Originally published in The Canberra Times on May 13, 2013

What is the corporate equivalent of a dole bludger? For all the talk about class warfare in Australia it is interesting that the conservatives have a pejorative name for individuals who need support from the state but progressives don’t even have a term for the foreign companies that make huge profits but still have their hand out for government support. Of course the term “corporate welfare” exists, but there is no specific term for the individual companies that milk the system most effectively. Similarly, the conservatives talk increasingly about “intergenerational welfare dependence”, that is, the notion that some families pass on their desire for low incomes to their children. But again, what is the term for the “infant industries” which ask for government support to help them thrive but, decades later, simply refuse to leave the nest?

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