Corporate welfare is a term that analogizes corporate subsidies to welfare payments for the poor. The term is often used to describe a government’s bestowal of money grants, or other special favorable treatment for corporations. It highlights how wealthy corporations are less in coined treatment of such treatment than the poor. Could be worth much more than any direct subsidies.
The definition of corporate welfare is sometimes restricted to direct government subsidies of major corporations, the term “corporate welfare” was reportedly invented in 1956 by Ralph Nader. Excluding tax loopholes and all manner of regulatory and trade decisions, the New Democratic Party in Canada picked up the term as a major theme in its 1972 federal election campaign. Used the term in the title of his 1972 book, louder Voices: The Corporate Welfare Bums.
Believed to have been first popularised by Michael Harrington’s 1962 book The Other America in which Harrington cited Charles Abrams, a noted authority on housing. Variations on this adage have been used in criticisms of the United States’ economic policy by Joe Biden, and Bernie Sanders.