Economists use the term “rent seeking” to refer to people investing resources in getting government favors. In the Concise Encyclopedia article I wrote on this, I explain why I think the term is inappropriate.

But if rent seeking were the appropriate term, then what Tyler Cowen quoted about Greece today could be called “rent sucking.” Key quote:

AirSea’s odyssey illustrates one of the key problems preventing Greece from generating the economic growth it needs to pay off its heavy debts: Critics say a sprawling civil service has tried to secure its own survival through an opaque patchwork of fees, taxes and red tape. The European Commission estimates the administrative burden of Greece’s bureaucracy–the value of work devoted to dealing with government-imposed administration–is equivalent to 7% of gross domestic product, twice the EU average.