Capitalism and inequality

US universities have cut 650,000 jobs, a 13 percent workforce reduction, since the onset of the pandemic

By Alex Findijis, 26 February 2021

Thousands of adjunct faculty members have seen their courses canceled and their paychecks eliminated as programs are consolidated and courses move online.

Elderly bear the brunt of Texas power outage catastrophe

By Tony Jackson, 26 February 2021

A disproportionate amount of preventable human suffering fell on the oldest, most isolated, and most dependent members of society.

Unemployment, redundancies and poverty soar as UK lockdown is brought to end

By Robert Stevens, 25 February 2021

With all lockdown measures set to end by June, those who have been shielded to some extent by furlough scheme and other social support will face the class war agenda pursued by the British ruling class as it seeks to complete the post-Brexit “Thatcher Revolution.”

999 Hedge fund manager earnings in 2020

25 February 2021

The $15 minimum wage scam

By Genevieve Leigh, 25 February 2021

Despite the dire conditions facing workers, President Joe Biden has already given numerous indications that the meager minimum wage increase proposal will likely be stripped from the bill.

Powell delivers reassurances to Wall Street

By Nick Beams, 24 February 2021

Outlining monetary policy—the central concern of Wall Street—the Fed chair emphasised that the present ultra-loose regime would continue even if inflation began to rise and there was a tightening in the labour market.

Australian government intent on scrapping JobKeeper and slashing JobSeeker despite mass unemployment

By Martin Scott, 24 February 2021

The government insists that both the wage subsidy and the JobSeeker supplement must end next month to stop “adverse incentives.”

Texas family files $100 million lawsuit against power companies after death of 11-year-old son

By Trévon Austin, 23 February 2021

The lawsuit accuses the energy companies of gross negligence and placing profits ahead of the welfare of the population by failing to follow long-standing recommendations to winterize the power grid and misleading residents about how long blackouts would last.

Devastation from winter storm that wreaked havoc in Texas felt across North America

By William Quartermaine, 21 February 2021

In addition to the social crisis brought on by the storm in the United States, the populations of Mexico and Canada saw the extreme cold and snow knock out power and strain critical infrastructure.

The Texas catastrophe and the case for socialism

By Tom Carter, 21 February 2021

The Texas catastrophe lays bare the real state of class relations in the richest country in the world and makes clear why essential infrastructure can no longer be entrusted to the capitalist oligarchs.

Some new light shed on GameStop frenzy

By Nick Beams, 21 February 2021

Apart from revealing some aspects of the role of Robinhood in the GameStop bubble, a US congressional hearing on Thursday exposed some details about its modus operandi, which is assuming greater significance in the market as a whole.

Jackson, Mississippi’s public water system collapses after winter storm’s deep freeze

By Aaron Murch, 21 February 2021

The city’s mayor reported late last week that there is no definite timetable for whenwater service will return for thousands of city residents, who must now rely on bottled water.

Opposition to relocation of toxic metal recycling plant to Chicago’s working-class South Side raises political questions

By George Gallanis, 21 February 2021

While there is widespread opposition to the relocation of the General Iron plant to Chicago’s working-class South Side, the politics of the opposition must be scrutinized.

The Mars rover and the Texas catastrophe: Scientific possibility vs capitalist reality

By Bryan Dyne, 20 February 2021

If society operated on the principle of rationality and human need, not the insatiable greed of the rich, the scientific advancements that made possible the Mars rover would be used to end the many ills that plague humanity.

Nomadland: Forced out on the road (mostly) because of economics

By David Walsh, 20 February 2021

Frances McDormand plays Fern, a 60-year-old woman at economic and personal loose ends. She lived for decades in Empire, Nevada, a company town owned lock, stock and barrel by the United States Gypsum Corporation.

World governments exploit pandemic depression to recruit youth into their militaries

By Eoin Oisin, 20 February 2021

Economic crises are notoriously fertile grounds for militaries to recruit applicants who would otherwise study or work.

Half of Texas without clean water as state and federal governments look the other way

By Chase Lawrence, 20 February 2021

The phrase “too little, too late” does not even begin to scratch the surface of the essentially non-existent and frankly ridiculous response of the Biden administration to a still unfolding catastrophe which has killed dozens of people.

Texans receive exorbitant electricity bills after winter storm

By Trévon Austin, 19 February 2021

Texas residents on variable rate electricity plans have been hit with electricity bills for tens of thousands of dollars after the market price of electricity soared this week amid a collapse of the power system.

Another 861,000 US workers file for unemployment as corporations exploit pandemic to restructure operations

By Jerry White, 19 February 2021

A new McKinsey Global Institute report predicts that the decline in business travel and increase in working from home will lead to fewer jobs at hotels, restaurants, mass transit and retail, while corporations employ new labor-saving technologies in factories.

CDC report: Biggest drop in US life expectancy since World War II

By Kate Randall, 19 February 2021

A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that in the first half of 2020, life expectancy dropped by more than one year as COVID-19 ripped through the population.

999 Kroger closes two more stores over Seattle pandemic pay measure

19 February 2021

999 Young people turn to the military under pandemic economic crisis

19 February 2021

Millions of Texans without water, hospitals closed as power outages continue

By Chase Lawrence, 19 February 2021

Republican Senator and coup conspirator Ted Cruz, in an act of complete indifference, flew to Cancun, Mexico with his family for a vacation while a disaster unfolded across Texas, leaving dozens dead.

Corporate profit, electricity deregulation and the disaster in Texas

By Patrick Martin, 18 February 2021

Millions have been without power for days in the state that produces more electricity than any other in the United States.

Bitcoin over $50,000 as Wall Street surges

By Nick Beams, 18 February 2021

The bitcoin speculation mania is only the most egregious example of what is taking place throughout the financial system.

Millions remain without power in Texas, as freezing temperatures wreak havoc across the US

By Cordell Gascoigne, 17 February 2021

More than 20 deaths have been linked to Winter Storm Uri, including a woman and her three elementary-school-age grandchildren who died in a house fire around 2:00 a.m. Tuesday in Sugar Land, Texas.

Hundreds of thousands of renters at risk of losing their homes throughout the US Midwest

By Cole Michaels, 16 February 2021

Such an unprecedented situation is the byproduct of a growing social crisis in which millions have been left without jobs and financial assistance.

Britain’s queen shields her “embarrassing” wealth from public scrutiny

By Richard Tyler, 16 February 2021

Correspondence between the queen’s private lawyer and civil servants responsible to Edward Heath’s Conservative government in 1973 documents how the monarch objected to anything that might reveal her private investments in listed companies.

As farmers expand their agitation, Indian government intensifies repression

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 16 February 2021

The Delhi police, which are directly controlled by Modi’s chief henchman and Home Minister, Amit Shah, have filed First Information Reports against hundreds of farmers and more than 40 farmer leaders.

Severe winter weather leaves millions without electricity during record cold temperatures across the US

By Alex Findijs, 16 February 2021

Texas, in particular, has faced some of the most severe fallout from the storm. Governor Greg Abbott called the storm “unprecedented” and remarked that snow and ice would make travel in the coming days “virtually impossible.”

Johnson government plans UK National Health Service “overhaul” to streamline privatisation

By Thomas Scripps, 16 February 2021

The White Paper formalises the process of privatisation and outright cronyism that ran riot during the pandemic.

999 Missouri evictions

15 February 2021

New Zealand towns’ drinking water contaminated with lead

By Tom Peters, 13 February 2021

Residents of Waikouaiti and Karitāne are demanding answers after dangerous levels of lead were detected in their drinking water.

Five public Los Angeles vaccination sites forced to close due to lack of doses

By Shawn Velia, 13 February 2021

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has announced that five vaccination sites must close for at least two days due to an inadequate supply of COVID-19 vaccine, leaving thousands in the lurch.

US sees higher than expected number of new weekly jobless claims

By Shannon Jones, 12 February 2021

February marks the 11th consecutive month since the start of the pandemic last March, where new weekly unemployment claims have stood above 700,000, a level without modern historical precedent.

999 UK unemployment grows at record rate

9 February 2021

Young worker and student discusses life during the pandemic in Nashville, Tennessee

By Clement Daly, 7 February 2021

El, a former barista, endorses the call to close all schools and nonessential workplaces and supports the formation of rank-and-file safety committees to advance the independent interests of the working class in the struggle against the pandemic and the murderous “herd immunity” policies of the ruling class.

January jobs report shows ongoing economic disaster as US Senate strips minimum wage increase from the relief bill

By Shannon Jones, 6 February 2021

Senate Democrats agreed to remove an immediate increase in the federal minimum wage from the Biden administration’s economic relief package as economic figures from January show almost no jobs growth.

For an independent movement of the working class to fight the privatisation of Colombo Port! Oppose anti-Indian campaign! Fight for a socialist program!

Statement of the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 5 February 2021

The struggle against the privatisation of Colombo Port sharply highlights the geopolitical issues confronting the working class in Sri Lanka, South Asia and internationally.

Kroger grocery chain closes Southern California stores due to new “hero pay” laws leading to worker protests

By Rafael Azul, 5 February 2021

The grocery chain made $2.6 billion in profits between February 2 and November 7 last year, out of which it used $989 million for stock buybacks.

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg vents his spleen at Chicago teachers: “Suck it up and go to work”

By Tom Hall, 5 February 2021

The world’s 14th richest human used the interview to denounce teachers for resisting unsafe reopenings and demand that President Biden crack down on Chicago teachers.

999 Dozens of homeless protesters evicted from hotel in Olympia

4 February 2021

New York’s COVID-19 nursing home deaths severely undercounted while Cuomo forced out public health officials

By Josh Varlin, 4 February 2021

Nursing home deaths in the state due to the pandemic have been drastically undercounted by nearly 50 percent.

UK: Government report describes appalling official treatment of seriously disabled Philippa Day who took her own life

By Dennis Moore, 4 February 2021

Analysis carried out by the Disability News Service suggests that there could have been as many as 750 benefit claimants of working age who took their lives in 2018.

Luis Daniel Prieto, informal worker in Mexico, arrested for protesting poverty conditions during pandemic

By our reporters, 3 February 2021

The arrest is an ominous sign that Prieto is being targeted by the state forces as they turn to increasingly dictatorial methods to suppress social opposition during the pandemic crisis.

999 Dozens of homeless protesters evicted from hotel in Olympia

3 February 2021

999 Dozens of homeless protesters evicted from hotel in Olympia

2 February 2021

Britain’s flood defences continue to deteriorate

By Barry Mason, 2 February 2021

Nearly 800 flood defence assets were classed as very poor, having severe defects which could lead them to fail completely.

999 Worker arrested in Mexico for protesting poverty during pandemic

2 February 2021

Nervous opening expected for Wall Street

By Nick Beams, 31 January 2021

The GameStop frenzy is only the most egregious expression of the speculative bubble that is Wall Street as a whole, and the complete divorce of the entire financial system from the underlying real economy.

Two dead after 26-year-old mother jumps off Tennessee overpass holding infant

By Ray Coleman, 30 January 2021

Tonisha Lashay Barker, who leapt to her death from a Tennessee overpass holding her infant son on January 4, had recently been laid off from her job at a state-run COVID-19 testing site.

Behind the GameStop stock frenzy

By Andre Damon, 29 January 2021

Economists have warned that GameStop shares are behaving like a classic pump-and-dump scheme, in which sophisticated investors goad novices to drive up the price of a stock, then sell it, leaving small investors holding the losses.

Another grim US jobs report amid stock market frenzy

By Shannon Jones, 29 January 2021

In stark contrast to the stock market frenzy, the government reported this week that US GDP fell 3.5 percent in 2020 while new claims for jobless benefits continued at historically unprecedented levels.

In Hamburg, five homeless people die in the first week of 2021

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 29 January 2021

The homeless, the poorest section of the population, are also seriously affected by the coronavirus crisis.

Nine arrested in San Jose, California anti-eviction protest

By Angelo Perera, 29 January 2021

In the heart of Silicon Valley, there are 25-30 eviction hearings a week despite the ongoing pandemic and an extended federal moratorium on evictions.

999 Tennessee woman committed suicide with child in arms after losing job at Covid testing site

29 January 2021

Sri Lankan stock market hits record high amidst rising COVID-19 infections

By Saman Gunadasa, 29 January 2021

While the government’s policies are massively benefiting wealthy elites, the poor face escalating attacks on social conditions.

999 Oxygen shortage in poor countries and Covid-19

27 January 2021

Farmers protesting Modi’s pro-agribusiness laws clash with security forces on streets of India’s capital

By Keith Jones, 27 January 2021

Shaken by yesterday’s events, the BJP government has ordered additional security forces be deployed in Delhi, and placed Haryana and the Punjab under “high alert.”

Increased flooding in Indonesia linked to deforestation

By Robert Campion, 26 January 2021

Environmental scientists and advocates have pointed to the devastating effects of deforestation from palm oil and mining operations that have contributed to flooding and landslides.

Indian farmers’ agitation against Modi government’s pro-agribusiness laws enters third month

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 26 January 2021

The farmers’ agitation has compounded the enormous social and political crisis facing the Modi regime and India’s ruling elite as a whole.

Inequality expected to rise in every country “simultaneously”

Oxfam: Global billionaires' wealth up $3.9 trillion during the pandemic

By Jacob Crosse, 26 January 2021

The annual report on inequality exposes the effect the pandemic and the response of governments around the world has had in exacerbating social inequality.

Missouri residents confront growing joblessness, hunger, evictions

By Cole Michaels, 25 January 2021

Mass unemployment and the miserable levels of state aid available are sowing increasing devastation throughout the region.

Spain’s rich and powerful secretly monopolised COVID-19 vaccines

By Alejandro López and Alex Lantier, 23 January 2021

The ruling class orders workers and youth back to work and school, knowing thousands will get sick and die, knowing they can illegally obtain the vaccine for themselves.

Democratic D.C. mayor slashes funding for homeless services in midst of surging pandemic

By Isaac White, 23 January 2021

The cuts will cause untold misery among the most vulnerable layers of the population.

Massive loss of jobs and hours continues in Australia, showing real face of “recovery”

By Mike Head, 23 January 2021

More than three million workers remain unemployed or “underemployed” and another 1.5 million are on JobKeeper wage subsidies that the government is terminating in March.

Another 900,000 file for unemployment, record jobless claims continue amid mass death from pandemic

By Jacob Crosse, 22 January 2021

Despite the urgent need for additional stimulus, reports indicate that another relief bill will not be passed until March.

Suicide attempt by food delivery worker in China exposes exploitative working conditions

By Lily Zhao, 22 January 2021

The tragic attempt by this food delivery worker to take his own life has not only revealed his desperate plight, but also the broader exploitation of workers in China.

999 Cuts to DC homeless services

22 January 2021

Biden pledges to continue Trump’s campaign to open schools and businesses

By Andre Damon, 19 January 2021

While Biden has claimed that he would “listen to the science” in the COVID-19 pandemic, he has in reality pledged to continue the Trump administration’s drive to prematurely open schools and businesses.

Ukraine begs Europe for coronavirus vaccine

By Jason Melanovski, 19 January 2021

While still providing military backing to the Kiev government in its ongoing civil war with Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine, US and European imperialism have refused to provide even minimal vaccine assistance to the poorest country in Europe.

Navalny arrested in Russia as Biden nominates Victoria Nuland for top State Department position

By Clara Weiss, 19 January 2021

Navalny’s return to Russia and his arrest have unfolded in the context of growing geopolitical tensions and the staggering political crisis in the United States.

Tunisian regime deploys army as protests spread 10 years after Arab Spring

By Alex Lantier, 19 January 2021

Ten years after revolutionary uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, explosive anger is building in working-class districts across North Africa amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The global COVID vaccine distribution debacle is mirrored in the US

By Benjamin Mateus, 19 January 2021

The global vaccination distribution has been characterized as a “catastrophic moral failure” by the WHO’s director-general. Despite the US predominance in access to these life-saving vaccines, its national vaccine initiative has been a dismal disaster.

Migrant caravan attacked by Guatemalan troops as Biden team accommodates to anti-immigrant right

By Andrea Lobo, 19 January 2021

Two months after hurricanes Eta and Iota devastated the region and as the pandemic crisis continues, caravan members are escaping conditions of absolute destitution.

Massive rise in unemployment in Germany during the pandemic

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 18 January 2021

The German employment agency published the official unemployment figures for December 2020, reporting an increase to 2.7 million unemployed, 480,000 more than in the same month last year.

Biden “recovery” plan will fail to relieve social misery or stop pandemic death

By Jacob Crosse, 16 January 2021

The package, which falls woefully short in meeting the current crisis for millions of workers and their families, will be further watered down as the Democrats seek “bipartisan” support from Republicans.

As COVID cases surge: Sharp rise in new US unemployment claims

By Shannon Jones, 15 January 2021

The adjusted number of new jobless claims rose to 965,000 for the week ending January 9 as the US Federal Reserve reports 20 percent of low-income workers are unemployed.

Poorest UK schoolchildren sent meagre pandemic food parcels, as contractors reap massive profits

By Robert Stevens, 14 January 2021

Many expressed disgust and denounced the profiteering from poverty during the school closures necessitated by the pandemic

New data shows that nearly 1400 kids in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula have caught COVID-19

By James Vega, Debra Watson and Eboni Davis, 14 January 2021

Since mid-October more than 13,500 people in the U.P. contracted the virus, a three-fold increase since the pandemic began in March.

Warning that Wall Street bubble may burst

By Nick Beams, 14 January 2021

Concerns are starting to be voiced that the orgy of speculation, literally feeding off the death and destruction of the pandemic because of the actions of the Fed, could end in a major crash.

Global food prices rise could spark social unrest, UN warns

By Jean Shaoul, 13 January 2021

Such is the anarchy of the market and the indifference of the financial oligarchs to anything other than their own interests that governments that have been able to do so have been shoring up their food supplies, setting in motion a ferocious national competition, adding to demand and fuelling price rises.

Staggering growth of super-rich in China

By Fu Hong, 13 January 2021

Some of China’s wealthiest capitalist entrepreneurs are members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), have been delegates to the National People’s Congress, or are members of the associated People's Political Consultative Conference.

Report documents education inequality in Australia

By Carolyn Kennett, 12 January 2021

The data points to the long-term impacts on young people of a two-tiered system of education that perpetuates inequality.

UK government figures hide £800 billion hoarded by super-rich

By Margot Miller, 11 January 2021

The wealthiest one percent owns 23 percent, almost one quarter of the country’s aggregate wealth, rather than 18 percent stated by the government.

Elon Musk becomes world’s richest person as pandemic death toll breaks records

By Jessica Goldstein and Tom Hall, 11 January 2021

Perhaps more than anyone else, Musk personifies the parasitic character of the corporate-financial oligarchy which dominates society.

999 Musk becomes world's richest person

9 January 2021

US lost 140,000 jobs in December

By Tom Hall, 9 January 2021

The disastrous Labor Department report did not halt the speculative orgy on Wall Street, where the run-up in share values is driven by an endless flow of free money from the Federal Reserve.

999 Musk becomes world's richest person

8 January 2021

New weekly jobless claims at 797,000 amid signs of US economic slowdown

By Shannon Jones, 8 January 2021

Weekly unemployment claims remained steady at just under 790,000 for the week ending January 2, as economic data pointed to a net loss of jobs in December after months of gains.

Janet Yellen, Biden’s treasury nominee, received millions from Wall Street

By Nick Beams, 8 January 2021

The main source was in speaking fees, particularly from Wall Street banks, including $992,000 which Yellen received from the Citi investment bank for nine appearances.

Australian report documents “Blue Harvest” wage theft of international backpackers

By Virginia Browne, 8 January 2021

Illegal labour hire practises, severe underpayment and brutal exploitation of international backpackers are endemic in Australia.

Landslide in Papua New Guinea kills 15 gold miners, children

By Patrick O’Connor, 7 January 2021

For tens of thousands of people, the desperate search for flecks of gold provides the only means of survival.

World Bank report warns of extended downturn in global growth

By Nick Beams, 7 January 2021

Even on the World Bank’s most optimistic scenario, the level of global gross domestic product in 2021 is expected to be 5.3 percent below pre-pandemic projection, equivalent to a loss of output of $4.7 trillion.

Hundreds of thousands in UK spend Christmas and New Year homeless as pandemic worsens

By Barry Mason, 7 January 2021

A third lockdown is now underway and the Conservative government has committed no more funding to deal with the homeless crisis and consigned its Everyone In scheme to the scrapheap.

Turkish government sets minimum wage at hunger level

By Ozan Özgür, 6 January 2021

While big business rakes in billions in profits during the pandemic, the Erdoğan government has slashed living standards, with millions left unemployed.

999 Ford ad

6 January 2021

Seattle, Washington area homeless face police, coronavirus and lack of shelter

By David Fitzgerald, 6 January 2021

As the social crisis worsens and eviction orders proceed in the new year,  local and state Democratic officials respond to the homeless population in Seattle and surrounding area with police repression and criminally inadequate resources.

Australian government slashes minimal pandemic subsidies for workers and unemployed

By Oscar Grenfell, 5 January 2021

The cuts form part of a broader austerity offensive being enforced by Labor and Liberal governments at the state and federal levels, the trade unions and the largest corporations.

Bitcoin hits new record as Wall Street mania continues

By Nick Beams, 5 January 2021

The latest rise in bitcoin has been fuelled, at least in part, by the fact that it is becoming more integrated into the global financial system amid rampant speculation that has lifted all financial assets.