AASoci  Vol.2 No.2 , June 2012
Balancing the Budget through Social Exploitation: Why Hard Times Are Even Harder for Some
ABSTRACT
In all societies needs and wants regularly exceed resources. Thus societies are always in deficit; demand always exceeds supply and “balancing the budget” is a constant social problem. To make matters somewhat worse, research suggests that need- and want-fulfillment tends to further stimulate the cycle of want-seeking rather than satiating desire. Societies use various resource-allocation mechanisms, including price, to cope with gaps between wants and resources. Social exploitation is a second mechanism, securing labor from population segments that can be coerced or convinced to perform necessary work for free or at below-market compensation. Using practical examples, this article develops a theoretical framework for understanding social exploitation. It then offers case examples of how different segments of the population emerge as exploited groups in the United States, due to changes in social policies. These exploitative processes have been exacerbated and accelerated by the economic downturn that began in 2007.

Cite this paper
Tropman, J. & Nicklett, E. (2012). Balancing the Budget through Social Exploitation: Why Hard Times Are Even Harder for Some. Advances in Applied Sociology, 2, 111-119. doi: 10.4236/aasoci.2012.22015.
References
[1]   Addams, J. (2002). If men were seeking the franchise. In J. B. Elshtain (Ed.), The Jane Addams reader (pp. 229-234). New York, NY: Basic Books.

[2]   Administration on Aging (2005). Statistics: Aging in the 21st century. Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Aging. www.aoa.gov/prof/Statistics/future_growth/aging21/demography.asp

[3]   America, R. F. (1990). The wealth of races: The present value of benefits from past injustices. New York, NY: Greenwood Press.

[4]   Assmann, A. (2009). Plunging into nothingness: The politics of cultural memory. In L. B. Lambert, & A. Ochsner (Eds.), Movement to monument: The making and unmasking of cultural significance (pp. 35-49). New York, NY: Basic Books

[5]   Atkinson, J., & Feather, N. (1966). A theory of achievement motivation. New York, NY: Wiley and Sons.

[6]   Atwater, D. M., & Jones, A. (2004). Preparing for a future labor shortage: How to stay ahead of the curve. Graziadio Business Report: Journal of Contemporary Business Practice, 7. http://gbr.pepperdine.edu/042/laborshortage.html

[7]   Barnes, S. L. (2002). Achievement or ascription ideology? An analysis of attitudes about future success for residents in poor urban neighborhoods. Sociological Focus, 35, 207-225.

[8]   Bready, J. W. (2006). Lord Shaftesbury. Whitefish, MT: Kessinger.

[9]   Browne, R. (1993). The economic basis for reparations to black America. Review of Black Political Economy, 21, 99-110. doi:10.1007/BF02701708

[10]   Caporaso, J. A., & Levine, D. P. (1992). Theories of political economy. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

[11]   Chambers, C. A. (1986). Women in the creation of the profession of social work. Social Service Review, 60, 1-33. doi:10.1086/644347

[12]   Coontz, S. (1992). The way we never were: American families and the nostalgia trap. New York, NY: Basic Books.

[13]   DiMaggio, P. J., & Powell, W. W. (1983). The iron cage revisited: Institutional isomorphism and collective rationality in organizational fields. American Sociological Review, 48, 147-160. doi:10.2307/2095101

[14]   Dowd, D. F. (1958). The economics of slavery in the antebellum South: A comment. The Journal of Political Economy, 66, 440-442. doi:10.1086/258079

[15]   Ellis, J. J. (2004). His excellency: George Washington. New York, NY: Knopf.

[16]   Elshtain, J. B. (2002). Jane Addams and the dream of American democracy. New York, NY: Basic Books.

[17]   Elshtain, J. B. (2002). Introduction: “Woman’s remembering heart”: Bread-giving, peace-making, and sympathy as political forces. In J. B. Elshtain (Ed.), The Jane Addams reader. New York, NY: Basic Books.

[18]   England, P., Reid, L. L., & Kilbourne, B. S. (1996). The effect of sex composition on the starting wages in an organization: Findings from the NLSY. Demography, 33, 511-522. doi:10.2307/2061784

[19]   Estes, C. (1983). The aging enterprise. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

[20]   Fisher, R., & Karger, H. J. (2000). The context of social work practice. In P. Allen-Meares, & C. Garvin (Eds.), The handbook of social work direct practice (pp. 5-22). London: Sage Publications.

[21]   Forting, R., Soss, J., & Schram, S. (2011). Disciplining the Poor. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

[22]   Frank, R. H. (1999). Luxury fever: Why money fails to satisfy in an era of excess. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

[23]   Frank, R., & Cook, P. J. (1995). The winner take all society. New York, NY: Penguin

[24]   Galbraith, J. K. (1958). The affluent society. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.

[25]   Genovese, E. D. (1965). The political economy of slavery: Studies in the economy and society of the slave South. New York, NY: Pantheon Books.

[26]   Glass, J. L., & Estes, S. B. (1997). The family responsive workplace. Annual Review of Sociology, 23, 289-313. doi:10.1146/annurev.soc.23.1.289

[27]   Goodin, R. E. (1988). Reasons for welfare. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

[28]   Gurr, T. R. (1970). Why men rebel. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

[29]   Hare-Mustin, R. T. (1988) Family change and gender differences: Implications for theory and practice. Family Relations, 37, 36-41. doi:10.2307/584427

[30]   Haider, S., & Loughran, D. (2001). Elderly labor supply: Work or play? Working paper for the Center for Retirement Research.

[31]   Hamilton, D. (1997). Is it time to forget about the deficit? Obstacles to decreasing the federal budget deficit—includes effects of the retirement of baby boomers to entitlement programs. Business Economics.

[32]   Harvey, D. (1978). The urban process under capitalism: A framework for analysis. International journal of urban and regional research, 2, 101-131. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2427.1978.tb00738.x

[33]   Hirschman. A. O. (2002). Shifting involvements: Private interest and public action. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

[34]   Hochschild, A. (1983). The managed heart. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

[35]   Humphries, J. (2003). Child labor: Lessons from the historical experience of today’s industrialized economies. The World Bank Economic Review, 17, 175-196. doi:10.1093/wber/lhg016

[36]   Kalleberg, A. L., Reskin, B. F., & Hudson, K. (2000). Bad jobs in America: Standard and nonstandard employment relations and job quality in the United States. American Sociological Review, 65, 256- 278. doi:10.2307/2657440

[37]   Kemp, S. P., Whittaker, J. K., & Tracy, E. M. (1997). Person-environment practices: The social ecology of interpersonal helping. New York, NY: Aldine De Gruyter.

[38]   Kondrat, M. E. (2002). Actor-centered social work: Re-visioning “person-in-environment” through a critical theory lens. Social Work, 47, 435-448. doi:10.1093/sw/47.4.435

[39]   Koonz, R. (2009). The end-of-life vehicle (ELV) directive: The road to responsible disposal. Minnesota Journal of International Law, 18, 431-457.

[40]   Mamdani, M. (1985). Disaster prevention: Defining the problem. Review of African Political Economy, 12, 92-96. doi:10.1080/03056248508703639

[41]   Macklin, R. (1988). Is there anything wrong with surrogate motherhood? An ethical analysis. The Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, 16, 57-64. doi:10.1111/j.1748-720X.1988.tb01051.x

[42]   Marx, K. (1867). Capital: A critique of political economy. Volume 1, Part 1: The process of capitalist production. New York, NY: Cosimo.

[43]   McCullough, D. (2002). John Adams. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.

[44]   McIntosh, P. (1992). White privilege and male privilege: A personal account of coming to see correspondences through work in women’s studies. In M. L. Andersen, & P. H. Collins (Eds.), Race, class, and gender (pp. 70-81). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company.

[45]   McLean, B., & Thomas, R. (1996). Informal and formal kinship care populations: A study in contrasts. Child Welfare, 75, 489-505.

[46]   Merton, R. (1968). Social theory and social structure. New York, NY: The Free Press.

[47]   Meyer, D. S., & Tarrow, S. G. (1998). The social movement society: Contentious politics for a new century. Oxford, UK: Rowman & Littlefield.

[48]   Meyer, J. W., & Rowan, B. (1977). Institutionalized organizations: Formal structure as myth and ceremony. American Journal of Sociology, 83, 440-463. doi:10.1086/226550

[49]   Nelson, T. D. (2002). Ageism: Stereotyping and prejudice against older adults. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

[50]   Nelson, T. D. (2005). Ageism: Prejudice against our feared future self. Journal of Social Issues, 61, 207-221. doi:10.1111/j.1540-4560.2005.00402.x

[51]   Olson, M. (1965). The logic of collective action. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

[52]   Padavic, I., & Reskin, D. (2002). Women and men at work (2nd ed.). London: Pine Forge Press.

[53]   Palmore, E. (1999). Ageism: Negative and positive (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Springer.

[54]   Piven, F. F., & Cloward, R. A. (1979). Poor people’s movements: Why they succeed, how they fail. New York, NY: Vintage Books.

[55]   Piven, F. F., & Cloward, R. A. (1993). Regulating the poor: The functions of public welfare (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Vintage Books.

[56]   Porter, K. H., Larin, K., & Primus, W. (1999). Social security and poverty among the elderly: A national and state perspective. Briefing paper for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. www.cbpp.org/4-8-99socsec.htm

[57]   Quadagno, J. (1990). Race, class, and gender in the U.S. welfare state: Nixon’s failed family assistance plan. American Sociological Review, 55, 11-28. doi:10.2307/2095700

[58]   Reich, R. B. (2001). The future of success. New York, NY: Knopf.

[59]   Root, L. S., & Tropman, J. E. (1984). Income sources of the elderly. Social Service Review, 58, 384-403. doi:10.1086/644214

[60]   Sample, R. J. (2003). Exploitation: What it is and why it is wrong. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

[61]   Scott, W. R. (1995). Institutions and organizations (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

[62]   Shaefer, H. L., & Talley, G. W. (forthcoming). Kinship care: Parenting your children’s children in an unsupportive system. Illinois Child Welfare.

[63]   Soss, J., Forting, R., & Schran, S. (2011) Disciplining the poor. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

[64]   Sperber, I. (1970). The sociological dimension of military co-optation in the United States. Sociological inquiry, 40, 61-71. doi:10.1111/j.1475-682X.1970.tb00979.x

[65]   Stanford University News Service (1995). Baby boomers face uncertainty regarding retirement income. www.stanford.edu/dept/news/pr/95/950201Arc5394.html

[66]   Stouffer, S. A., Suchman, E. A., Devinney, L. C., Star, S. A., & Williams, R. M. (1949). The American soldier: Adjustment during Army life. (Studies in social psychology in World War II, Vol. I). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

[67]   Straus, S. W., & Kirby, R. (2005). History of the thrift movement in America. New York, NY: Cosimo Classics.

[68]   Sunn, A., Fogg, N., Harrington, P., Khatiwada, I., Trub’skyy, & Palma, S. (2002). Immigrant workers and the great American job machine: The contributions of new foreign immigration to national and regional labor force growth in the 1990s. Working paper for the Center for Labor Market Studies, Northeastern University. Prepared for National Business Roundtable.

[69]   Testa, M. F., & Slack, K. S. (2002). The gift of kinship foster care. Children and Youth Services Review, 24, 79-108. doi:10.1016/S0190-7409(01)00169-4

[70]   Trattner, W. I. (1989). From poor law to welfare state: A history of social welfare in America. New York, NY: The Free Press.

[71]   Tropman, J. (1998). Does America hate the poor? Westport, CT: Prager.

[72]   Vanneman, R. D., & Pettigrew, T. (1972). Race and relative deprivation in the urban United States. Race, 13, 461-486. doi:10.1177/030639687201300404

[73]   Veblen, T. (1899). The theory of the leisure class. New York, NY: Macmillan.

[74]   Wacqwant, L. (2009). Punishing the poor. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

[75]   Walker, I., & Pettigrew, T. F. (1984). Relative deprivation theory: An overview and conceptual critique. British Journal of Social Psychology, 23, 301-310. doi:10.1111/j.2044-8309.1984.tb00645.x

[76]   Werheimer, A. (1996). Exploitation. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

[77]   Wheelan, C. (2002). Naked economics: Undressing the dismal science. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company.

[78]   Yates, J., & Hunter J. D. (2011). Thrift and thriving in America: Capitalism and moral order from the Puritans to the present. New York, NY: Oxford.

[79]   Zinn, H. (1999). A people’s history of the United States: 1492-Present. New York, NY: HarperCollins.

 
 
Top