town.

    Of course you know this already, but you're too much of an intellectually dishonest slimeball to pass on an opportunity to slam Hollywood, as you despise them because they are against piracy, something you clearly love more than blowjobs and god knows what else.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 2:16pm

    Because The Rich own gov'ts; it's their re-distribution scheme.

    "So why are states (and countries) so eager to hand over taxpayer subsidies to Hollywood?"

    Musing Mike never seems to grasp the obvious.

     

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    Lord Binky, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 2:18pm

    When I first looked at it, I thought 'If you pay them less than the amount of money they will spend on buying coffee locally, I guess you can make it profitable'. Then I continued to read and saw even the low payout number's returns were fudged.

    How does paying someone $400 to film somewhere not pay off? Really, you just have to say sure I'll give you $400 but you have to stay in one of our local hotels. TADA! PROFIT!(unless they aren't staying long or bringing lots of people in which case, WTF are you doing giving them money to come there?)

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 2:27pm

    Re:

    Quick, jam your fingers into your ears harder, some data is still getting through!

     

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 2:30pm

    Re:

    Of course they ship in crews, they're making a fucking movie.

    You realize you're not actually refuting the lack of local job creation, right?

     

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  7.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 2:31pm

    Re:

    A big part of the economic benefit for the states and municipalities comes exactly from these crews and other participants coming to the location; a town's revenue goes up via restaurant and hotel bookings
    So if you take money from the owner of a hotel through taxes, skim some off the top (for government bureaucrats), and then give the remainder to a third-party who uses it to rent a room from that same hotel owner, how have you stimulated the economy? You've basically just forced the hotel owner to give out a free room.

    In the future, try less spittle-flecked ranting and more critical thinking. The internet at large will thank you for it, I'm sure.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 2:31pm

    Re:

    Of course they ship in crews, they're making a fucking movie. Do you think they can just go down to the corner grill and ask Clem to be a key grip?

    Do you understand that this strengthens the point that these investments are foolish? Where are the newly-created jobs supposed to come from if they have to ship in crews?
    A big part of the economic benefit for the states and municipalities comes exactly from these crews and other participants coming to the location; a town's revenue goes up via restaurant and hotel bookings, and the scenery functions as a world-wide tourism commercial for the state/town.

    You appear to have ignored the bit where those expenditures are covered by allowances and therefore already accounted for by the subsidy.

     

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    Mike Piehl, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 2:32pm

    Sometimes there is just outright fraud in these programs too. An audit of Iowa's tax credit program found that nearly $26 million of the $32 million in credits were awarded improperly.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 2:43pm

    Re: Re:

    You're not making any sense (surprise).

    The hotel owners make money from these patrons. They have to have employees to work at the hotels. That creates jobs. Those people are then making money.

    The restaurant owners make money from these patrons. They have to have employees to work at the restaurants. That creates jobs. Those people are then making money.

    The bar owners make money from these patrons. They have to have employees to work at the bars. That creates jobs. Those people are then making money.

    And of course you ignored the other massive benefit I mentioned that the states receive: advertising their state to tourists.

    Michigan's tourism budget is over 27 million dollars a year.

    And advertising their state for tourism is important to them because it works:

    http://statenews.com/index.php/article/2012/03/michigan_tourism_increases_with_advertising _campaign

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 2:51pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, because trickle-down is the best form of economics for local economies.

    /s

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 2:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You're clearly a moron that has no idea what trickle down economics means.

     

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  13.  
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    Michael Long (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 2:55pm

    Re:

    You mean that $400 you took away in taxes in the first place and gave to someone at the studio, who spends part it on a hotel room that actually has costs and has to be provisioned? And then pockets the rest.

    You do know what the term "profit" means, don't you?

    If your sole incentive is to provide a stimulus, take the $400 and hand it directly to the hotel, cutting out the middleman. Better yet, let the taxpayers keep the $400 in the first place and THEY can spend it at local stores and restaurants.

     

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  14.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 2:57pm

    Re: Re: :-S

    I like your style! Are you going to run for office?

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 3:00pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    The issue isn't whether or not there is any additional revenue created by these activities. The issue is whether or not that revenue exceeds the amount of money handed out as incentives to get the production there. If it doesn't, then it's just burning taxpayers dollars even if the local hotel is full for the next month -- it would have been more cost-effective just to give those tax dollars directly to the hotel.

    I don't know about the movies, but I do know that the last three times major manufacturing has been lured to my city we have taken a bath for it -- the money earned did not come anywhere near the money spent.

     

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    silverscarcat (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 3:05pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    The question is...

    Even if the tourism budget is over 27 million dollars a year...

    How many NEW jobs are being created?

    You'd be surprised how skimpy a restaurant or a hotel staff can truly be and still work properly.

    I've worked in the food service industry for the better part of 10 years, and I've seen rush hours covered by just 3 cooks, 4 servers and a manager with no extra help and things still run smoothly.

     

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    iambinarymind (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 3:05pm

    Because it's not their money...

    So why are states (and countries) so eager to hand over taxpayer subsidies to Hollywood?

    This is due to the money having been stolen from individuals through force/coercion. As the money being doled out by the State gangsters is not their legitimate property, they have no real incentive to be responsible with said money.

    If we want things to get better, we must advocate consensual relationships & voluntary markets instead of a State monopoly on "taxation" (theft) & the so called "justice" system.

    Try Voluntaryism instead.

     

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    silverscarcat (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 3:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "trickle down economics"

    You give money to people who own businesses in hopes that they hire more people, which puts more money into the hands of more people and thus it gets circulated out into the economy.

    As we've seen in the past decade, that doesn't work too well.

    The best thing to do is to give money to poorer people and have them spend it into the economy. Poor and lower middle class people tend to spend more of their money than rich do, percentage wise.

     

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  19.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 3:09pm

    Actually....

    It is the government's money.

    It's the job of the government to create all of the currency.

    Sadly, governments have allowed that power to be turned over to the banks.

    And, as much as we all hate it, taxes are needed, as they allow governments to keep functioning, which is what's needed for most societies.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 3:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I've worked in the food service industry for the better part of 10 years

    Seeing as you go around threatening to beat people up, this does not surprise me.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 3:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    1. There are actual butts being put in the hotels, shops, restaurants and bars. That is an empirical fact. Somebody must wait/serve these people. Also an empirical fact.

    2. Advertising doesn't have a single thing to do with trickle down economic theory.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 3:21pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    And of course you ignored the other massive benefit I mentioned that the states receive: advertising their state to tourists.

    I've followed along with the various states providing tax breaks to movies filmed locally.

    I think a good case can be made that tax breaks shouldn't be given to ANY business or industry, so I probably wouldn't single out the film industry. Consider corporate welfare across the board instead.

    The promotional value of having films made in your city/state is one significant reason why governments do this. If they figure they would be paying the same amount of money to a tourism board or in the form of advertising, they may feel the costs are about the same and that they would rather the money go to film crews rather than media publications and ad agencies.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 3:30pm

    Cultural programs

    I'm not for or against film tax breaks. However, I would like to point out that some communities willingly pay money to support cultural activities. If a state views supporting the film industry as a cultural activity, it may feel the expense is worth it.

    Here's what is done in Denver. It's not related to the film industry, but you can see how a tax is used here.

    :: Welcome to SCFD: Making It Possible ::: Since 1989, Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD) has distributed funds from a 1/10 of 1% sales and use tax to cultural facilities throughout the seven-county Denver, Colorado metropolitan area. The funds support cultural facilities whose primary purpose is to enlighten and entertain the public through the production, presentation, exhibition, advancement and preservation of art, music, theatre, dance, zoology, botany, natural history and cultural history.

     

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  24.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 3:35pm

    Re:

    A big part of the economic benefit for the states and municipalities comes exactly from these crews and other participants coming to the location; a town's revenue goes up via restaurant and hotel bookings, and the scenery functions as a world-wide tourism commercial for the state/town.

    Of course you know this already, but you're too much of an intellectually dishonest slimeball to pass on an opportunity to slam Hollywood, as you despise them because they are against piracy, something you clearly love more than blowjobs and god knows what else.


    The studies in question take into account this economic activity. And they STILL mean the state / taxpayers lose money. So, not sure why you go into this invective filled rage when the data shows you're wrong.

    As for the benefit of "tourism" except in very very rare and specific cases, movies do not increase tourism. The cases where they do are when they are big successful movies in which "the place" is as important as the characters. But that's simply not true for most movies.

    And, again, this is accounted for in the studies and they show you're still wrong.

    Perhaps that's why you're so angry. The data clearly proves you're wrong. Perhaps, next time, before you accuse me of intellectual dishonesty, you should acquaint yourself with the facts.

     

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  25.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 3:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    1. Again, how many NEW employees are being hired? You can get by with a skeleton crew pretty easily, just have everyone do a few more things to make it easier on everyone and cover up the fact that if you had 3 more employees, you could cover those things and make it easier on everyone at the same time.

    2. I never said anything about advertising.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 3:36pm

    Why are they so eager?

    It's called a Kickback.
    Hand the production company 20 million, they deposit 5 million in the political "leader"'s Cayman account, everybody's happy.

    Why would they ever stop?

     

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  27.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 3:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And thus we find out that you have never worked a real job in your life.

     

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  28.  
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    lucidrenegade (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 3:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Come on now. The only trickle down you understand is when you piss yourself.

     

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  29.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 3:37pm

    I don't see Texas on the above list

    I don't know if Texas is off the list because its tax breaks are working or not.

    Don't Mess With Taxes: Austin: "Part of the reason, in case you've missed the politicking by our governor who wants to be president, is that Texas works hard to write laws and regulators to make the state appealing to businesses. And one of the ways it does so in the creative arts field is via the state's Film Commission tax incentives. Despite the state office's name, the tax breaks are available not only to traditional television and movie productions, but also video game projects."

     

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  30.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 3:38pm

    Re: Actually....

    Bullshit. Taxes are not needed.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 4:04pm

    Unsurprisingly, you don't know what you're talking about Masnick.

    http://www.georgiatrend.com/November-2011/Ka-Ching-Crunching-The-Movie-Numbers/

    Legislators have been shown film is good for jobs: In 2007 there were 11,800 full-time equivalent jobs, according to the GDEcD’s Thomas, and there are now 25,000 in Georgia, more than double the number in four years. “There are small armies that come in,” Bagwell says. “For Necessary Roughness, they had a crew of about 230 people. On our lot, we have BET in one building and USA in other, and about 75 percent of their crew is hired local. Georgia is known for having strong crew. But we need more. If companies can’t find enough, they will bring in more L.A. people, so it’s better for us to train more local people, which is why colleges are ramping up their film programs.”

    And this:

    Dominey estimates the number of film-induced tourism dollars since 2005 at $430 million.

    Mike Masnick: Seldom right, never in doubt.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 4:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And you claim Mike Masnick is intellectually dishonest. My god...

     

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  33.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 4:10pm

    Re: Re: Actually....

    You have to pay for things somehow.

    Fire department, police force, animal control, sewage, garbage, roads, hospitals, military, social services.

    Fact is, those all cost money. No single person has enough cash on hand to pay for any of that.

    Just to cover the cost of 100 miles of roads, it costs over 50 million dollars, and then the roads have to get repaired in 3 months.

    That's what's going on around here in my local area.

    You think any one individual, or even a group of individuals has enough money to spend 200 million on roads every year?

    And those that do, they're not going to want to spend it on the roads and highways.

    Not to mention bridges.

    How about New York and New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy hit? You think that you can just get the money you need to fix those cities up from people easily?

    Fact is, despite all the donations people have been giving (and it's a lot) to help those people, the government still gave a lot more to help in the recovery efforts.

    And how does the government get that money?

    Through taxes.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 4:11pm

    Re: Re:

    As for the benefit of "tourism" except in very very rare and specific cases, movies do not increase tourism. The cases where they do are when they are big successful movies in which "the place" is as important as the characters. But that's simply not true for most movies.

    What bullshit. Do you ever bother looking beyond a single source that reflects your personal bias?

    http://www.georgiatrend.com/November-2011/Ka-Ching-Crunching-The-Movie-Numbers/

    Dominey estimates the number of film-induced tourism dollars since 2005 at $430 million.

    Mike Masnick: Seldom right; never in doubt.

     

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    Kei, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 4:19pm

    Re: Re: Actually....

    Taxes aren't needed, you say? So, you don't want any government spending, on anything? No police or fire departments?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 4:20pm

    Re: Because The Rich own gov'ts; it's their re-distribution scheme.

    "So why are states (and countries) so eager to hand over taxpayer subsidies to Hollywood?"

    Musing Mike never seems to grasp the obvious.


    It's obvious isn't it? The conservative Republican legislators and Governors in places like Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Louisiana secretly love Hollywood and all of their motion picture unions. Their affection and admiration induces them to lavish tax money on Hollywood liberals. Being liberal-loving rubes, they forego any studies or economic analysis. Instead they just dish out cash to their Hollywood soulmates.

     

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    silverscarcat (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 4:22pm

    Re:

    You DO realize that Mike said "almost every program".

    Which means that it sometimes works.

    Most of the time it doesn't.

     

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    ltlw0lf (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 4:26pm

    Re: Cultural programs

    I'm not for or against film tax breaks. However, I would like to point out that some communities willingly pay money to support cultural activities. If a state views supporting the film industry as a cultural activity, it may feel the expense is worth it.

    I don't have children, but I don't mind paying taxes for education because ultimately it helps us all out in the long run. I don't use public transportation, but I don't mind paying taxes for public transportation because it helps get folks that need it to work on time. I don't have problems paying taxes for culture when culture is owned by the public and everyone may partake in it. Same with fire stations, police, military. Public funds for public service.

    The government taking way too much tax and spending it on pet projects that don't benefit the public at large, but instead benefit small "pet" corporations that return campaign donations and kickbacks to the politicians that championed them...I have a real problem with that. Giving Hollywood more money which they can squander away in Hollywood accounting, paying off bribes to their representatives, and not creating jobs or bettering the public as a whole is exactly what I don't want my taxes spent on.

    If Hollywood can have their tax breaks then I should get one too. I might even kickback some of my funds to the campaigns I want to see funded (as I currently do even though I still pay taxes.)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 4:35pm

    Re:

    I was wondering where your Georgia was on that list. If I read it correctly, Atlanta has become a film-city which is good for Georgia. As for the rest you have to ask yourself:

    Are the states competing on giving the best incentives to filmmakers? In that case the numbers in the article makes perfect sense (they take a loss to get the activity in the local economy it brings, even though it is equivalent to peeing their pants to keep warm. As fogbugzd wisely notes, film making is noncompetitive for the local economy and you are therefore sure to have a positive effect off of it locally even though the effect is less than a third of what you used to get it).
    How many big film-cities can there be in USA before the market gets satuated? It has been shown again and again that as soon as some companies are found in an area other companies of the same kind will find the area more attractive. Temporary filming as an incentives only model will bring is lightyears away from permanent well equipped areas where you only need to bring a manuscript and a dream to make a film.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 4:35pm

    Re: Re: Cultural programs

    If Hollywood can have their tax breaks then I should get one too. I might even kickback some of my funds to the campaigns I want to see funded (as I currently do even though I still pay taxes.)

    I lean the other way. Take away the tax breaks for every business, not just Hollywood. Let's totally reinvent the tax code (not going to happen, I know).

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 4:49pm

    Re: Re:

    Oh please. He also said that they bus everyone from LA or NY and that film tourism was negligible. He's wrong on both. And you're a smarmy lickspittle to cover for such outrageous bullshit.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 4:53pm

    Re: Re:

    Louisianas film economy is even more robust. And if you read the linked article you'd know that infrastructure is there. Sound stages rental houses, post production and most of the crew.

     

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  43.  
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    ltlw0lf (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 4:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Cultural programs

    I lean the other way. Take away the tax breaks for every business, not just Hollywood. Let's totally reinvent the tax code (not going to happen, I know).

    Oh, I do too. I'd love to see us go away from tax breaks period, whether for corporations or individuals. If society as a whole values something, then we all should pay for it. Might get folks thinking about all the waste.

     

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  44.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 5:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Cultural programs

    I'd love to see us go away from tax breaks period, whether for corporations or individuals.

    Yes, the tax code does need to be revised for both businesses and individuals. All the breaks distort everything and the paperwork is a problem. Special interest politics at its worst.

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 5:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I did. In my first fucking post.

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 5:08pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    crickets...

     

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    hesterj28 (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 5:23pm

    nicepost

     

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  48.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 5:25pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "And you're a smarmy lickspittle to cover for such outrageous bullshit."

    And you, sir, are wasting the available oxygen for the rest of us.

    Here's a little hint for you...

    I'm not a toady.

    Calling me that in the form of lickspittle does little to endear you to anyone.

    At least I'm brave enough to sign my posts.

    You, on the other hand, are nothing more than a worthless P.O.S. who would have been better off as spunk on your father's bedsheets.

     

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  49.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 5:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You did, I didn't. (for advertisement)

    So, why'd'ja bring it up?

     

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  50.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 5:49pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Wake me up when you find a study NOT done by the agency that benefits from all that money.

    The report above was done by an INDEPENDENT group, and looked at the ones done by the local film offices, and noted the MASSIVE problems with them, in which they double count and miscount.

    So, sure, it's no surprise the Georgia film office wants to tell the story that everything's rosy. Otherwise how would they stay in business. Let's see some independent info. Oh wait, all that shows the problems of those programs? Ooops...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 5:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    silverscarcat? That's bravely owning your post? OK, you can call me "Sir". Are you happy now?

    What a douchebag. You don't like "toady" either? I'm fine with that. I thought "lickspittle" was fitting. How about "suckup" or "pissboy"? Those seem well suited.

     

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    gorehound (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 5:53pm

    Re: Re:

    This stuff has gone one forever and yes I have done my homework.Hollywood does do what it can to thieve us in more than one way.
    See Hollywood Shady Accounting in addition to the Tax Incentive Lies they tell.

     

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    Gwiz (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 5:55pm

    Re:

    http://www.georgiatrend.com/November-2011/Ka-Ching-Crunching-The-Movie-Numbers/

    Yeah. OK. Followed your link. It was a really nice fluff piece with lots of quotes and numbers from film industry spin doctors.

    Got a link to an actual study so I can make up my own mind?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 6:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Slimy Mike Masnick is so desperate to crank on Hollywood that he is now accusing the State of Georgia of cooking their own books- a felony.

    I look forward to seeing this breaking story splashed across the news networks tomorrow.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 6:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So the increase from 11000 jobs to 24000 jobs in four years is fiction? I thought you said that all of the crew comes NY or LA, but the guy who owns the soundstage says 75% of the crew is local. And then there's your claim that about how insignificant film tourism is, ignoring the claim from the economic development guy that there was $400 million over the last five years.

    And who says they're an INDEPENDENT group? They just decided out of the goodness of their hearts to study this? Could it be not everyone is thrilled about the work going to other states and commissioned a "study"? You know, like your friends at Google.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 6:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And you simply can't make any sense of the startling contradiction that the hardcore, Hollywood liberal hating, anti-union Southern republicans are dishing out millions of dollars to an industry they loathe and are somehow taking a loss.

    It simply defies belief. Everyone sees it but you. Instead, you're totally blinded by your obsessive rage at content creators. You really ought to look at that, there are medications that can help you.

     

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    silverscarcat (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 6:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Feh, since when do I suck up to anyone?

    Point to any of my posts where I was sucking up to Mike or anyone here on techdirt.

    Go ahead, I'll wait.

    And I know you're thinking "ha ha, he's responding, I'm winning", all it's doing is proving to everyone what an insecure little person you really are.

    Did you forget to give your mommy and daddy a hug today?

    Is that's what's wrong with you?

    Do you need a hug?

     

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    Kei, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 6:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Seriously? The best you can do is 3rd grade insults? If you have to resort to juvenile ad hominem attacks because you can't actually debate the points, then you are useless to this conversation.

     

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    F!, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 6:26pm

    great study

    Now I hope the NZ gov't takes it into account next time Hollywood asks them to rewrite the labor laws for them... not likely.

    The reason this problem won't go away is that the politicians who make the decisions on the subsidies get their kickbacks, while again screwing the taxpayer. Good ol' corruption and bribery in action.

     

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    Jay (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 6:37pm

    Re: Re:

    Georgia is rotten in a number of areas. The inner city could use that money for education since it's pretty high on the unemployment scale and needs more public housing along with less right-to-work laws.

    If you reapply think Atlanta is doing well, please find evidence. I'll be sure to fact check that considerably given my experience in that state.

     

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  61.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 6:46pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    What? Do you really think that film incentives solve shitty education systems? Maybe you should look at the state of the NYC and Los Angeles public schools.

     

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  62.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 7:14pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Here: http://www-deadline-com.vimg.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Motion-Picture-assoc.-film-credit-study_ _120510071748.pdf

    You really ought to learn to use a search engine. It's harder than simply relying on personal bias and wishful thinking, but it's not really all that difficult.

     

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    Wally (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 7:37pm

    Once again, this is why I like Ohio :-) When studios want to shoot here, no tax payer money is used at all. They aren't taxed an they have to pay for street shutdowns.

    Also, isn't it illegal for a private entity to make a state pay a subsidy for shooting on your territory?? If not it needs to be a law.

     

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  64.  
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    Wally (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 7:42pm

    Re: Because it's not their money...

    It's the governors of those states falling for basic extortion. When George Clooney was shooting a film at Ohio University in Oxford, Ohio...we weren't taxed. When Disney shot The Avengers in Cleveland, no taxes raised no subsidies used.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 7:45pm

    Re:

    Once again, this is why I like Ohio :-) When studios want to shoot here, no tax payer money is used at all. They aren't taxed an they have to pay for street shutdowns.

    Also, isn't it illegal for a private entity to make a state pay a subsidy for shooting on your territory?? If not it needs to be a law.


    Jeepers Wally, no wonder the Beaver thinks you're an idiot:

    http://www.ohiofilmoffice.com/Incentives.html

     

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    Gwiz (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 7:50pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Hmmph. Not impressed.

    That's a study commissioned by the MPAA and prepared by Ernst & Young. The same Ernst & Young who exaggerated, double counted and tossed in some mystery "adjustments" on the New Mexico study.

    Yeah. Really not impressed.

     

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    Wally (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 8:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    All anyone has to do to learn about Trickle Down Economics and why it doesn't work is to look at the recession of the mid-1980's. The fact that the MPAA is finally using it as a business model is a prime example of how far behind they are in the times.

     

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    Wally (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 8:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Cultural programs

    Taking tax breaks away from businesses tends to not allow them to use the rest for operating costs. The MPAA doesn't need them, but a lot of small businesses need a tax break to keep running.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 8:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Liberal Hollywood producers and their union cronies are still getting massive tax subsidies from conservative, anti-union Republicans in right-to-work states. Why is that those who hate liberal Hollywood the most seem to believe that these incentives pay off and you and Masnick don't? Couldn't be your bias blinding you could it?

     

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    Wally (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 8:25pm

    Re: Re:

    Man you're out in force. Ohio gives inscsentives in the form of a LACK OF SHOOTING TAX..... Being a resident of the Cleveland Metropolitan Are...yeah, I you bet I would know where my tax dollars go. But ok, be a troll first to "correct" me see how stupid you seem.

    You know those charts you've shown us??? They aren't from an independent entity from either side and in fact are the VERY charts that the MPAA use to snooker states into using subsidized loans from the MPAA to shoot. Ohio doesn't tax them but it is required in my state, and especially in the greater Cleveland Area to get a shooting permit and a permit to shut down streets when needed.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 8:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That became apparent with his assumption that local businesses would hire more people. They don't. Ever. They have enough people to handle the entire business if every table/bed is being utilized, and that's it.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 8:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Cultural programs

    The MPAA doesn't need them, but a lot of small businesses need a tax break to keep running.

    There are certainly some businesses I would favor over others for tax breaks, but it might be an easier sell to eliminate them for every business than to try to explain why some deserve them and others don't.

     

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  73.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 8:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The Georgia film office isn't the state. It's a private company. Try again, liar.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 8:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I see your problem. You trust corporations and politicians, the biggest scam artists in the world. Great.


    Idiot.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 8:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Not really, but your's is. Politicians are saying what they think will get them re-elected while doing what puts the most coin in their pocket. There isn't an honest one above the local level, and I doubt most of those at the local level.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 8:54pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Cleveland. Dammit, I should have known you were that close. At least it isn't Cincinnati.

     

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    Wally (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 9:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Cultural programs

    Nothing comes at ease. The problem is simply that you can't tell where it's needed or not. When I mean small business, I mean local mom and pop's opperations (like the books store down the street from where I grew up) and the small state businesses like Kroger. I see the tax breaks would work best on a location and employment basis for larger businesses like Wal-Mart and Sears.

    The taxes that businesses will be paying is doubled that compared private citizens will for Obama care. That being said a tiny tax break will help since they are required to pay a tax for Obamacare just to break even.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 9:08pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Christ, are you ever slow. What do you think this means:

    Ohio Motion Picture Tax Incentive – Offering up to 35 percent refundable tax credit

    From diverse landscapes to a solid crew base and low cost of living, Ohio offers a vast range of incentives for your next production. The Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit provides a refundable tax credit that equals 25 percent off in-state spend and non-resident wages and 35 percent in Ohio resident wages on eligible productions.


    Hint: It means if you spend $1 million, you get back $250,000 to $350,000. THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS A "SHOOTING TAX", stupid.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 9:26pm

    Re: Re:

    But then how are politicians supposed to benefit from campaign contributions and revolving door favors? You know they receive a ton of these perks from corporate interests that get favorable laws right?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 9:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No, it isn't, you raging assbag.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgia_Department_of_Economic_Development

    You're as slimy as Masnick. Go steal some more music and movies from these people you hate so much. Fucking sociopath.

     

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    cosmicrat (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 11:00pm

    A little misleading

    "... as the NY Times investigation pointed out, those "jobs" really don't seem to be appearing. Instead, film crews ship in a crew from LA or NY and hire just a couple of locals for low-level jobs... which last a few months and that's it. The impact on the local economy appears to be minimal."

    This could be more than just a little misleading. It's anecdotal, but in my state the last few movies and TV shows have employed on average better than 80% local crew. A recent project is estimated to have spent $50 million. More than half that went to local businesses or local residents as wages. They took, I think about $3.5 mil in incentives, but a lot of this was in tax breaks -taxes they would not have paid if they had not brought the production here! So let's estimate: 30 million dropped locally minus 3.5 million in taxes that wouldn't have been collected anyway, oh, looks like my state benefited after all.

    You keep bringing up Michigan and Iowa. Everyone in the industry knows MI and IA were fiascoes. Corporate welfare whether in the the form of tax abatements, stimulus or any other form is controversial, and I tend to be against it in general, but if you are going to do a film incentive program there are right ways and wrong ways to do it. There are success stories to balance out the horror stories.

    And Mike, this is not any kind of an ad-hom, but just to examine your motivations, aren't you a tech writer? Isn't this a little off your beaten path? I realize you dislike "Hollywood" because it gives us the MPAA and crap like SOPA and so forth, but it really seems like you are trying to discredit an entire industry out of spite when the topic at hand doesn't have anything to do with tech, piracy, copyright maximalism or anything else you normally write about. And if you are going to crossover into covering the production industry, hey that's good. I value your perspective, but I would heartily advise you to learn more about the industry you're so gleefully bashing. You have an impressive ability to pull together and analyze data, but you certainly don't seem to have spent much time on set.

    Now a few questions:

    - Have you looked at the incentive programs in the Canadian provinces? These are the ones that really kicked it off in the '90s.

    - Are there any incentive programs in the tech world?

    - How do film incentive programs stack up against corporate and economic growth incentives in general? Are there any industries in which you would support incentives and why?

    Keep trying Mike. I value your contributions to the dialogue but I just wish you could have the experience of working in the business for a while before you start pontificating about it.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 11:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Cultural programs

    The problem is simply that you can't tell where it's needed or not.

    And that's reason not to give any business a tax break. If you can't tell who will benefit from it, just eliminate all tax breaks. At least it makes it simpler. And there's less reason for companies to try to influence politicians if they don't get any benefit from the tax laws.

    If you strip out all the benefits and all the loopholes and make the tax system as simple as possible, there's value in that by eliminating a lot of paperwork.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 11:43pm

    Hold up. If the anti-Techdirters are now arguing that there are a ton of jobs in the film industry and things are generally rosy...

    How the hell has piracy killed the industry?

     

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  84.  
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    Karim, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 12:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Ah. It's you. The troll's apprentice who doesn't know what sociopath means. Go get 'em!

     

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  85.  
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    JMT (profile), Dec 7th, 2012 @ 12:39am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Care to share with us what your vested interest in the film business? Nobody gets so angry they can't help resorting to teenage insults unless they have some skin in the game.

     

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  86.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 1:40am

    too afraid to say 'no', especially as there could easily be a charge of 'copyright infringement' shoved in somewhere! this fantasy world needs to be left in the Hollywood studios, not be allowed to be brought out into the real world!

     

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  87.  
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    PaulT (profile), Dec 7th, 2012 @ 1:44am

    Re:

    Consistency and honesty are never their strong points. They'll be back to claiming the industry is on the verge of destruction next time piracy is discussed.

     

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    Jay (profile), Dec 7th, 2012 @ 3:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I have no idea what you're talking about. My argument is that the money is better served in other areas by strengthening the public sector.

    You're shooting the forest for the trees by focusing on a small aspect of my argument.

     

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  89.  
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    Niall (profile), Dec 7th, 2012 @ 5:08am

    Re: Re: Actually....

    That's fine, when are you going to pay for your K12 education, and will you pay a use toll every time you use the roads? Oh, and the internet was created with tax dollars (military and educational establishments) so please feel free to make your contributions for using this as well.

    Just pray as well that your house doesn't catch fire or that no-one breaks in.

     

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    Independant Monkey, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 5:23am

    Re: Re: Because The Rich own gov'ts; it's their re-distribution scheme.

    Yet Hollywood is notorious in its hate of the Repubs, and generally opposed them, that would indicate this political operators that have been smart enough to secure an office, have suddenly decided to pay money directly into the coffers of their opposition...

    Sounds like more of the MY party is perfect, the others are EVIL BS... grow up and disabuse yourself of the notion that parts are useful or for the good of any one but themselves.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 5:56am

    Re: Re:

    Well these crews come flying in by plane which means they have to buy their coke locally. That's job creation which trickles back up the politicians pocket when the next brown envelope arrives.

     

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    The Real Michael, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 6:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Actually, Mike is the one being intellectually honest. He's citing an independent study, i.e. one which doesn't have an agenda to follow, whereas you point to one produced by an agency in cahoots with Hollywood. Gee, what are the chances that the latter will be inherently biased? The movie studios conveniently make up their own 'fact sheets'. This is akin to a big business which exploits tax loopholes auditing themselves and then producing a bogus report making everything seem roses and sunshine.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 6:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Mike Masnick is never intellectually honest. Ever.

    And citing some study done by one of Google's tech astroturfing groups is certainly an example of such.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 6:53am

    Re:

    Hold up. If the anti-Techdirters are now arguing that there are a ton of jobs in the film industry and things are generally rosy...

    How the hell has piracy killed the industry?


    JESUS CHRIST, talk about a straw man. Who the hell said that? The entire discussion has been about the effectiveness of state tax incentives and percentage of local hires versus crews brought in from LA and NY. I realize Masnick has shit on his face after his nonsensical assertions but you only make him (and you) look worse with this most recent fabrication.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 6:55am

    Re: Re:

    Sorry, where is the discussion of the overall health of the industry?

     

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    Karl (profile), Dec 7th, 2012 @ 7:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And citing some study done by one of Google's tech astroturfing groups is certainly an example of such.

    Since when is the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities "one of Google's tech astroturfing groups?"

    By the way, here's a direct link to the study:
    http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3326

     

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    Lowestofthekeys (profile), Dec 7th, 2012 @ 7:19am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I see your Georgia, and give you New Mexico...

    "Gov. Susana Martinez last week'said that New Mexico could save $25 million by cutting the repayment to television and
    movie producers to 15% of their expenses within the state from the current 25%. "There are choices we have to make in New Mexico," the governor said Friday.

    "Do we subsidize Hollywood or do we
    start cutting in the classroom? I prefer to
    not be subsidizing Hollywood and make
    sure that we fund adequately our classrooms."
    Martinez said the assistance program
    is often mistakenly characterized as a tax
    credit."

    http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?sid=9dcf78c1-b3e4-4502-958c-ace9ab9a6c17%40sessionmgr4& ;vid=1&hid=14&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=buh&AN=57844503

    Because of the competition between states, this percentage can keep growing and negatively impact other sectors of the state.

     

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  98.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 7:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Perhaps he was talking about "The Sky Is Rising"? That'd certainly qualify.

     

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  99.  
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    Lowestofthekeys (profile), Dec 7th, 2012 @ 7:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "So the increase from 11000 jobs to 24000 jobs in four years is fiction? I thought you said that all of the crew comes NY or LA, but the guy who owns the soundstage says 75% of the crew is local. And then there's your claim that about how insignificant film tourism is, ignoring the claim from the economic development guy that there was $400 million over the last five years. "

    So Georgia is the rule, not the exception?

    "Looking at the credits nationwide, a report released in December by the nonprofit Center on Budget and Policy Priorities pointed to a study done for the Massachusetts Legislature in 2009 that concluded film subsidies were costing the state $88,000 a job. A similar study for New York’s film office said government coffers were gaining $2,000 with each job created.

    Over all, the center’s report concluded that film subsidies offered “little bang for the buck.” "

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/20/business/media/20incentives.html?ref=michaelcieply&_r=0

    These subsidies are definitely not the god-send you make them out to be.

    And funny enough, the article mentions that because these states are having difficulty balancing their budgets, they pull out of the program, which they think will push Hollywood to make movies out of the United States, thereby destroying any benefit these subsidies provide.

     

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  100.  
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    Lowestofthekeys (profile), Dec 7th, 2012 @ 7:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  101.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 7:58am

    Re: Re:

    Uhm ... when I click on Show insightful comments, yours doesn't show up, but it has an insightful mark next to it. Strange.

    Anywho, what the govt. doing here is theft. They are taking my money and giving it to someone else for the benefit of someone else, forcing me to spend my money how they think it should be spent (on entertainment) instead of allowing me to decide how I want to spend it. As if the govt knows best, they know how I should spend my money better than I and entertainment is how I should spend it. It's theft, what they are doing is theft, they are forcing me to buy a product against my will that I may not want to buy. Doing it "to create jobs" not "because it benefits those being taxed" is theft, it's no different than someone who breaks windows to create jobs for himself.

    If they were doing it to build highways that's OK, they are doing it because highways are in the public interest, they are doing it for me. Doing it to serve a public purpose, for my benefit, is fine. Doing it simply to keep others employed, which is what they admittedly seem to be doing it for here, is nothing short theft and theft is not OK even if it's the government doing it.

     

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  102.  
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    Lowestofthekeys (profile), Dec 7th, 2012 @ 7:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Ugh nevermind that link too.

     

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  103.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 7:59am

    Re: Re: Re:

    short of theft *

     

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  104.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 8:05am

    Re: Because it's not their money...

    ""taxation" (theft)"

    Taxation is not necessarily theft. When the government taxes the public to fund public programs, things like public roads, etc... that are intended to serve a public purpose, that's fine. But when they tax someone simply to create government programs simply for the sake of creating jobs, that's theft. We already have a welfare system, we don't need another welfare system disguising itself as a "job creation program".

    What they are doing here is theft.

     

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  105.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Dec 7th, 2012 @ 8:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Couldn't be your bias blinding you could it?

    Nope. I prefer to base such things on actual verifiable facts. I belong to no political party and I vote my conscience. We are talking about my tax dollars here. This smells like pork belly spending to me at time where I live state police, local police, fire and road commission budgets are being slashed to pieces.

    I looked through your linked "study" and I have to ask, why are the actual facts and numbers so spread out, disorganized and hard to reconcile? I work as a graphic artist and I recognize a sales brochure when I see one.

     

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  106.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Dec 7th, 2012 @ 8:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Crap. Meant "pork barrel spending" up there.

     

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  107.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 9:27am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Oh, so if the government funds a charter school that's theft? And what about your highway example. I live in the city and don't own a car. That doesn't benefit me, why don't I get to decide? And recently there's been talk about hiring more cops. But I live in a low crime area, I don't need any more cops, why am I paying for them? And while we're at it, I don't use the public library either. Yet those thieves steal my money to benefit those who are too cheap to buy their own books and movies. And what about these social programs. I've never needed unemployment insurance, healthcare or subsidized housing. WTF? They're forcing me to buy a product against my will!!!

     

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  108.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 9:32am

    Re: Re: Cultural programs

    paying off bribes to their representatives

    This is a familiar snivel amongst you Techdirtbags. Can anyone actually point to an instance where someone from the studios and or a politician was convicted of bribery. Same challenge for a judge which is also a frequent claim.

    I'll be waiting here.

     

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  109.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 9:33am

    Re: Why are they so eager?

    The problem is that, of course, you have no proof. Not even a credible allegation. Are you so blind and desperate that you have to make these absurd claims?

     

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  110.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Dec 7th, 2012 @ 12:24pm

    Still not sure why you are singling out Hollywood?

    There are so many tax breaks given out to so many different companies/institutions that I'm not sure why Hollywood deserves its own post here. Look at the broader questions, not just one industry.

    Here's just one example if you really want to open up the discussion the bigger issue of tax breaks.

    Should Churches Get Tax Breaks? - Room for Debate - NYTimes.com

     

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  111.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 12:28pm

    Re: Re:

    Strawman? It's a fact that piracy is brought up regardless of whether the article has any relevance to the topic of piracy. It's also a fact that the MPAA has been choosing between "there are lots of jobs!" and "piracy has killed all jobs!" when it fits them.

    It's a comment on general MPAA strategies. I'm not seeing what's it got to do with Masnick.

     

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  112.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Dec 7th, 2012 @ 12:37pm

    Re: Still not sure why you are singling out Hollywood?

    My sense is that while the "Hollywood is evil" posts find an audience here, it's not a huge issue among voters in general. In fact, as they continue to consume what Hollywood puts out, they seem to like Hollywood.

    Rather than focusing on lobbying done by Hollywood, why not find a way to stop lobbying by every industry, or lead a crusade to reform campaign financing? A large group of people actually care about those issues and interest is shared across a broad political spectrum of voters.

    In fact, if you want to weaken "big media," pull the money out of campaign financing so there is no money going for political ads.

     

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  113.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 12:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Mike Masnick is more intellectually honest than I could ever be. Always.

    FTFY

     

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  114.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 12:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Mike Masnick is more intellectually honest than I could ever be. Always.

    FTFY

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  115.  
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    ltlw0lf (profile), Dec 7th, 2012 @ 12:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Cultural programs

    This is a familiar snivel amongst you Techdirtbags. Can anyone actually point to an instance where someone from the studios and or a politician was convicted of bribery. Same challenge for a judge which is also a frequent claim.

    I am sorry to keep you waiting, but none of us ever said bribery. Last time I checked, Campaign Contributions were not bribery. However, even without being bribery, they are troublesome because they turn political power into who can buy the most votes, not what is best needed for the constituents.

    Also, just because there isn't any examples of bribery in this case doesn't mean that it isn't happening. Law enforcement doesn't usually go after these things except in the most grievous of examples, because they are difficult to prove and because it is usually not a good idea to bite the hand that feeds you (congress pays for enforcement.)

    However, since you are all into challenges at the moment, I challenge you to find a single post I've posted where I accused the studios of bribery. Buying laws, yes, but all you need to do is donate a bunch of money to the campaign to get that.

    However, there are plenty of examples of congress taking bribes even though they haven't been convicted of bribery, and some examples of them being caught, though not for bribes from the entertainment industry. Judges have been caught too, but again, not for the entertainment industry.

     

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  116.  
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    Karl (profile), Dec 7th, 2012 @ 2:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Perhaps he was talking about "The Sky Is Rising"? That'd certainly qualify.

    First: if he was, he'd be changing the subject completely, since this discussion never had anything to do with that report (and none of the other commenters mentioned it).

    Second: it does not qualify. It was partially funded by the CCIA - which never claimed to be anything but an industry organization, thus couldn't possibly be an "astroturf" organization. And even if they did, they still wouldn't be an "astroturf" organization for Google, since they weren't set up by Google to promote its interests, nor are they funded primarily by them. (The CCIA has a lot of members, most of which are large tech companies, many of which are Google competitors - Facebook, eBay, or Microsoft, for example.)

    It's pretty clear he's talking about the Technology Liberation Front - who wrote the story Techdirt linked to, but had nothing to do with the study itself. And they're not any kind of "astroturf" organization, either.

    And the person who wrote the article - Adam Thierer - has never worked for Google, though he has worked at a number of market-oriented think tanks (the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute, the Progress & Freedom Foundation, and currently the Mercatus Center at George Mason University). None of which are "astroturf" organizations.

    So, basically, you're both wrong.

     

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  117.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Dec 7th, 2012 @ 3:06pm

    Re: Still not sure why you are singling out Hollywood?

    Here's a much broader look. I think this is what we should be focusing on, not one particular industry.

    The Uselessness of Economic Development Incentives - The Atlantic Cities

     

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  118.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 4:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Cultural programs

    Well, let's see.... How about above where you talk about campaign contributions and kickbacks.

     

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  119.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 4:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Please, Thierer is in the pocket of the Koch Brothers. I'd wipe my ass with anything this marionette wrote.

    THE MERCATUS CENTER

    In a 2004 Wall Street Journal article, the Mercatus Center was described as “the most important think tank you’ve never heard of.” Previously known as the Center for the Study of Free Market Processes, the Mercatus Center was founded by Richard Fink—with a grant from Charles Koch. Koch currently serves on the center’s Board of Directors—as does Fink who is also an executive vice president and a member of the board of directors of Koch Industries, Inc.

    Jane Mayer wrote the following in Covert Operations, an article that appeared in the New Yorker in 2010: The Kochs are longtime libertarians who believe in drastically lower personal and corporate taxes, minimal social services for the needy, and much less oversight of industry—especially environmental regulation.

    Public Citizen, a group founded by consumer advocate Ralph Nader, has called the Mercatus Center “a wholly-owned subsidiary of Koch Industries and other corporate interests.” Richard Fink claims, however, that the center does not actively promote the Koch company’s private interests. He said that Koch “has other means of fighting its battles” in Washington and that they never had a nonprofit advance their agenda. Some people would disagree.

    Thomas McGarity, a University of Texas law professor who specializes in environmental issues, told Mayer that “Koch has been constantly in trouble with the E.P.A., and Mercatus has constantly hammered on the agency.” Another environmental lawyer who spoke to Mayer said that Mercatus was “a means of laundering economic aims.” The lawyer described the strategy: “You take corporate money and give it to a neutral-sounding think tank,” which “hires people with pedigrees and academic degrees who put out credible-seeming studies. But they all coincide perfectly with the economic interests of their funders.”

    Rob Stein, a Democratic strategist, told Mayer that the relationship between George Mason University and Mercatus is an unusual arrangement. “George Mason is a public university, and receives public funds. Virginia is hosting an institution that the Kochs practically control.” Stein claimed that Mercatus was “ground zero for deregulation policy in Washington.”

     

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  120.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Dec 7th, 2012 @ 5:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Previously known as the Center for the Study of Free Market Processes, the Mercatus Center was founded by Richard Fink—with a grant from Charles Koch. Koch currently serves on the center’s Board of Directors—as does Fink who is also an executive vice president and a member of the board of directors of Koch Industries, Inc.

    Yes, I've followed the dots with the Kochs over the last four years or so. The father's connection to the John Birch Society was particularly unsettling.

    Libertarian ideas have their supporters, but most voters wouldn't fall into that category. And the conservative/libertarian pairing tends not to work too well because lots of conservatives WANT the government involved in issues like drug use, gay marriage, religion, and so on.

    I've posted quite a bit on Techdirt lately because I want to voice an alternative viewpoint to the libertarian one.

     

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  121.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Dec 7th, 2012 @ 5:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I think the increasingly networked world actually facilitates the copyleft, commons, P2P, shareable, collaborative consumption, and Occupy Wall Street movements more than it does the libertarian movement. I see a critical mass forming around the idea of open source, crowdsourccing, sharing rather than owning, sustainability, and so on.

    For some it is a lifestyle choice and for others it is economic, but as income inequality increases. there is an incentive for people to band together to collectively improve their lots in life.

    And as we confront global problems like climate change, there is an awareness we need to work together.

     

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  122.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Dec 7th, 2012 @ 6:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Oh, I'll add another note.

    By focusing on subjects of interest to the creative community, you are talking to a group of people who tend to be pretty left-leaning politically. Whether or not you convince them it is in their best interests to give up copyright, trying to convince them that government services are bad might be a very tough sell. This is a group that traditionally doesn't make a lot of money. They usually welcome whatever subsidies, community funding, and low-cost programs they can get. As a group, they often benefit from society's safety nets.

     

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  123.  
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    Karl (profile), Dec 7th, 2012 @ 10:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Please, Thierer is in the pocket of the Koch Brothers.

    Though I share your concerns, being a lifelong Democrat, I would like to point out that this has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Google, or astroturfing in general.

     

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  124.  
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    btrussell (profile), Dec 8th, 2012 @ 2:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Movies now have subtitles advertising where each scene was filmed?

    I can't believe anyone still watches a movie.

     

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  125.  
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    btrussell (profile), Dec 8th, 2012 @ 3:29am

    Re: Still not sure why you are singling out Hollywood?

    Short term, Hollywood is being very abusive with their funds and power. They are using our money to erode our rights. They cost us money and cultural freedom. It needs to stop now!

    Long Term, I agree with you, but it is too late to do away with one sweep, we need to start somewhere.

    I don't think we are ready to impose our laws on GOD yet.

     

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  126.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Dec 8th, 2012 @ 9:33am

    Re: Re: Still not sure why you are singling out Hollywood?

    Short term, Hollywood is being very abusive with their funds and power. They are using our money to erode our rights. They cost us money and cultural freedom. It needs to stop now!

    Hollywood doesn't bother me. It's the fossil fuel industry I am more concerned. Something that affects my health is biggest biggest concern. For example, fracking is happening next to elementary schools now in Colorado. Cities are passing laws to prevent fracking within city limits and they are being threatened with lawsuits for doing so.

    Citizens are finding that they don't have much power against the oil and gas lobby.

     

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  127.  
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    btrussell (profile), Dec 8th, 2012 @ 1:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Still not sure why you are singling out Hollywood?

    " Citizens are finding that they don't have much power against the oil and gas lobby."

    And if peckerheads in hollywood have their way, you will certainly knot have more power or ability. Think internet: Communication.

     

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  128.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Dec 8th, 2012 @ 1:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Still not sure why you are singling out Hollywood?

    Some environmental issues are triggering some interesting political alliances. The push for the pipeline, taking land from landowners in Texas and Nebraska, is gaining protests from traditionally conservative voters and politicians.

    Keystone Pipeline Sparks Property Rights Backlash — Oil and Natural Gas | The Texas Tribune: "Former Perry gubernatorial rival Debra Medina, a Republican from the Ron Paul wing of the GOP, is another critic. She said the pipeline flight shows how 'crony capitalism' has stacked the deck in favor of big business interests while running roughshod over small business owners and average Texans."


    Similarly here in Colorado, fracking is moving into heavily populated suburbs and there are a lot of protests from homeowners who don't want drilling within feet of their homes, schools, and parks. Even if safety issued are settled (and they won't be without adequate testing), there are still the issues of noise, traffic, dust, and water disposal that come with the drilling. That lowers the quality of life and property values for those living next to the drilling sites. Liability lawyers are just waiting for the accidents to happen to sue the hell out of any companies involved. However, the way these things tend to go is that any company that is involved in an accident will go out of business if sued, so the damaged property owner or victim won't get any money.

     

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  129.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Dec 8th, 2012 @ 1:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Still not sure why you are singling out Hollywood?

    And if peckerheads in hollywood have their way, you will certainly knot have more power or ability. Think internet: Communication.

    I have my doubts about corporations in general, so whatever happens to disperse power/wealth in all industries I am all in favor of.

     

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  130.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Dec 8th, 2012 @ 3:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Here's another illustration why I think economically the world is probably headed more toward a left-leaning rather than a libertarian viewpoint. Protecting private property is one thing when everyone has a chance to accumulate it. But when private property/capital is increasingly out of reach of those who don't have it already, protecting it just means you're helping out the guy that has it, but not helping out yourself.

    Rise of the Robots - NYTimes.com: "Better education won’t do much to reduce inequality if the big rewards simply go to those with the most assets. Creating an 'opportunity society', or whatever it is the likes of Paul Ryan etc. are selling this week, won’t do much if the most important asset you can have in life is, well, lots of assets inherited from your parents."

     

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  131.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Dec 9th, 2012 @ 11:29am

    Re: Re: Still not sure why you are singling out Hollywood?

    Here's a follow-up to the Atlantic article. I pulled an excerpt but there is a lot more in the article.

    Middle Class Political Economist: NYT Series Illuminates -- And Confuses -- The State of the Subsidy Wars: "Finally, as Phil Mattera at Good Jobs First points out, the deals database misses a number of large awards, leaving out Tennessee's $450 million (present value) subsidy to Volkswagen and an even bigger package for ThyssenKrupp in Alabama. It also underestimates other awards, including Apple in North Carolina and Boeing in South Carolina. I also found that it underestimated subsidies to Dell and Google in North Carolina by omitting the local subsidy portion of the awards, a problem Ms. Story is aware of, as I noted in my last post."

     

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  132.  
    identicon
    Paul Q. Merritt, Dec 10th, 2012 @ 9:43am

    Re: NM and NY

    Hello Mr. Masnick,
    My name is Paul Merritt and I find your article to be very interesting in that I am a Grip from New Mexico and I am currently working in New York. That said, your article should make perfect sense in explaining my reason for being. Here's the rub with reality that you might be avoiding, though (I am sure this is accidental, btw). You see, people travel for work every day. Some may only travel a mile while others travel thousands of miles. Anyway you slice it the taxes and other sundry bills still get paid. As for the studies you mentioned, suffice it to say, you obviously not done your research in anyway shape or form. In the future please hold yourself to a higher par in practicing your journalistic integrity.

     

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  133.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2012 @ 10:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Cultural programs

    Typical troll...you are given plain examples of bribery (Senator Leahy was bribed twice,) but you ignore them and argue about the words.

     

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  134.  
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    btrussell (profile), Dec 10th, 2012 @ 2:47pm

    Re: Re: NM and NY

    Get a grip!

     

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  135.  
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    depauldem (profile), Dec 14th, 2012 @ 3:33am

    Re: Re: Re:

    None of the examples you list depend on the film incentive. Hotel jobs, bar jobs, restaurant jobs....all of them are not dependent on film industry patrons. Indeed, they would be better off if the state spent money on tourism spending. As for the tourism benefits you allude to from film & tv, please remember that setting matters....not where it is actually filmed. This is why Scranton benefits from the Office (filmed in Hollywoood); Boston benefits from Cheers (filmed in Hollywood); Miami benefits from CSI Miami (filmed in Long Beach); Dallas benefits from the old Dallas (filmed in LA)....and so on and so on and so on.

    For the record, most of the major cash payments from Michigan to film & TV went to projects not set in Michigan at ALL. Red Dawn, OZ, Scream 4, Reel Steal etc. etc. etc.

     

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  136.  
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    depauldem (profile), Dec 14th, 2012 @ 3:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    AC,

    The politicians in Georgia are being lied to. The only report the have was paid for by the MPAA and written by a firm that has a direct financial interest in seeing state film incentives continue. But sure, trust those with a direct financial state and the "highly qualified" elected officials in Georgia who do NOT have time to study the information presented to them, as film incentives are just one of the hundreds of things on their daily agendas.

    Perhaps you should look to equally red Louisiana, where all three of the reports paid for by the state film office show the same thing as virtually every other incentive report from every other state, ever. FILM INCENTIVES NEVER PAY FOR THEMSELVES. EVER. EVER. EVER. Facts and reality do not support you. At all. 2+2=4, yet you insist its 5.

     

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  137.  
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    depauldem (profile), Dec 14th, 2012 @ 3:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Cultural programs

    Um, Wheeler in Iowa. Patel and others in Louisiana. Two state reps in Michigan over Hanger 42. The producer of the last Richard Dreyfuss movie in Massachusetts. The Jewish Producer from Minn in Iowa. That's just off the top of my head. Please stop waiting and google film incentive corruption. Lots of reading awaits you.

     

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  138.  
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    depauldem (profile), Dec 14th, 2012 @ 3:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    My God. You speak of personal bias and then link to an article (not the actual study, btw) of a report paid for by the MPAA in support of film incentives? That report has as much credibility as a report paid for by Justin Bieber saying that he has more artistic merit than any singer on earth, ever. Sure....let's trust that. And how is the kool aid in Jonestown?

    Had you actually read that study, you might have noticed that E&Y actually conceded that the cost to the governments actually exceeds the roi state coffers. Try reading it next time....be careful not to spit your kool aid out.

     

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  139.  
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    depauldem (profile), Dec 14th, 2012 @ 4:13am

    Re: Re: Because The Rich own gov'ts; it's their re-distribution scheme.

    South Carolina killed their incentive. North Carolina's incentive expires next year, and the conservatives who have come back into power their have signaled their desire to end the program. Gov. Perdue, a Dem, backed it. In Georgia, the conservatives running the state have only one report to base their support off of....and it was paid for by the MPAA, who is lying to them. Ignorance is bliss.

    Finally, the Louisiana film division has commissioned three reports on the film incentive. ALL of them show massive losses for the state. In addition, one was done by the Leg. fiscal officer and another was done by a third party think tank....those two reports showed the same thing as the other three. ALL FIVE REPORTS show Louisiana is bleeding hundreds of millions of dollars for virtually no ROI to the state coffers. Does this surprise? No....It's Louisiana. Who read there?

    Again, stop drinking the kool aid. Or, wait.....are you a MPAA staffer?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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