If I were Ford, which has been run soundly enough not to need bailouts, I'd be fairly unhappy about the prospect of $39 billion going to subsidize my improvident and incompetent competitors.

I'm not Ford, and I'm still unhappy about it.

On the other hand, I'm a homeowner but I don't object to $50 billion going to prop up people who cannot afford their mortgages and have fallen behind on their monthly payments. That's so even though only some are 'deserving': “Many took out loans they were never going to be able to afford, while others have since lost their jobs.”

If there's going to be a windfall, I'd just as soon it went to people who let the American Dream beguile them into buying modest homes they couldn't actually afford, whether or not the ultimate blame belongs to them or a fast-talking mortgage broker. Now, if we're subsidizing folks who traded up to McMansions, on the other hand….

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4 Responses to Bailouts

  1. howard says:

    Hopefully there will be a bailout for students who were beguiled into taking out massive amounts of student loans at high interest rates. Many students who risked never being able to declare bankruptcy whey they took out those high interest loans also took a chance; now because of a poor economy or other reasons they have not been as successful as they dreamed and deserve to be bailed out too. At least those with homes can escape their debt through foreclosure. Students on the other hand, they are stuck with their debt forever. Signing the dotted lines on a student loan is about the riskiest debt you can take on because there is no escape.

  2. Nelson Muntz says:

    Howard, but at the University of Miami you will be around a vibrant community of critical race theologians and public intellectuals with an innate scholarly inquisitiveness. You can expand your cerebral horizons by taking classes such as Law and Games, Shakespeare and the Law and learn how Racism is involved in every facet of everything we could ever possibly think of by attending seminars such as “What’s Race Got To Do With It? Latinos and Media Coverage of the 2008 Democratic Primary “, “Speculation on the Boundaries of Social Transformation through Litigation: Women and Gay Rights in Israel 1970-2007”, ” From the Vienna to the Paris System, or: What Human Rights has to do with Imperial Politics, Minority Protection, Forced Deportations, and German Genocides.”

    While a student you may not be allowed to attend these lectures, but you should try since once you graduate you will then be a Miami Alumnus, and your chances of ever becoming a member of the Miami faculty will disappear, since Joining the Tenured Miami Faculty is such an august honor that it would never be offered to a mere graduate of the University of Miami. It is reserved for those from Harvard, Yale, Chicago.

    Take advantage of these academic opportunities Howard, you decided to mortgage your future on them. Good luck !

  3. michael says:

    As one of the co-teachers of the “Law and Games” seminar (Spring ’07), I can attest it was meaty: there are a ton of commercial, securities, tort, contract, IP and other property issues raised by the conduct and transactions in MMORPGs such as World or Warcraft and Second Life.

    The students fortunate enough to take it learned a lot, wrote great papers.

    For the record here is the original syllabus (in the event I think we supplemented it with a couple other papers that came out at the last minute) – keep in mind this was two years ago. And the students all wrote 20-40 page papers and presented them.

    Required Materials for the Course: Jack M. Balkin & Beth Simone Noveck eds., The State of Play: Law Games and Virtual Worlds (2006) (Balkin & Noveck) and additional materials to be assigned.

    Assignment for First Class: Please read

    • Lastowka & Hunter, Virtual Worlds: A Primer, in Balkin & Noveck at p. 13-28 and
    • Castronova, Virtual Worlds: A First-Hand Account of Market and Society on the Cyberian Frontier, available via link from SSRN.

    Readings for Wednesday, January 17.

    Players and Game Developers:

    • Bartle, Virtual Worldliness, in Balkin & Noveck pp 31-54
    • Koster, Declaring the Rights of Players, in Balkin & Noveck pp 55-67
    • Castronova, The Right to Play, in Balkin & Noveck pp 68-85
    • Raph Koster, The lifecycles of a player (June 16, 2006)

    Additional Reading Suggestions:

    • Edward Castronova, Synthetic Worlds : the Business and Culture of Online Games 29-144 (2005)
    • Dmitri Williams, Nicolas Ducheneaut, Zhang Yuanyuan, Xiong Li, Nick Yee & Eric Nickell, From Tree House to Barracks: The Social Life of Guilds in World of Warcraft, 1 Games & Culture 338-361 (Issue 4) (2006)
    • Mike Musgrove, Far-Flung Families Unite in Cyberspace — And Kill Monsters, Washington Post (Apr. 20, 2006)

    Fri. Jan. 19. Law in Virtual Worlds:

    EULAs etceteras

    Additional Reading Suggestions

    Property in Virtual Worlds

    Weds. Jan. 24 Real and Financial Property

    Additional Reading:

    Fri. Jan. 26 Intellectual Property

    Additional Reading

    Privacy, Identity, Community

    Weds. Jan. 31 Identity/ Community

    Additional Reading

    Stephen Webb, Avatarculture: Narrative, Power and Identity in Virtual World Environments, 4 Information, Communication & Society 560 (2001)

    Fri. Feb. 2 Privacy/Subscriber Data

    • Zarsky, Privacy and Data Collection in Virtual Worlds, in Balkin & Noveck pp 217-223
    • Mark Andrejevic, the Work of Being Watched: Interactive Media and the Exploitation of Selfdisclosure, 19 Critical Studies in Media Communication 230-248 (2002)
    • MMORPG Worm A Threat to Virtual Swag

    Weds. Feb. 7 Business Law, Regulation and Virtual Worlds

    Fri. Feb. 9:Serious Games

    We met twice a week for the first period, then individually with students to talk about their paper drafts, then reconvened at the end of the semester for the students to present their papers.

  4. howard says:

    I would love to have taken any of the courses or attended any of the lectures the other posters mentioned. Already an alumna, I would entertain the idea of returning to audit law and game or jurisprudence if the reduced tuition for alumni was low enough. The point of my post was that those who take out student loans, not just law students, should have an escape from those loans besides total/permanent disability. Before 98 I believe it was, if a borrower had paid their loans for 8 years, she could declare bankruptcy and have them wiped out.
    On a side note, I wish Michael would teach one of his courses while podcasting it. At Berkeley, they usually offer one law course a semester. This semester you can tune in to international environmental law and take the course online. I would love it if UM offered this public service. A course in Jurisprudence or Law and Games or Internet Law podcast around the world would do a great service to UM’s reputation around the world.

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