Inequality and the social crisis

Australia: Official unemployment figures downplay growing jobs crisis

By Terry Cook, 2 November 2019

The mass destruction of full-time jobs and a rapid growth in casualisation across every sector has been overseen by Liberal and Labor governments alike.

More fires ignite as wildfire season deepens in California

By Kevin Martinez, 1 November 2019

11 fires are presently raging across California, with reports indicating that the state’s utility monopolies likely bear responsibility for the most damaging fires.

PG&E "can tell you what to do and you have to pay them money"

Growing outrage over PG&E role in California fire disaster

By Gabriel Black, 30 October 2019

Millions of people are frustrated and sickened by the regularization of the blackouts.

The global youth radicalization and the fight for socialism

By Eric London, 30 October 2019

The political awakening of the most educated, urbanized and technologically interconnected generation in history is of critical strategic significance for the entire working class.

Stop the censorship of socialist views by the University of Leipzig student council

the IYSSE Leipzig, 30 October 2019

The student council refused IYSSE official club status, effectively imposing censorship on left-wing and socialist views on campus.

Seventy percent of US Millennials say they are likely to vote socialist

By Genevieve Leigh, 29 October 2019

The growing interest in and support for socialism coincides with a significant growth of class struggle and social protest internationally.

New York University’s new mental health initiative cheats students in need of counseling

By Sam Dalton, 29 October 2019

NYU has launched a wellness program that is inadequate for the mental health needs of its students.

State of emergency as California wildfires force 200,000 to evacuate

By Renae Cassimeda, 28 October 2019

Large areas of northern California are engulfed in flames as wind gusts reach over 90 miles per hour, leading to the largest evacuation in the state’s history.

As educators enter eighth school day on strike

Chicago school staff union breaks ranks with teachers, signs tentative deal

By George Marlowe, 28 October 2019

The sellout contract agreed to by SEIU Local 73 paves the way for the Chicago Teachers Union to order the teachers back to work.

Lessons of the GM autoworkers strike

By Marcus Day, 28 October 2019

If the UAW has succeeded in the short term in forcing the company’s demands through, it has done so at the expense of even further discrediting itself among workers.

Trump proposal denies free school meals to half a million children

By Kate Randall, 25 October 2019

The USDA rule change would throw more than 680,000 households with children off food stamps. About 540,000 children in these families would no longer be eligible for free school meals.

Reports highlight rising methamphetamine health crisis across US Midwest

By Jacob Crosse, 24 October 2019

The number of meth related cases reported in the state of Wisconsin alone have surged by 450 percent over the last decade.

Youth suicide rate skyrockets in the US: A symptom of a rotting social order

By Genevieve Leigh, 24 October 2019

In the United States, suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth aged 12-18.

Suicide rates and suicidal behavior rise sharply among American youth

By Trévon Austin, 18 October 2019

The CDC reports that the suicide rate among those aged 10 to 24 years old increased by 56 percent between 2007 and 2017.

Pacific Gas and Electric utility confronts mass outrage a week after Northern California power shutoffs

By Dan Conway, 17 October 2019

During last week’s outage, traffic signals went dark, water was not pumped from ground wells, food spoiled, and medical devices failed to operate.

At New York forum in defense of Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning

UN special rapporteur on torture warns: “Assange will not get a fair trial in Virginia”

By Sandy English, 17 October 2019

A panel discussion at Columbia University on Tuesday laid bare the fraudulent character of the charges brought against Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning and put the spotlight on those who committed the war crimes that WikiLeaks exposed.

California Governor vetoes $2 billion affordable housing bill

By Rafael Azul, 16 October 2019

Gavin Newsom’s veto exposes the Democrat as a fiscal austerity conservative in the mold of Republican governors.

“PG&E should be nationalized”: Berkeley students and residents denounce forced blackout in California

By Evan Blake, 16 October 2019

Last week’s blackout, which affected over two million people and businesses, lasted up to four days in some places and likely caused many premature deaths.

US impeachment inquiry: State Department official testifies in defiance of Trump ban

By Patrick Martin, 14 October 2019

Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch is the first Trump administration official to testify before the House Intelligence Committee since the White House declared its policy of noncooperation with the impeachment inquiry.

Wildfires and forced blackouts lead to multiple deaths in California

By Evan Blake, 14 October 2019

In total, Pacific Gas and Electric cut power to over 700,000 homes or businesses in two phases last Wednesday and Thursday, likely equivalent to over two million people.

Conflict erupts over European Central Bank’s return to “quantitative easing”

By Nick Beams, 14 October 2019

According to initial reports of the September meeting, as many as nine members of the 25-member governing council opposed the ECB's decision to return to “quantitative easing.”

Two dead, one missing after hotel worksite collapses in New Orleans

By Aaron Murch, 14 October 2019

The area remains under evacuation, with at least 100 people being forced from their nearby homes due to the danger of further collapses.

Four homeless men murdered in New York City’s Chinatown

By Owen Mullan and Sandy English, 14 October 2019

The tragic incident, involving six of the poorest people in the United States, is a product of the city’s social decay, the most unequal large American city.

As wildfires, power outages spread throughout California, tens of thousands ordered to evacuate

By Dan Conway, 12 October 2019

Fires burned throughout the Southern California region on Thursday and Friday, leading to deliberate power outages with dozens of homes and buildings destroyed.

Australian government ministers call for protesters to be cut off welfare

By Mike Head, 11 October 2019

While the remarks referred to “Extinction Rebellion” demonstrators who temporarily blocked some traffic in major cities, they have a wider anti-democratic logic.

Richest 400 Americans paid lower taxes than everyone else in 2018

By Trévon Austin, 10 October 2019

The overall tax rate on the richest .01 percent was only 23 percent last year, while the bottom half of the population paid 24.2 percent.

Mexico: 100,000 university workers strike as López Obrador’s vows deeper austerity

By Andrea Lobo, 10 October 2019

The bankruptcy of universities and the response by López Obrador exposes the anti-working class character of the Morena administration.

New Zealand: Unexplained death at university hall of residence

By John Braddock, 3 October 2019

While stresses on students are escalating, privately-run residential halls maintain profits by cost-cutting and slashing pastoral care.

“The CEOs and Wall Street are trying to take your wages and benefits… Don’t Give in. Stand your ground!”

Detroit college students support striking GM workers

By Genevieve Leigh, 2 October 2019

Students at Detroit’s Wayne State University discussed the fight of General Motors workers and the strategy needed for them to win their historic strike.

Thousands of children under age ten arrested every year in the United States

By Casey Gold, 1 October 2019

The recent arrests of two 6-year-old children at their elementary school in Orlando, Florida has shone light on the shocking number of child arrests and detainments in the US.

A call to action:

Why students and youth should support striking GM workers

the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE)–US, 1 October 2019

The IYSSE calls on students and youth throughout the US and the world to actively support the 48,000 striking General Motors workers and to bring them an international and socialist perspective.

US Census report: Inequality grew rapidly in 2018 to record levels

By Eric London, 28 September 2019

The US is now as unequal as the Democratic Republic of the Congo and less equal than Kenya, Mexico and Malaysia.

Officials cover up lead in water crisis in Newark, New Jersey

By Shuvu Batta, 27 September 2019

Residents of Newark, New Jersey, continue to be exposed to lead in their tap water as their city and state officials attempt to lie their way out of the crisis.

Orlando, Florida police officer fired after arresting two six-year-old school children

By Casey Gold, 24 September 2019

School resource officer Dennis Turner was fired from his position in the face of widespread outrage Monday, not for brutalizing two children, but for making the arrests “without the approval of a commanding officer.”

Department of Homeland Security counterterrorism strategy targets left-wing politics as “violent extremism”

By Kevin Reed, 23 September 2019

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a new strategy document expanding the definition of terrorism to include what it calls “domestic actors inspired by violent extremist ideologies.”

US Justice Department sues Edward Snowden to block proceeds of memoir

By Kevin Reed, 23 September 2019

The 26-page lawsuit is aimed at intimidating other whistleblowers and publishers who might be thinking about telling the truth and exposing the crimes of the US government.

US deal with El Salvador puts new roadblock to asylum seekers

By Norisa Diaz, 23 September 2019

The attempt to label El Salvador as a “safe third country” is a deeply sadistic measure to undermine the rights of asylum guaranteed by international asylum law.

Australian students and youth speak out at climate strikes

By our reporters, 23 September 2019

“The governments are too scared to do anything because they want to make profits, rather than save the planet.”

Australian government “balances” budget at expense of disabled

By Mike Head, 23 September 2019

The Morrison government “saved” $4.6 billion by underfunding the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and cutting a total of $6.4 billion from social programs.

Bupa’s aged care homes failing official standards across Australia

By Jenny Campbell, 17 September 2019

The record illustrates the extent to which corporations have been permitted to prioritise profits over care.

Abrupt closures of two hospitals in West Virginia and Ohio leave region reeling

By Naomi Spencer, 16 September 2019

The termination of critical healthcare services will have a deeply damaging impact on the communities, and potentially deadly consequences for individuals who rely on them.

New York City mayor declares end of measles public health emergency

By Gary Joad, 16 September 2019

During a nine-month period, 52 people were hospitalized and 16 individuals placed in intensive care units. Eighty percent of those contracting measles were children.

Two years on, Foxconn’s Wisconsin boondoggle continues under Democrats

By Jacob Crosse, 16 September 2019

With the aid of state and local government officials, the Foxconn swindle rolls on even as job expectations fell short for the second year in a row.

Australian government pushes drug testing for welfare recipients

By Oscar Grenfell, 16 September 2019

The trial, which is aimed at extending “welfare quarantining” measures, would target working class areas hit by job destruction and government budget cuts.

Abortion bill in NSW used to push Australian politics further to the right

By Cheryl Crisp, 16 September 2019

The emotive demagogy over abortion is part of a campaign to mobilise a right-wing Christian base and recruit them into the Liberal Party.

Trump administration and California Democrats conspire to place the homeless in internment camps

By Rafael Azul, 13 September 2019

Democratic and Republican officials met this week in Los Angeles to discuss the removal of homeless people from the second largest city in the US.

US study shows: Poverty and social inequality are killers

By Patrick Martin, 12 September 2019

A study by the Government Accountability Office released this week shows that poor Americans are nearly twice as likely to die before they reach old age as rich Americans.

Household incomes dropping in Australia as economy slides toward recession

By Mike Head, 10 September 2019

Working class living standards are continuing a seven-year fall, setting the scene for class conflict.

US agency warns of lung illness epidemic among young people, attributed to e-cigarettes

By Benjamin Mateus, 9 September 2019

The FDA has issued a public warning of a rapidly developing epidemic of severe lung illnesses associated with “vaping,” with 450 cases confirmed spanning 33 states.

Florida teen hangs himself in Broward County maximum-security jail

By Casey Gold, 9 September 2019

Sonny Rugani, 17, had been charged as an adult and was detained at the Broward County main jail. He had told his arresting officers that he planned to hang himself in prison.

The epidemic of nurse suicides and the US healthcare crisis

By Kate Randall, 7 September 2019

The tragic rise of nurse suicides is a result of the intersection of the lives and labor of this workforce with the brutality of the capitalist system, which values profit above and the health of the population.

“They said they were going to fix everything—people still are hurting"

One year since the Chicago house fire that killed ten children

By Benjamin Mateus and George Gallanis, 6 September 2019

Since the time of the Little Village fire, the same processes that led to the blaze in one of Chicago’s poor, working-class neighborhoods have led to even more fire tragedies in the city.

Stop the deportation of the Biloela refugee family from Australia!

the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 4 September 2019

The fight to defend refugees can only advance through a struggle by the working class against the right-wing nationalist policies of the entire political establishment, including Labor and the Greens.

Texas gunman kills seven people before being shot to death by police

By Patrick Martin, 2 September 2019

The bloodbath in the Midland-Odessa area of west Texas brings the death toll from US mass shootings to 142 this year, more than all of 2018.

As the new US school year begins

The political battle facing teachers

By the WSWS Teacher Newsletter, 28 August 2019

Teachers across the globe are escalating the fight against social inequality, the growing privatization of education and the unrelenting attacks on their standard of living.

Newark water crisis: The latest chapter in the capitalist poisoning of America

By Kate Randall, 27 August 2019

Five years after Democratic government officials of Flint, Michigan exposed tens of thousands of people to lead in their drinking water, the residents of Newark, New Jersey are also being poisoned.

Michigan: Two million gallons of untreated sewage spill into Flint River

By Mitch Marcus, 24 August 2019

Exposure to or ingestion of raw or partially treated sewage, as the city maintains is the case here, can cause immediate harmful effects.

Democrats enforce crackdown on vehicular homelessness in Los Angeles

By Rafael Azul, 23 August 2019

Nearly 10,000 people are forced by high rents and stagnant wages to live in their vehicles on the streets of the second largest city in the United States.

Record global dividend payouts fuel rising social inequality

By Will Morrow, 22 August 2019

The report demonstrates how the financial markets serve as a mechanism for the transfer of wealth up the income scale, from the working class to the corporate elite.

Mass layoffs for workers; millions for GM, Ford and Chrysler CEOs

By Andre Damon, 19 August 2019

CEOs in the United States make in one day what most workers make in a year, according to a new report by the Economic Policy Institute.

“This is corruption, collusion, conspiracy”

Newark, New Jersey residents denounce Democrats over lead-poisoned water

By our reporters, 19 August 2019

The city began distributing bottled water last week after it was revealed that faucet filters were failing to screen toxic lead from home drinking water.

US farm equipment manufacturer John Deere calls for “organizational efficiency,” threatening jobs

By George Gallanis, 19 August 2019

Amid slumps in sales due to escalating trade tensions and low corn and soybean harvests, Deere is intent on cutting production costs.

US: Homelessness, housing insecurity top list of college student stressors as new year begins

By James Vega and Phyllis Steele, 17 August 2019

A new study on student hunger and homelessness reveals that among US college students, 33 percent reported eating less than they felt necessary because they did not have enough money for food.

Lead contamination crisis grows

Newark, New Jersey suspends distribution of bottled water over expiration concerns

By Shuvu Batta, 16 August 2019

City officials were forced to stop distributions Tuesday in response to concerns over cases of bottled water that were labeled as expired.

Over a third of UK’s top earners live in London while workers struggle to get by

By Thomas Scripps, 14 August 2019

London represents a grotesque concentration of all the social contradictions and inequities of British capitalism.

From Couch to Curb film launch highlights youth homelessness in Australia

By Patrick O’Connor, 14 August 2019

More than 116,000 people across Australia, or one in every 200, are currently without a home; a quarter of these are young people aged between 12 and 24.

“We can come together as a force:” Nashville resident who saw neighbors stop ICE speaks out

By our reporters, 13 August 2019

Rosheda Martin lives in the Hermitage neighborhood, where residents physically prevented ICE from snatching their neighbors.

Concerns grow over global financial stability

By Nick Beams, 13 August 2019

There is now a historically unprecedented situation in bond markets where it is estimated that some $15 trillion worth of government bonds are trading at negative yields, meaning an investor who purchased the bond and held it to maturity would make a loss.

American horror story

Elderly husband kills wife, then himself, in desperation over skyrocketing healthcare costs

By Eric London, 12 August 2019

Brian Jones left a note Wednesday morning explaining that he could not afford to pay for his wife’s Alzheimer’s treatment.

Australia: Mentally-ill man shot dead by police at his home

By Martin Scott, 12 August 2019

“If there was no danger to the public, and if he was contained in his own house and not doing anything, one would have to ask ‘why in the hell is he gone?’”

“You work so hard and you can barely make ends meet”

Hundreds of Detroit workers line up to apply for new Fiat Chrysler jobs

By Jerry White, 9 August 2019

Fiat Chrysler is expanding operations in Detroit, exploiting the sharp fall in wages and huge tax cuts.

Australian households’ cost of living soars above consumer price index

By Margaret Rees, 3 August 2019

A large gap has emerged between the official statistics and the standard of living, thanks to skyrocketing prices for essential goods and services, as opposed to prices for discretionary items.

UK housing crisis: 630,000 young people face homelessness in retirement

By Alice Summers, 3 August 2019

Hundreds of thousands of UK millennials risk homelessness when they retire due to a lack of social housing and the inability of young people to get onto the property ladder.

Big business parties preside over a social catastrophe in 21st century America

By Kate Randall, 3 August 2019

The Democrats have no more intention than the Republicans of addressing the burning social questions confronting the working class on a daily basis.

Slump deepens in Australian residential construction industry

By Paul Bartizan and Richard Phillips, 2 August 2019

Multiple faults in new apartment buildings have become a factor in the bursting of a debt-fuelled property bubble that is threatening thousands of jobs.

The fascist attack in Gilroy and the US epidemic of mass shootings

By Patrick Martin, 31 July 2019

Two processes are intersecting in the explosion of violence in America: the long-term impact of social decay and militarism, and the deliberate incitement of fascistic sentiments by President Trump.

UAW, Ford enforce punitive attendance policies at Chicago Assembly Plant ahead of September contract expiration

By Jessica Goldstein, 31 July 2019

The UAW is now playing a critical role in disciplining workers at the behest of Ford in advance of the September expiration of the national auto contract agreement.

Jacksonville Electrical Authority board of directors approves privatization effort

By Matthew Taylor, 31 July 2019

Last Tuesday’s vote represents the latest effort in a years-long conspiracy by Mayor Lenny Curry and his backers to sell off the Florida city’s utility to private interests.

UK: Penniless father of three commits suicide while waiting for welfare payment

By Margot Miller, 31 July 2019

Threatened with eviction, Phillip Herron owed £20,000 in debt to the banks, utility firms and pay day lenders that were charging him 1,000 percent interest.

Australian central bank chief fearful of rising global tensions

By Mike Head, 27 July 2019

“When businesses are nervous, they don’t want to invest,” Philip Lowe warned a corporate lunch audience.

US attorney general directs Bureau of Prisons to reinstate federal death penalty

By Kate Randall, 26 July 2019

The order by William Barr targeting five federal prison inmates of the death penalty for federal inmates sets the stage for the execution of inmates on federal death row for the first time in 16 years.

Electrical worker killed at pipe mill in Western Pennsylvania

By Samuel Davidson, 26 July 2019

Forty-six-year-old David Bupp was electrocuted last Wednesday while repairing a piece of equipment at a small steel pipe manufacturing plant north of Pittsburgh.

Australian disability centre closures result in nearly a dozen deaths

By Max Newman, 26 July 2019

Former residents of a disability centre in Newcastle have died after being transferred to under-funded group homes via the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Trump administration proposes cutting off food stamps for 3 million Americans

By Brian Dixon, 25 July 2019

The USDA acknowledges that the change will increase food insecurity and wipe out what little savings these low-income individuals may have.

Pennsylvania school threatens children with foster care for school lunch debt

By our reporter, 24 July 2019

Some of the threatened families owe the district as little as $10.

Mass protests shake Puerto Rican and US political establishment

By Jerry White, 23 July 2019

In what has been described as the largest demonstration in Puerto Rican history, an estimated half a million people marched Monday to demand the resignation of Governor Ricardo Rosselló.

Merchants of death

How the pharmaceutical companies, Congress and the DEA made the opioid epidemic a billion-dollar industry

By Genevieve Leigh, 23 July 2019

Previously undisclosed government information shows how drug manufacturers and distributors responded to the emerging opioid epidemic by pumping more pills into the hardest-hit regions.

Millions without electrical power in Michigan and northeast US

By Bryan Dyne, 23 July 2019

The blackouts induced by summer storms and the ongoing heatwave expose the fragility of infrastructure in the United States.

Australian aged care home closes abruptly, traumatising residents

By Jenny Campbell, 22 July 2019

Nurses and other Earle Haven staff members watched in horror and shame as patients were left in limbo, with their medications, patient records and equipment quickly removed from the premises.

Explosion at electrical substation in Madison, Wisconsin, leaves thousands without power on hottest day of the year

By Jacob Crosse, 20 July 2019

No official explanation has been given as to the cause of the explosion that left, by some estimates, over 13,000 people without power throughout the day Friday.

United Nations report finds global hunger on the rise for third year in row

By E.P. Milligan, 19 July 2019

The rise in hunger and food insecurity around the world is inextricably linked to the rise of social inequality, the outbreak of new wars and the disastrous effects of climate change.

Gulf between wealthy and poor widening in Australia

By Mike Head, 19 July 2019

Successive governments, both Liberal-National and Labor, have enriched the corporate elite at the expense of the working class.

Australian aged care inquiry hears damning evidence of abuse

By Clare Bruderlin, 18 July 2019

Testimony by care workers, patients and family members has underscored how the cost-cutting drive for profit jeopardises the health, safety and quality of life of elderly people.

Jeff Bezos flaunts obscene wealth with $80 million Manhattan penthouse purchase

By Clare Hurley, 16 July 2019

Bezos’ $137 billion combined wealth could pay the annual median rent for all 250,000 Amazon workers in the US for 100 years.

Elderly poor suffering hypothermia in Australia

By Margaret Rees, 13 July 2019

The “Cold and Lonely” study points to an often-hidden social crisis—the avoidance or under-consumption of heating by people who must ration their energy use so they can pay their bills.

Australian retail giant to cut jobs, wages

By Eric Ludlow, 9 July 2019

Woolworths, one of Australia’s two major supermarket chains, last month announced a restructure that endangers thousands of jobs across the country.

Australian Labor Party backs government’s tax cuts for the wealthy

By Mike Head, 6 July 2019

By voting for the massive tax cuts, Labor further repudiated its bogus election rhetoric against “the big end of town” and for a “fair go” for working people.

Over 20 percent of homeless residents in Chicago are employed, with many holding a college degree

By Jessica Goldstein, 5 July 2019

The latest report by the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless blows apart the myth that by working hard and earning a college degree, workers in the US can prosper under capitalism.

Australian central bank cuts cash rate to record low

By Mike Head, 4 July 2019

The second cut in two months is a sign of fear in ruling circles of the intensifying impact of the global turmoil on the domestic economy.

2,000 workers to lose jobs as Philadelphia refinery shuts down

By Samuel Davidson, 2 July 2019

Blaming high costs from fire damage, Philadelphia Energy Solutions announced the closure of the largest oil refinery on the US East Coast.