Notes on the US Social Crisis

Five dead in Minneapolis, Minnesota high-rise fire

By Matt Rigel, 28 November 2019

Most of the victims were Somali immigrants in a neighborhood near the city’s downtown area.

California police arrest woman for delivering stillborn baby with drugs in its system

By Dan Conway, 11 November 2019

California police arrested 25-year-old Chelsea Cheyenne Becker on a charge of 1st degree murder last week after she delivered a stillborn baby with methamphetamine in its system.

One year since the Northern California Camp Fire

An accounting of a crime

By Toby Reese, 11 November 2019

November 8 marked one year since the outbreak of the Northern California Camp Fire, the deadliest and most destructive fire in the state’s history.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Contract for more than 20,000 Chicago teachers expires

By Kristina Betinis, 2 July 2019

Last month, contracts for teachers also expired in Baltimore, Maryland; Newark, New Jersey and Vancouver, British Columbia.

Democrats promote right-wing, racialist politics

Michigan Governor Whitmer ties fate of Benton Harbor High School to test scores

By Joseph Lorenz, 2 July 2019

The new offer ties the fate of the high school and possibly the district to test score performance benchmarks as well as financial obligations.

Social media investigations unearth hundreds of police officers in the US involved in fascist or racist groups

By Jacob Crosse, 29 June 2019

Investigations conducted by Reveal and the Plain View Project confirm the presence of openly far-right officers in police departments.

House Democrats give $4.6 billion for Trump’s concentration camps

Ocasio-Cortez plays critical role in ensuring passage

By Eric London, 28 June 2019

House Democrats voted for a Senate bill that exposes the critical role of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other “progressive” Democrats in facilitating Trump’s crackdown on immigrants.

No more lies!

The way forward in the struggle against the poisoning of Flint

By the WSWS editorial board, 28 June 2019

The following statement is being distributed to a community meeting in Flint Friday night.

Unreported releases from coal ash ponds may be more widespread in US than previously known

By John Ashbrook, 21 June 2019

Millions of people are potentially exposed to toxic coal ash, which can cause bone cancers, leukemia and nervous system and brain damage.

On eve of auto contract talks, VW workers in Tennessee reject UAW again

By Jerry White, 17 June 2019

Workers in Chattanooga were correct to reject, for the second time, “representation” by the United Auto Workers, a corrupt agent of corporate management.

Suicide rates for doctors and young physicians among highest in the US population

By Alex Johnson, 17 June 2019

Doctors are often hesitant to seek treatment, due to the stigma associated with mental health problems.

US studies: More misery brought to you by Big Pharma

Sharp rise in fentanyl overdose deaths, ADHD-drug-induced psychosis, prescription drug rationing due to cost

By Kate Randall, 22 March 2019

A week rarely passes without the publication of a major study documenting the misery unleashed on Americans by the US pharmaceutical industry and its rapacious drive for profits.

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.

Youth suicide rate up 56 percent from 2007 to 2016

Government report shows sharp rise in US teen deaths

By Kate Randall, 2 June 2018

The new statistics on deaths among US children and teens expose the social crisis confronting America’s youth in the form of gun violence, suicide, the opioid crisis, poverty and war.

One dead, three injured in shooting at YouTube HQ in Northern California

By Norisa Diaz, 4 April 2018

While the motive for the shooting remains unclear, what is certain is that American society continues to produce mass shootings on an almost daily basis.

Notes from Puerto Rico

Thousands of workers in Puerto Rico continue to live without running water

By Antonio Castro, 8 February 2018

This is the second in a series of updates from a local Puerto Rican worker on the unfolding crisis on the island in the wake of Hurricane María.

Drug crisis pushes up mortality rate for Americans in their prime

By Shelley Connor, 10 June 2017

Amid a continuing economic downturn, mortality rates have risen for Americans between the ages of 25 and 45, with a surging opioid crisis claiming lives daily.

Five dead in Detroit fire, hundreds of thousands without power after strong winds

By Kathleen Martin, 9 March 2017

High wind in Detroit caused power outages for a large portion of southeastern Michigan and tragically resulted in death for others.

The right-wing campaign over the Stanford University sexual assault case

By Tom Carter, 11 June 2016

The media and political campaign that is unfolding in America around the sentencing of Stanford University freshman Brock Allen Turner is fundamentally reactionary.

US economy adds fewest jobs in five years

By Evan Blake, 4 June 2016

The US economy added only 38,000 jobs in May, the fewest since 2010, in another indication of the persistent slump gripping the US economy.

Portrait of the social crisis in America: Rockford, Illinois

By George Gallanis and George Marlowe, 4 June 2016

After decades of robust industry and manufacturing, the city now faces rising unemployment, poverty and social misery.

Young people in America: A lost generation stuck at home

By Niles Niemuth—SEP candidate for vice president, 26 May 2016

A Pew report released on the share of young people living with their parents sheds new light on the difficulties facing millions who are barely scraping by.

Life expectancy declines for white Americans

By Patrick Martin, 21 April 2016

New figures released by the Centers for Disease Control on declining life expectancy reflect the profound social crisis that is fueling the political convulsions in the US elections.

More than 1 million in US face food stamps cutoff

By Kate Randall, 2 February 2016

The SNAP cutoffs loom as hunger and food insecurity continue to rise and more than a quarter of the unemployed have been jobless for more than six months.

Need for food assistance rising in US despite claims of recovery

By Shannon Jones, 20 August 2015

Food banks and food pantries report that millions of families are still making difficult choices between eating and paying for other necessities

US homeownership rate hits lowest level since 1967

By Tom Hall, 31 July 2015

Despite six years of economic “recovery,” many indicators show that American households are worse off than they were during the depths of the 2008 economic crisis.

Kids Count report: 22 percent of US children live in poverty

By Tom Hall, 22 July 2015

Three million more American children were in poverty in 2013 than at the height of the 2008 financial crisis.

Rising inequality, poverty in Ann Arbor, Michigan

By Naomi Spencer, 3 April 2015

Washtenaw County, Michigan is held up as a “knowledge economy” model for recovery in the state, but a new study finds 37 percent of residents cannot make ends meet.

Inmates riot against miserable conditions at south Texas prison

By Evan Blake, 23 February 2015

Willacy County Correctional Center is one of fifteen federal for-profit prisons that house mostly undocumented immigrants under deplorable conditions.

Hazel Park, Michigan retiree dies of hypothermia after gas shutoff

By Shannon Jones, 18 February 2015

The 69-year-old Vietnam veteran was found huddled under blankets next to a space heater.

Albuquerque moves to escalate evictions of homeless campers

By D. Lencho, 9 February 2015

Removal of the homeless has begun at a “tent city” near downtown, while new encampments have sprung up in other parts of the city.

“A permanent Third World in America”

Child homelessness at all-time high in US

By Niles Williamson, 18 November 2014

A record 2.5 million American children were homeless last year amidst what the Obama administration has insisted is an economic recovery.

The human toll of slump and part-time employment

New Jersey woman dies while napping between jobs

By Fred Mazelis, 2 September 2014

Maria Fernandes worked part-time at three separate Dunkin’ Donuts.

Report: US targets poor and working class with mass imprisonment

By Eric London, 26 May 2014

A report from the National Research Council details the devastating social impact of mass incarceration.

Inmate deaths reveal brutal conditions in New York City’s Rikers Island prison

By Philip Guelpa, 26 May 2014

An Associated Press investigation revealed that two inmates recently died from horrific squalor and neglect at the prison.

Notes on the social crisis in America

By Naomi Spencer, 23 November 2013

Mass job line-ups across the country, rising infant mortality rates in Alabama, fatal accidents due to fatigue among truckers, and other recent indices of the social crisis.

Notes on the social crisis in America

By Naomi Spencer, 19 December 2012

A California family commits suicide, police use pepper spray on housing assistance seekers in Ohio, and a West Virginia newspaper features a “neediest cases” contest.

Notes on the social crisis in America

By Naomi Spencer, 5 December 2012

Jobless parents jailed for manner of transporting their children, Michigan mother harassed for deceased son’s student loans, more homeless risk hypothermia, study released on homeless students and an Ohio state road falls into sinkhole.

Notes on the social crisis in America

By Naomi Spencer, 20 November 2012

The DC housing voucher wait list is more than two decades long, Colorado child welfare workers are “at the breaking point,” and people in poverty are twice as likely to suffer depression.

Notes on the social crisis in America

By Naomi Spencer, 25 October 2012

A Massachusetts woman committed robbery to pay her landlord, apartment building collapses highlight shoddy construction practices and more Americans say they won’t be able to afford retirement.

Notes on the social crisis in America

By Naomi Spencer, 11 October 2012

This week: the psychological impact of solitary confinement on young prisoners, the swelling homeless population in New York, the epidemic of suicides among American Indian youth

Notes on the social crisis in America

By Naomi Spencer, 29 August 2012

This week we report a police killing in the nation’s capital, the untenable cost of child care, Florida’s effort to purge unemployment insurance rolls of hundreds of thousands, the doubling of the Georgia high school dropout rate, and the crisis in home energy assistance funding.

Notes on the social crisis in America

By Naomi Spencer, 19 June 2012

This week, Utah ties welfare aid to drug testing, San Antonio sees an epidemic of child abuse and neglect, researchers find a spike in American stress levels, and another Rhode Island city slides toward bankruptcy.

Notes on the social crisis in America

By Naomi Spencer, 11 June 2012

A Connecticut man cites “desperate times” for a robbery, a Missouri resident refusing eviction is shot by police, poor Virginia tenants are made homeless over their landlords’ violations, and other indicators of social breakdown.

Notes on the social crisis in America

By Naomi Spencer, 24 May 2012

This week, we report on a prison riot in Mississippi; the razing of multiple homeless tent cities; mass job lineups in the Pacific Northwest; and Tennessee’s growing dental health disaster.

Notes on the social crisis in America

By Naomi Spencer, 10 May 2012

This week we report on homelessness among Michigan children; a hungry homeless man seeks relief in jail; states privatize multitudes of services; and other facets of the social crisis.

Notes on the social crisis in America

By Naomi Spencer, 2 May 2012

Life expectancy falls in counties across the US, domestic violence and arrests of school children spike, the Obama administration scraps proposed child farm labor rules, and other signs of social breakdown.

Notes on the social crisis in America

By Naomi Spencer, 2 April 2012

This week, new findings emerge in the death of a homeless St. Louis woman arrested for seeking medical help, South Carolina health clinic workers are laid off without pay, Arizona moves toward the most restrictive abortion laws in the country, and other developments.

Notes on the social crisis in America

By Naomi Spencer, 24 March 2012

This week, tornado-stricken states are denied federal aid, Philadelphia criminalizes feeding the homeless, Missouri moves to end a health care program for the blind, and other signs of social distress across the US.

Notes on the social crisis in America

By Naomi Spencer, 8 March 2012

The government cuts school lunch program costs by using ammonia-treated meat byproduct; a wealthy New York family is charged with enslaving an undocumented immigrant; Idaho slashes taxes on highest earning households as schools and medical programs founder.

Notes on the social crisis in America

By Naomi Spencer, 14 February 2012

This week, the Labor Department loosens its child farm labor proposal, Alabama immigrants report being denied food stamps for their US-born children, and management of California’s prison health care system is turned over to the state.

Notes on the social crisis in America

By Naomi Spencer, 28 January 2012

Tornados ripped through central Alabama again this week; hospitals contend with meth-related accident victims and dental emergencies among the uninsured; California jail conditions worsen under prisoner “realignment” program.

Notes on the social crisis in America

By Naomi Spencer, 20 January 2012

Rising rates of mental illness, suicide, and child abuse coincide with drastic cuts to public health budgets and social worker burnout.

Ohio’s hidden housing crisis

By Naomi Spencer, 10 January 2012

Columbus, Ohio provides a portrait of rising homelessness and the lack of affordable housing across the Midwest.

Notes on the social crisis in America

By Naomi Spencer, 4 January 2012

Thousands line up for subsidized housing, blight in post-Katrina New Orleans, inhumane conditions in youth prisons, and other indications of the social crisis in the United States.

Notes on the social crisis in America

By Naomi Spencer, 29 December 2011

The Christmas weekend saw numerous deadly house fires, a near-riot at the Mall of America, and other signs of mounting social distress.

Notes on the social crisis in America

By Naomi Spencer, 8 December 2011

A Texas mother denied food stamps shot herself and her two children; Tacoma, Washington, announced deep cuts in firefighting; the housing crisis deepened in the nation’s capital.

Social crisis in America: Thanksgiving 2011

By Naomi Spencer, 24 November 2011

Millions of Americans face extraordinarily grim circumstances this holiday.

Notes on the social crisis in America

By Naomi Spencer, 29 October 2011

Relentless budget cuts are felt in public education, the justice system, and in health care programs for the poor.

Notes on the social crisis in America

By Naomi Spencer, 27 September 2011

Rhode Island homeless shelters are filled to capacity, coroners’ offices report rising numbers of unclaimed bodies, New York City threatens 100 schools with closure, and other reports of social distress in America.

Notes on the social crisis in America

By Naomi Spencer, 12 September 2011

An Ohio man without insurance dies of a tooth infection; a Georgia university opens a food pantry for students; Florida cities seek to drive out homeless population ahead of Republican convention; and other reports on social distress in the US.

Notes on the social crisis in America

By Naomi Spencer, 1 September 2011

Among symptoms of deep social decay are the slashing of legal aid funding, dire overcrowding in an Alabama jail and the plight of poor New Orleans residents six years after Hurricane Katrina.

Notes on the social crisis in America

By Naomi Spencer, 18 August 2011

Deteriorating social conditions find expression this week in a mass line up for dental care in Georgia, a crackdown on a growing New Jersey tent city, and deepening pessimism among the youth

Notes on the social crisis in America

By Naomi Spencer, 11 August 2011

Conditions of life are deteriorating for millions of working class families as key social programs are cut and job prospects dry up.

Notes on the US social crisis

By Naomi Spencer, 4 August 2011

The federal budget deal targets critical social programs that are already under duress at the state level.

Notes on the US social crisis

By Naomi Spencer, 26 July 2011

As state and local government budget crises deepen, working class living conditions are unraveling.

Notes on the US social crisis

By Naomi Spencer, 20 July 2011

The economic crisis manifests itself in virtually every facet of working class living conditions in the US.