Inequality and the social crisis

Laid-off worker opens fire and kills at least five in Aurora, Illinois manufacturing plant

By George Marlowe, 16 February 2019

A recently laid-off worker at the Henry Pratt Company opened fire Friday, killing at least five people and injuring many others.

“Turning Point UK:” A far-right offensive on British campuses

By Thomas Scripps, 14 February 2019

A check of its leading personnel exposes TPUK as a top-down operation of the Tory right, with the substantial backing of Turning Point’s US-based parent organisation and its fascistic supporters.

New Zealand government expands police training in schools

By Tom Peters, 14 February 2019

The Police Studies course is being increased as part of the Labour-led government’s policy of boosting police recruitment, instilling discipline, and controlling the increasingly restive working class.

One year since the Parkland high school massacre: A political balance sheet

By Genevieve Leigh, 14 February 2019

One year has passed since the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which killed 17 people and sparked nationwide protests by students and youth against gun violence.

Steve McDowell, campaigner for Australian paramedic rights, speaks with WSWS

By Cheryl Crisp and John Mackay, 12 February 2019

“The thing is, if NSWA treated their staff the way their staff treat the public, there would be no issue.”—Steve McDowell

Oakland students walk out as school board prepares major cuts

By Jonathan Burleigh, 11 February 2019

Thousands of Oakland students voiced their support for teachers and hostility to planned budget cuts and school closures.

Another flammable cladding fire in Australia highlights government failure

By Paul Bartizan, 6 February 2019

The fire at central Melbourne’s NEO200 high-rise apartment was caused by the same flammable panels used on London’s Grenfell Tower.

Over a thousand federal inmates in New York City jail held for more than a week in dark, frigid conditions

By Philip Guelpa, 4 February 2019

Over 1,600 inmates at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn have been without heat and hot water, and with limited electricity and communications since a fire last Sunday.

More US drug price hikes in 2019

By Alex Johnson, 4 February 2019

According to Reuters, drug manufacturers raised the prices of more than 250 prescription drugs, including the world’s top-selling medicine, Humira.

Extreme cold spell wreaks havoc across United States

By Niles Niemuth, 1 February 2019

The official death toll from the cold weather rose to 12, as critical electrical and natural gas infrastructure was pushed past its breaking point by record low temperatures.

Students and youth must join the fight to oppose GM job cuts!

International Youth and Students for Social Equality US, 31 January 2019

The International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) calls on young people to support autoworkers in their fight against General Motors’ plans to close five plants in the US and Canada.

Australia: Opal Tower builder stops paying hotel fees for some evacuated residents

By John Wilson, 30 January 2019

Engineers for the body corporate have still not signed off on the safety of the apartment block, which was evacuated last month.

Indiana school superintendent arrested, charged with fraud for using insurance to help sick student

By Matthew Taylor, 29 January 2019

The arrest of Casey Smitherman has illuminated the wretched living conditions the working class confronts in Indiana and across the US.

Australia: Port Kembla Coal Terminal locks out workers

By John Harris, 25 January 2019

The union created the conditions for the company attack and has isolated the workers since they were locked-out on Saturday morning.

As global elites gather at Davos

Oxfam: 26 billionaires control as much wealth as poorest half of humanity

By Nick Beams, 22 January 2019

The UK-based charity Oxfam International has reported that the wealth of the world’s billionaires grew by $900 billion last year, a rise of 12 percent, while 3.8 billion people—half the world’s population—saw their wealth decline by 11 percent.

US drug company payments to doctors linked to opioid overdose deaths

By Brian Dixon, 22 January 2019

A study published last week in JAMA Network Open found that counties where doctors received payments from drug companies later experienced higher rates of overdose deaths from opioids.

Native American organizations denounce government shutdown as an abrogation of treaties

By Shelley Connor, 18 January 2019

Now in its fourth week, the partial government shutdown has had wide-ranging and devastating effects upon Native Americans.

Signs of slump in Australia overshadow looming election

By Mike Head, 18 January 2019

Regardless of all the promises, a sharp downturn will drive another wave of austerity measures and job-shedding once an election is out of the way.

New York City public housing residents in the South Bronx without heat for a decade

By Katy Kinner, 14 January 2019

During the winter months, New York City’s social misery is on full display as public housing residents live without reliable heat or hot water.

Evacuated Opal Tower residents in Australia express anger and dismay

By our reporters, 8 January 2019

Residents of Opal Tower in Sydney have been living in temporary accommodation since the discovery of large broken concrete panels in the building.

Opal Tower structural flaws expose rot in Australian construction industry

By John Wilson, 7 January 2019

Residents have been told they must wait at least another week before they can reoccupy the building because the specific cause of the cracking has yet to be identified.

Report: 452 child workers died in the US from 2003 to 2016

By Jessica Goldstein, 5 January 2019

The number of children working and killed at work in the US reveals the stark reality that in one of the most advanced capitalist economies in the world, child labor is not eradicated.

Federal government threatens takeover of NYC Housing Authority

By Philip Guelpa, 4 January 2019

There is no “excess capacity” in the available housing inventory that could absorb tens of thousands of additional low-income people looking for a place to live due to the loss of NYCHA housing.

Australia: Structural faults in 36-storey building cause mass evacuation

By our reporters, 3 January 2019

Self-regulation and self-certification have been introduced in every area of the construction industry over the past 25 years, to speed up approval processes and maximise profits.

Opioid overdose deaths triple among US teens and young children

By Kate Randall, 31 December 2018

The depth of the opioid crisis facing young people points to the woefully inadequate response of the government to this social catastrophe as it spirals out of control.

“That place is a death trap”

Faurecia workers respond to exposure of conditions at US auto parts plant

By our reporters, 31 December 2018

Workers describe being treated like slaves and compare their factories to plantations.

South Australian university partners with US defense contractor Lockheed Martin

By Eric Ludlow, 31 December 2018

The decision by the University of Adelaide, behind the backs of students and staff, marks the further integration of Australian universities into the US-led war drive against China and Russia.

Thousands face loss of mental health coverage in the US

By Matthew Taylor, 29 December 2018

Congress has eliminated the Medicaid-sponsored program in line with the larger push by the ruling class to dismantle social programs.

“I decided that something was wrong with the world and not me”

College loan debt and the life of an adjunct professor

By Nancy Hanover, 27 December 2018

An adjunct community college professor speaks to the WSWS about the impossible situation faced by so many college instructors.

NSW Ambulance makes stunning reversal of allegation against Australian paramedic Tony Jenkins

By Cheryl Crisp, 27 December 2018

Scrutiny of the “Root Cause Analysis” forces reversal of allegation against veteran NSW paramedic.

Trump administration tightens work requirements for food stamps

By Trévon Austin, 22 December 2018

An estimated 755,000 individuals aged between 18 and 49 will lose food stamp benefits over the next three years if the US Department of Agriculture rule is implemented.

“We had two people die on the line this year”

Faurecia auto parts worker in Saline, Michigan describes appalling work regime

By David Rodriguez, 21 December 2018

A review of the Saline plant’s 52 years of operation provides insight into changes in automobile production and the corresponding decline in living standards and working conditions.

Columbia College faculty union convenes secret tribunal to discipline members

By Alexander Fangmann, 20 December 2018

The leadership of the Columbia College Chicago’s part-time faculty union has convened a special committee to discipline members who question the union’s authority.

Australian union leader warns of eruption of working class struggle

By Mike Head, 20 December 2018

ACTU secretary Sally McManus invoked the spectre of a tsunami of social unrest unless a Labor government bolstered the policing role of the trade unions.

Rising homelessness: The reality of life for workers in a “booming” US economy

By Genevieve Leigh, 19 December 2018

A new government report shows that homelessness is on the rise in the United States for the second year in a row.

SEP (Australia) meeting announces rallies in defence of Julian Assange

By our reporters, 18 December 2018

The protests in Sydney and Melbourne will demand that the government take immediate action to secure Assange’s return to Australia, with a guarantee against extradition to the US.

Hundreds attend vigil for victims of Youngstown, Ohio house fire

By Samuel Davidson, 17 December 2018

A ceremony was held Saturday evening for the five young children who died after an inferno engulfed their home last week.

The death of Jackeline Caal: A seven-year-old victim of Trump’s war on immigrants

By Patrick Martin, 15 December 2018

While Democrats denounced the death, they supported equally repressive policies under Obama.

Australian workers and youth speak out in defence of Julian Assange

By our reporters, 15 December 2018

“The Australian government’s role in the attacks on Assange has been pathetic, gutless, disgraceful. They just do what the US deep state tells them to do.”

Australian Labor Party prepares for government amid political and economic turmoil

By Mike Head, 14 December 2018

For all the “fair go” rhetoric, Labor’s three-day conference will seek the backing of big business for a government that can suppress unrest, impose austerity and prepare for further US-led wars.

Another day, another horror in America: Five children killed in Youngstown, Ohio, house fire

By Niles Niemuth, 11 December 2018

While the immediate cause of the fire remains under investigation, the tragedy which struck Sunday night is not an isolated event but the outcome of a failed social and economic system.

Hundreds of thousands of low-income New Yorkers excluded from mayor’s affordable housing plan

By Philip Guelpa, 7 December 2018

The plans of both Mayor Bill de Blasio and the comptroller leave the critical shortage of affordable housing in the hands of private developers.

More warnings of an Australian property market crash

By Oscar Grenfell, 7 December 2018

Sydney’s house prices registered their sharpest monthly decline in 14 years, accompanied by rising mortgage stress and indications of a broader economic slowdown.

Five years since Detroit bankruptcy

Moody’s warns investors about Detroit’s mounting debt

By Debra Watson, 5 December 2018

Moody’s Investors Service has issued major warnings about the ability to meet bond payments and financial shortfalls in the city’s public schools.

More people with mental illnesses seeking treatment from US emergency rooms

By Alex Johnson, 5 December 2018

Grossly inadequate funding for mental health means that patients swing from poorly-equipped group home facilities to emergency rooms—and, ultimately, jails and prisons.

Eighth New York City taxi driver suicide of 2018

By Leslie Murtagh, 4 December 2018

An 84 percent drop in medallion worth in only four years is a main factor contributing to the tragic string of taxi driver suicides.

Public health expert speaks on the crisis of American healthcare

Cases like Hedda Martin’s heart transplant denial “will continue to happen”

By Nancy Hanover, 3 December 2018

Workers and young people nationwide decried Martin's callous treatment, donating generously out of their own pockets, after Spectrum Health's Richard DeVos Heart and Lung Transplant Clinic told her to make “a fundraising effort of $10,000.”

Electrical problems likely cause of Indiana house fire that killed six

By Jessica Goldstein, 3 December 2018

It was reported that there were no fire hydrants in the area of the fire—pointing to the lack of funding for fire prevention and safety measures in rural areas.

One million dead from suicide, drug overdoses since 2007

Casualties of the social counterrevolution in America

By Eric London, 1 December 2018

The “mortality crisis” is the product of policies of social counterrevolution carried out by both the Democrats and Republicans in collaboration with the trade unions.

The US mortality crisis: CDC reports extraordinary drop in life expectancy

By Trévon Austin, 30 November 2018

Not since the combined impact of World War I and the Spanish Flu in 1918 has the country experienced such a prolonged period of decline in life expectancy.

Founder of Kansas City group whose food for homeless was destroyed by health department speaks out

By Josh Varlin, 30 November 2018

Nellie McCool spoke to the World Socialist Web Site about a raid earlier this month by Kansas City, Missouri, police and health officials on a picnic put on by her group Free Hot Soup.

Baby’s death on Australia’s Gold Coast points to worsening social conditions

By Gary Alvernia, 29 November 2018

The discovery of a dead baby at Surfers Paradise is a tragic expression of intensifying poverty, social inequality, underfunding of public services and government indifference.

Australian prime minister denounces students’ climate-change protests

By Oscar Grenfell, 28 November 2018

Scott Morrison’s comments expressed the acute fear of the ruling establishment that students and young people are beginning to enter into political struggle.

US immigrants go hungry for fear using food stamps will lead to deportation

By Meenakshi Jagadeesan, 27 November 2018

Household food insecurity among immigrant families in the US for less than five years increased from 9.9 percent in 2007 to 17.8 percent in the first half of 2018.

New York Governor Cuomo proposes band-aid for student hunger

By Leslie Murtagh, 26 November 2018

Governor Cuomo has made an entirely inadequate proposal to address food insecurity facing state and city public university students in one of the wealthiest states in the US.

Sandra Parks, 13-year-old Milwaukee, Wisconsin writer, killed in home by stray bullet

By Jacob Crosse, 24 November 2018

Parks is the 7th Milwaukee Public School student killed this year via homicide, the 12th child killed by firearms, and the 91st overall homicide in the state’s largest city.

America’s Thanksgivings

By David Walsh, 22 November 2018

The US on Thanksgiving 2018 presents a picture of a country plagued by malignant social inequality, with tens of millions suffering in poverty. Meanwhile, the very rich are living like never before. Political and social explosions are inevitable.

Death toll from California fires likely to soar, with nearly 1,300 people still missing

By David Brown, 19 November 2018

There is growing popular outrage as details emerge pointing to the culpability of the state’s energy giants and government officials in creating the conditions for the deadly inferno.

Kansas City health officials, police destroy food meant for homeless

By Josh Varlin, 14 November 2018

Footage of Kansas City Health Department officials and police pouring bleach on food being distributed by Free Hot Soup KC for homeless people sparked national outrage.

Australia: Welfare cut leaves asylum seekers facing destitution

By Max Newman, 13 November 2018

A new report shows that nearly 80 percent of those cut off benefits are at risk of homelessness.

Sheffield Labour Students cancels anti-war meeting, citing police investigation of anti-Semitism allegations

By Laura Tiernan, 12 November 2018

The broader political purpose of the banning of Chris Williamson is aimed at silencing anti-war sentiment among students, young people and the entire working class.

US multinationals dodge $180 billion in taxes on foreign profits per year

By Barry Grey, 10 November 2018

This money is diverted from government revenues in the US and around the world, and funneled into the bank accounts and stock portfolios of the global financial oligarchy.

Merrimack Valley disaster, National Grid lockout highlights dangers of profit-driven gas system

By John Marion, 9 November 2018

As Columbia Gas cuts corners in the restoration of service to Merrimack Valley communities, more than 1,200 skilled gas workers are still locked out by National Grid.

What is to be done about the plutocrats?

By Patrick Martin, 2 November 2018

A new report documents the colossal role of inherited wealth in perpetuating social inequality in America.

Nearly 40 percent of New Jersey households struggle to make ends meet

By Erik Schreiber, 31 October 2018

A United Way report documenting the rising number of working poor in New Jersey provides concrete evidence of the intensified assault on workers' living standards.

Hundreds of bodies and other remains hidden in Detroit funeral homes

By Lawrence Porter, 27 October 2018

With an average cost for a funeral with cremation at $6,800 and burial at $10,000, the phenomenon of unclaimed bodies and burial crises is nationwide.

$1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot

Lottery fever: A symptom of social desperation

By Kayla Costa, 25 October 2018

The top 24 lottery jackpots in United States history have all occurred since the 2008–09 financial crash.

Nearly 150,000 New York City public school students are homeless

By Philip Guelpa, 24 October 2018

The rate of homelessness among public school students in America’s largest city and financial center is the highest ever recorded.

Detroit's reality: Infant corpses found piled up in funeral home

By Lawrence Porter, 22 October 2018

Police raids following an anonymous tip and a lawsuit have uncovered dozens of fetuses, several children’s bodies and hundreds of containers of human remains.

Record high income in 2017 for top one percent of wage earners in US

By Gabriel Black, 20 October 2018

In 2017, the top one percent of US wage earners received their highest paychecks ever, according to a report by the Economic Policy Institute.

Seventh New York taxi industry driver commits suicide

By Leslie Murtagh and Daniel de Vries, 18 October 2018

The suicide shines a spotlight on the dire conditions facing drivers of the approximately 80,000 cars in New York City affiliated with ride-sharing app companies.

Australia: Horse-racing lobby forces Sydney Opera House to advertise $13 million horse race

By Richard Phillips, 18 October 2018

Racing industry, media and government bullying of Opera House management was angrily rejected by tens of thousands of Sydney residents.

Death toll from Hurricane Michael continues to climb

By Matthew Taylor, 15 October 2018

Hurricane Michael is now considered to be the third most powerful storm to impact the US.

Lead at some Detroit schools 50 times the allowable federal level

By Lawrence Porter, 12 October 2018

A new report on lead and copper in Detroit schools reveals the acute health dangers facing working class families due to the massive deterioration in education funding.

Open letter by students condemns right-wing offensive at Berlin’s Humboldt University

International Youth and Students for Social Equality (Germany), 11 October 2018

Student organisations from Humboldt University and across Germany published an open letter denouncing the cooperation of the university administration with the far right and its attacks on students’ social and democratic rights.

The fifth death in two years

Eighteen-year-old found hanged in northern Wisconsin jail

By Jacob Crosse, 8 October 2018

The tragic and preventable deaths in Wisconsin Rapids reflect an upward trend in suicides throughout the United States’ overcrowded, backlogged and brutal jail and prison system.

Sharp rise in child protection interventions in Australia

By Michelle Stevens, 8 October 2018

The statistics point to a deepening social crisis, particularly in working class and rural areas, with the worst impact on indigenous families.

Chicago police officer convicted of second-degree murder in 2014 killing of Laquan McDonald

By Jessica Goldstein, 6 October 2018

The trial and guilty verdict followed an attempted cover-up of the murder by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Police Department.

Australian banks downgraded as concerns mount over falling property prices

By Mike Head, 5 October 2018

The loss of “unquestionably strong” status is another indicator of a potential property and financial crash, with devastating consequences.

New York City affordable housing crisis continues to worsen

By Philip Guelpa, 3 October 2018

Nearly half a million affordable housing units were lost over the last dozen years, while there was a fourfold increase in high-end units during the same period.

New Census Bureau report details poor conditions in New York’s Public Housing

By Mark Witkowski, 28 September 2018

The latest triannual US Census report on New York City housing reveals worsening conditions for the poorest New Yorkers.

Australian royal commission reveals predatory practices of insurance companies

By Oscar Grenfell, 26 September 2018

Testimony indicated that the major insurance companies had breached their own regulations more than 30,000 times without incurring any substantial penalties.

Dopesick by Beth Macy

Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America

By Gary Joad, 25 September 2018

Author Beth Macy paints a searing and heartbreaking portrait of the Appalachian victims of the current opioid epidemic in the United States.

Australian university students face unprecedented financial pressures

By Martin Scott, 24 September 2018

Students confront a housing affordability crisis, low-paid work and a mountain of tuition debt.

Rising homelessness among older people in Australia

By Margaret Rees, 22 September 2018

After working their entire lives, older workers are not guaranteed even a roof over their head.

As Trump stages photo-ops in the Carolinas

Hurricane flooding exposes mass poverty, class oppression in America

By Ed Hightower and Barry Grey, 20 September 2018

President Trump staged photo ops and offered empty promises and lies to a region struck twice in two years by deadly storms.

Ten years after the financial crash

Wall Street pay up 13 percent while workers’ wages stagnate

By Barry Grey, 19 September 2018

The average pay of Wall Street traders and brokers rose to $422,500.

Australia’s financial newspaper warns of another global crash

By Mike Head, 19 September 2018

The prospect of a financial meltdown is propelling a drive to refashion the political establishment to suppress the anticipated eruption of working-class unrest.

Western Australia: Indigenous boys drown trying to escape police

By Richard Phillips, 19 September 2018

The two teenagers were so terrified of being taken into police custody that they tried to escape by swimming across a dangerous river.

Australian government calls royal commission into aged care but numerous reports have already exposed major crisis

By Clare Bruderlin, 17 September 2018

Neglect, mistreatment and shocking conditions are an everyday reality for many now living in residential aged care.

US schools hiring private companies to spy on students’ social media

By Trévon Austin, 17 September 2018

Monitoring students’ social media accounts is a violation of privacy, revealing the partnership of the US government and tech companies in internet surveillance and censorship.

California: Fire exposes conditions at Oakland homeless encampment

By Adam Mclean and Evan Blake, 15 September 2018

Homelessness is a chronic and widespread social problem in the United States, with California being the worst hit state, due primarily to extremely high real estate prices.

12,800 immigrant children detained in American internment camps

By Eric London, 14 September 2018

While the Trump administration is preparing for a massive expansion of immigrant internment camps, the Democratic Party has abandoned the issue.

UN report on food security

One in every nine human beings goes hungry

By Patrick Martin, 13 September 2018

Wars and civil wars, generally instigated or fueled by the US and other imperialist powers, climate change and poverty are the leading causes of deepening food insecurity.

Five million deaths a year due to poor-quality health care

By Kate Randall, 13 September 2018

As social inequality continues to widen, millions are dying because adequate resources are not allocated to promote public health.

Poor and unhealthy: Australia’s artists in social free-fall

By Kaye Tucker, 12 September 2018

Professional performing artists and support crews have a 74-year average life expectancy, ten years less than the general Australian population.

A warning to students and the working class

Who are California Governor Jerry Brown’s appointments to the University of California Board of Regents?

By Evelyn Rios, 10 September 2018

Brown appointed his chief fiscal policy advisor, a top union bureaucrat, a former EPA official, and prior vice president of Lockheed Martin, the weapons manufacturer.

Hundreds of Australian Aborigines killed in state custody

By Richard Phillips, 10 September 2018

Figures published last week by the Guardian reveal that over 400 Aborigines have died whilst in the custody of Australian police and prison officers since 1991.

Fifteen prisoners die in a month in Mississippi

By Aaron Murch, 8 September 2018

The sharp spike in prisoner deaths in Mississippi underscores the brutality and inhumanity of the prison system, which now holds over two million poor and working class people throughout the US.

Life under capitalism for an American youth

Injured Texas Wal-Mart worker describes how and why she switched to socialism

By Eric London, 5 September 2018

Ashley represents a new wave of workers who are not content with their oppression and are drawing broader political conclusions.