8 Groups That Capitalism Forgot: Another Angle on the Social Safety Net

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For the historically minded, the political battles of the last few years may have induced an especially vertiginous bout of deja vu. After all, many of the big debates currently roiling our government -- including those over the minimum wage, health care, college tuition and unemployment -- are nothing new. For decades, politicians and pundits have hashed over these topics, arguing over the appropriate breadth and depth of America's social safety net.

On Salon, Paul Buchheit offers an interesting rundown of government policies that hurt children, students, the elderly, wage earners, women, minorities, the sick and disabled, and the homeless -- a collection of constituencies that Buchheit calls "the eight biggest victims of America's predatory capitalism."
Very succinctly, but with a great deal of solid evidence, he lays out his argument that, over the past few decades, the United States has de-invested from these groups ... with appalling results.

There's a lot of room to disagree with Buchheit. Among other things, his categories have a great deal of overlap, and one could argue that he cherry-picks a great deal of his evidence. On the other hand, it's also hard to ignore America's recent attempts to balance the budget by slashing holes in the social safety net. Buchheit's article is a reminder that governmental "savings" rarely come without a cost -- and that the ones left holding the bill are often the people who have the most to lose.

Bruce Watson is DailyFinance's Savings Editor. You can reach him by e-mail at bruce.watson@teamaol.com, or follow him on Twitter at @bruce1971.


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betty_brock

We libs think Communism is soooooo much better.

September 10 2013 at 10:04 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
ladybegreen

Paying customers are the nation\'s nanny. All is lost if we don\'t sell what we produce above cost of production. We\'re dependent upon paying customers for our survival. These 8 groups need paying customers for all the goodies that they produce. What goodies?

September 09 2013 at 6:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jeremiah

When the government becomes the nation's nanny, all is lost. If you think things are bad now, just wait until everyone earns a "living wage," has "free" Obama-care and we all own our own government home.

September 09 2013 at 2:22 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
Crystle

When welfare gives you a bigger paycheck than a job why should they work? This liberal government is trying very hard to make people dependent for everything on them! Obama is a Marxist socialist and wants to see this country destroyed so he can make his own new government and him and his wife as King and Queen. Just for once really read about Obama's background and all the Marxist professors that tutored him and taught him all about Marxism! Obama will do nothing about our job situation or the economy. He also hates capitalism and will do everything to destroy smaller companies!!

September 09 2013 at 12:45 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Crystle's comment
gop4ever3

Thanks for your self description Crystie, You are obviously the welfare voice of experience talking.

September 09 2013 at 4:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to gop4ever3's comment
rich

Indeed, Baggers hate welfare, and what they have most about welfare is the fact they are on it.

September 10 2013 at 12:52 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down
Larry

Huffy Puffy keeps quoting the Socialist rag, Salon, as though it were a news source. It's a series of opinion pieces, as credible as the posts in the HP comment section.

Oh, how I long for the olden days of true journalism.

September 09 2013 at 10:26 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
Condley

If you can't make it the United States, just where on this earth can you make it? Capitalism offers the most opportunities for the most people. No system is perfect. However, Capitalism is far ahead of anything else. If you don't think so just ask someone who lived in the former Soviet Union, or the current Korea. I for one am not going to work hard so the government can use me as a "tax slave". I will NOT play that game. Nor will most of the producers in the United States. Enough with these moochers! Sink or swim. After 50 years of listening to this BS, I don't care anymore.

September 09 2013 at 9:58 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
jl7503

You often hear people say that the homeless should, "get a job". If you have worked with this population (and I have) and IF you are reasonably aware, you realize that many of these folks could not work a job if they got one. They have mental and/or authority figure problems that would preclude their accepting a "boss", following orders and performing tasks as instructed. It just isn't going to happen. So what does your Christian heart tell you? that we should just let these people die? Is nothing sacred but money? Greed is just sickening today. The one group that is NEVER forgotten is the white, rich, males. I am a white male, just not rich, My 2 cents, thanks for listening.

September 09 2013 at 9:36 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
Billy

I would argue that to some degree some of these groups tend to find themselves left out but because government programs are cut to them that are paid for by others. I would argue what right to people in these groups to begin with have access to what someone else earned. Elderly who pay into SS and Medicare is not what I am talking about. I am talking about people getting housed, fed and clothed on my time and did not work or earn those benefits.

September 09 2013 at 9:07 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
BUFFALO

\"predatory capitalism\" Is a term created by the lazy to account for there failures!!

September 09 2013 at 8:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to BUFFALO's comment
rich

By "the lazy" are you referring to the talent-less criminal CEO's and banksters who actually had the power to sink the economy and did just that? No, you're just another Bagger fool parroting the gibberish planted in your tiny mind by dropouts like Hannity and Limbaugh. You are a brainwashed idiot with inferior influences and source material.

September 10 2013 at 12:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mail4warding

forgot? these 8 and other groups were meant to be forgotten by capitalism...

September 09 2013 at 3:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply