Queensland Nickel employees will receive pay owed by the failed miner after the federal government brought forward entitlements worth $73.9 million that the taxpayer will foot the bill for. It would take someone with the heart of Clive Palmer to not be happy for those who lost their jobs and were left trying to feed their families, however this is outside the ethos of a capitalist economy which at it’s core is a meritocracy, if you succeed then you succeed and if you fail then you brush yourself off and try again.

Without meaning to, since the end of the mining boom in which senior mining executives would pat each other on the back in mutual admiration while lighting cigars with hundred dollar bills, Australia’s attitude and ‘the way we do optimism’ has changed also. The government, employers, the markets, the economy are all to blame for failing businesses as less people take personal responsibility and credit for their actions.

Currently in China for diplomatic talks without largest trading partner, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull spoke of the importance of entrepreneurship and encouraging small businesses to grow and hire, thus building the economy and allowing Australia’s workers to thrive. But what kind of message does footing the bill for Palmer’s failed business send? There is a promise that Palmer will be pursued in court, but the ‘save’ has already been made and this can surely only be seen as corporate welfare, a curse which has plagued society globally since the GFC.

Turnbull speaking of encouraging small business to thrive through risk and innovation is the opposite of bailing out businesses. Any more money would surely be better spent on tax cuts to small business or investing in innovation for those courageous enough to take the leap into their own business and thereby at some stage creating jobs for those Australian workers that will no longer be able to rely on big mining.