"Government subsidizes business in myriad ways, direct and indirect. These subsidies are known as “corporate welfare.” Like other government interventions, they are often spawned by crisis. Corporate welfare takes many forms: government pays farmers to grow certain crops and not to grow others. It makes and guarantees loans. It funds research. It helps companies advertise their products in other countries. It insures their foreign investments against civil unrest. Corporate welfare can be indirect. The Export-Import Bank and foreign aid provide financial help to foreign governments so they can contract with American firms for many goods and services. The common denominator in all these schemes is the forcing of taxpayers to funnel benefits—by one estimate $87 billion a year—to favored businesses. The scope for influence peddling and corruption is vast. The U.S. Department of Commerce is little more than a sophisticated operation for carrying out such schemes."