How the Koch Brothers Killed the Florida Film Industry | Deadline

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Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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21 Responses

  1. Avatar Murali says:

    It is one thing to say that the Koch brothers killed the state funding of a welfare programme. There is a good case to be made that welfare programmes tend to help the poor. This is not to say that there is no welfare program that should not be scrapped*, but killing a welfare program is at the least poor optics. This is like meh. Even on any plausible liberal account of justice in which a generous social safety net is justified, subsidising the film industry is not justified because that money is either money that could have gone towards the poor or not taxed in the first place. Film subsidies like farm subsidies are this thing which just about any sane account of justice does not endorse but which happens because of the usual suspects. Its hard to think that the Koch brothers were actually wrong in doing this.

    *in principle a given welfare program may be ill considered and poorly run.Report

    • Avatar Will H. says:

      re: *

      Not so sure.

      “Ill-considered” appears to be code for “beneficial to an out-group perceived as receiving a disproportionate share.”

      Who’s to say that I don’t really need a $20,000 research grant and a Corvette to study Chicks with Fine Asses?
      Some people want to study butterfly migration patterns, some just want to study chicks with fine asses.
      That’s all.

      Chicks with fine asses are a precious natural resource which must be preserved.
      Some people go for the rain forest.
      It’s not like I’m opposed to the rain forest.
      I don’t see why people are opposed to chicks with fine asses.

      There’s nothing wrong with chicks with fine asses, ya know.

      From a pragmatic view, “poorly run” appears to be code for “needs re-assessment on-the-fly.”
      Sometimes immediacy of need gains primacy of consideration.
      That’s all.
      Granted, this may appear to be “poorly run” by those with imperfect information, who lack sufficient data to adequately re-assess needs on-the-fly.

      Some people might be opposed to immediate needs.
      That’s why the Corvette is integral to the above example.
      You don’t want me out there engaging in significant research on chicks with fine asses running around in a Pinto, do you?

      See?
      Needs re-assessment.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

      I suppose the interesting question is what would happen if every state dropped subsidies for filming in the state. But this is a collective action problem that won’t happen.

      So the question then becomes do the subsidies provide enough benefit (in terms of jobs, economy, and prestige) to justify the subsidies existing.Report

    • Avatar Kim says:

      Governments can function like angel investors to get fledgling industries off the ground.
      Please do not mistake a decent, well-argued “give us five years!” for “give us forever!”

      I can point to plenty of industries that have got off the ground because of government funding. I can also point to industries that have perished — been ruined — because of sudden lack of government funding.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

        So if it’s been more than 5 years, and suddenly the government funding dries up, is it a bad thing that the industry is ruined?Report

        • Avatar Kim says:

          Depends on the industry, truly. I don’t expect to support any funding whatsoever without an exit plan (as it so happens I know someone who was helping write the business plan for the film industry here). Ditto goes for charities too — if you can’t fix the problem, you aren’t trying hard enough.Report

          • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

            Problem is, the film industry is already quite firmly established, and very competent at locating whatever it needs wherever it needs it, so the idea of a fledgling film industry in FL, or PA, or anywhere is bunk. You can get businesses that provide local gear & personnel, but the entertainment industry isn’t like locating a research facility or production plant. There is no significant land or infrastructure needs that require extensive government support, no huge regulatory burdens to overcome.

            At least, not since the Paramount decision.Report

            • Avatar Kim says:

              PA makes a much cheaper place to film — and more importantly do special effects. Pittsburgh’s chockablock full of people who are smart programmers — and the artists to go with them.

              But, you see, there are many places that would suit… and relatively few HBOs, if you catch my drift.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                I very much get your point.

                An actual film industry means production houses located in PA, producing content in PA (& elsewhere), etc.

                Not just a handful of suppliers who do work on spec.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                Yes, and we were quite a bit closer to it than you’d think.
                HBO’s newest “next big thing” show (I think it’s that one by Gamon) was “this” close to settling down to film in Pittsburgh.Report

  2. Avatar greginak says:

    Subsidizing film industries doesn’t seem the best usage of money. AK just chopped our subsidies which hurt the small film industry we have here. Of course the same people who were against supports for film are just fine and dandy with plenty of supports for the oil/gas industry . But we shouldn’t be subsidizing industries just to create something that isn’t there.Report

    • Avatar Kim says:

      greg,
      It seemed to be workign fine here. Seed Corn, ya know? It wasnt intended to be forever.
      PA Budget Crisis really killed the whole industry though.Report

  3. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    I just can’t get upset over this. Sure, the film incentives certainly created well paying jobs and had other 2nd order positives, but they are still corporate welfare. If it’s OK to give such to film production, then it’s OK for any other industry, etc.

    But, you know, Kochs are involved, so grab yer torches!Report

  4. Avatar Autolukos says:

    And people say that good news doesn’t get covered.Report

  5. Avatar notme says:

    Yes, the Koch bros are truly evil folks. Is there anything they haven’t done? I heard they once took candy from a baby.Report

  6. Avatar Aaron David says:

    Pretty much any time the name Koch is brought up I simply roll my eyes and move on. When it’s IATSE I am afraid I might roll the eyes so hard as to herniate a disc.Report