Over 30 years ago, the sociologist Herbert Gans cataloged the various ways predatory capitalism feeds on the poor. You can find his influential essay "The Uses of Poverty: The Poor Pay All" here. The latest twist on this kind of parasitism can be found in privatized programs that pretend to be community-based corrections systems and alternatives to incarceration but in fact might as well just attach suction pumps to suck the life out of those who fall into their clutches. Here's a good take on the subject from the NY Times.
MORE ON COAL'S DECLINE--and West Virginia's resource curse here, by way of the Washington Post..