The impact of Reaganomics on women, workers, and person of color is explored by looking at structural forces in the political economy that encourage business and government at one time to support and another time to undermine the welfare state. The expansion of the welfare state from 1935 to the mid-1970s meshed well with the needs of profitable production, political legitimacy and patriarchal control. With the economic crisis of the 1970s, the welfare state became too competitive with capital accumulation and too supportive of empowered popular movements and had to go. Women, persons of color, and the poor ranked high among the victims of the new austerity plan.