Capitalism and inequality

999 US unemployment crisis

4 December 2020

Wife of UK chancellor richer than the Queen: Rishi Sunak and the rule of the oligarchy

By Jean Shaoul, 4 December 2020

Sunak occupies, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson himself, the most important position in UK politics in determining public policy choices to favour the super-rich, at the expense of the vast majority

Bipartisan $908 billion “emergency relief framework” receives support from Democratic congressional leadership

By Jacob Crosse, 3 December 2020

Limited details reveal a proposal that includes generous handouts and protections to corporations while excluding another round of stimulus checks and reducing unemployment funds for workers as the pandemic enters its deadliest phase.

The contradictions of capitalism emerge amid the race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine

By Benjamin Mateus, 3 December 2020

Both Pfizer, a pharmaceutical giant, and the start-up firm Moderna have used essentially the same biochemical process, involving messenger RNA (mRNA) to develop a new vaccine against coronavirus.

The coronavirus pandemic and the case for expropriating the financial oligarchy

By Eric London, 2 December 2020

As the deaths pile up in every country, the ruling class is taking advantage of the pandemic to orchestrate an unprecedented transfer of wealth from the working class to the rich.

999 Jeff Bezos' "Earth Fund"

1 December 2020

Young people speak out about the unprecedented collapse in their living conditions since the pandemic began

By Noah Ryan and Nick Barrickman, 1 December 2020

Over half of all people between the ages of 18 and 29 in the United States have been forced to move in with relatives or friends since the pandemic began in March.

Evictions caused nearly 11,000 excess COVID-19 deaths in six months in the US

By Jacob Crosse, 1 December 2020

Data compiled by researchers at five major US universities illustrates the deadly consequences of throwing workers and their families out of their homes during the pandemic.

Rent debt “bomb” points to depth of social crisis in Australia

By Mike Head, 1 December 2020

Hundreds of thousands of working-class households could face eviction as temporary COVID-19 pandemic moratoriums end.

Private sector and Conservative Party cronies reap over £17 billion in government contracts during pandemic

By Robert Stevens, 30 November 2020

At least 15 companies handed contracts without tendering or oversight had connections to the Conservative government in what is being described as a “chumocracy”.

999 Jeff Bezos' "Earth Fund"

30 November 2020

Spain’s Podemos to oversee distribution of EU bailout funds to the super-rich

By Alejandro López, 30 November 2020

The integration of Podemos in European Union bailout mechanisms testifies to the bankruptcy of its middle-class and anti-Marxist “Left Populist” politics.

999 Predictions of post Thanksgiving surge in the US

30 November 2020

“We are not criminals”

ICE detainees in New Jersey stage hunger strike over coronavirus threat

By Erik Schreiber, 30 November 2020

Nine immigrants held at Bergen County Jail in Hackensack are demanding release from the rat-infested facility where social distancing is not possible.

Trade unions stage scattered protests on Amazon’s Black Friday

By Kayla Costa, 30 November 2020

With opposition by Amazon workers growing against brutal work conditions and the lack of protection from the pandemic, the unions and their pseudo-left supporters are trying to contain resistance within the confines of corporate-controlled political parties and the capitalist system.

New IRS rule will push many US small businesses to the brink

By Jessica Goldstein, 28 November 2020

A new ruling by the Treasury Department will affect millions of small businesses that received a portion of the total $717 billion in relief funds from the US Small Business Administration through the federal Paycheck Protection Program.

California Highway Patrol evicts homeless families on Thanksgiving eve

By Jacob Crosse, 28 November 2020

Citing COVID-19 state mandated shelter-in-place orders, families and activists with Reclaim and Rebuild our Community attempted to take up residence in vacant publicly owned homes.

Iraq’s economic and political crisis threatens to ignite new upheavals

By Jean Shaoul, 26 November 2020

Iraq has become a key political battleground in US imperialism’s militaristic confrontation with Iran, further exacerbating its crisis.

UK Chancellor launches austerity offensive: “Our economic emergency has only just begun.”

By Robert Stevens, 26 November 2020

The cost of this unprecedented economic collapse will be paid in its entirety by the working class.

US jobless claims and hunger spike as Congress goes on vacation

By Jacob Crosse, 26 November 2020

Amid historic levels of unemployment, disorganized partial lockdowns without stimulus are leaving workers and small businesses without protection from the coronavirus or social support.

What the rich are thankful for

By Andre Damon, 26 November 2020

Amid mass unemployment, hunger and death, America’s financial oligarchy is celebrating a bumper year.

999 Nearly seven million German adults are heavily indebted

24 November 2020

999 G20 summit

24 November 2020

Thanksgiving in America: Massive food lines and evictions as benefits expire

By Kate Randall, 23 November 2020

As the rise of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths continues unabated, working-class families across the US are facing hunger and poverty on a scale not seen since the Great Depression.

Tens of thousands made homeless in UK as winter looms and temperatures plummet

By Simon Whelan, 23 November 2020

Research conducted by the Guardian among both UK-born and migrant rough sleepers found that many had been made homeless in recent months after losing their jobs in the service sector—especially restaurants, clubs and event security.

Brazilian state of Amapá on brink of social explosion after 18-day blackout

By Tomas Castanheira, 21 November 2020

The lack of electricity, water and other basic services led to a wave of more than 100 protests in the state.

As winter sets in Portland’s homeless face exposure to the cold, lack of beds and COVID-19

By David Fitzgerald, 21 November 2020

The city has resorted to urgently asking the general public for help in locating structures that can shelter the homeless from the cold while protecting them from COVID-19.

India’s unprecedented economic contraction deepens mass social misery

By Kranti Kumara, 20 November 2020

So meager are the earnings of India’s workers and toilers, three-quarters of the population in rural areas would not be able to afford the cheapest possible nutritious diet even if they spent all of their earnings on food.

Increased use of food banks by middle-income families in UK as food poverty surges

By Dennis Moore, 20 November 2020

The wider use of food banks by what would have only recently been considered a more affluent layer is a growing trend and an indicator of how the pandemic has created a far-reaching cost of living crisis.

US jobless claims surge

By Jacob Crosse, 20 November 2020

On Thursday, the US Department of Labor jobless claims report revealed another 742,000 people filed first time unemployment claims, an increase of over 30,000 from the previous week and the highest number in a month.

Zambia defaults amid growing African debt crisis, intensified by pandemic

By Gabriel Black, 19 November 2020

As hundreds of millions of African workers and peasants face economic disaster and inadequate protection against COVID-19, African nations are expected to pay almost $500 billion by 2023 to avoid default.

Twelve million to lose unemployment benefits in December

By Jacob Crosse, 19 November 2020

Seeking to blackmail workers back into dangerous workplaces, Congress continues to ignore the plight of millions of unemployed people left without aid.

999 Portland homeless to be turned away from winter shelters due to covid

19 November 2020

A revealing report on the mid-March financial crisis

By Nick Beams, 19 November 2020

The most significant feature of the crisis was that it struck at the very foundations of the global financial system—the $20 trillion US government bond market—as Treasuries were sold off.

New Zealand government rejects calls to increase welfare payments

By John Braddock, 18 November 2020

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern again repudiates her promise to eliminate child poverty and the housing affordability crisis.

New China-led trade bloc sets stage for further tensions with the US

By Peter Symonds, 17 November 2020

While relatively limited in scope, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership is a further blow to US ambitions for economic domination of the Asia-Pacific.

Australian governments impose wage freezes on public sector workers

By Mike Head, 17 November 2020

Coalition and Labor governments alike are exploiting the pandemic to deepen a decades-long attack on working class pay and conditions.

Windstorm leaves hundreds of thousands without power across the northeastern and midwestern US

By Kathleen Martin, 17 November 2020

The storm wreaked havoc on the country’s shoddy power grid Sunday, leaving masses of people and businesses without electricity amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

German federal government demands faster destruction of Lufthansa jobs

By Ulrich Rippert, 17 November 2020

Lufthansa is to be made more competitive in relation to other European airlines and prepared for a worldwide trade war.

Boeing announces 7,000 additional layoffs

By Steve Filips, 17 November 2020

Boeing intends to make these cuts despite receiving $17 billion in federal bailout money earlier in the year.

999 Biden's economic plan

17 November 2020

US food banks and homeless shelters struggle to meet record demand ahead of Thanksgiving

By Alex Findijs, 17 November 2020

The economic disaster triggered by the pandemic has placed an ever increasing burden on food banks and charities to meet the growing demand for food aid.

Second major hurricane hits Central America in two weeks

By Andrea Lobo, 17 November 2020

Combined with the pandemic and the effects of storm Eta, Category 5 Hurricane Iota is expected to greatly deepen an ongoing humanitarian crisis and mass migration.

Texas educators demand fully online learning to save lives

By Texas Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 16 November 2020

As the coronavirus pandemic tears across Texas, teachers, education workers and parents call for a broad struggle to protect their lives and those of students.

Grenfell Tower refurbishment company supplied cladding that could burn the “entire height” of a tower block

By Charles Hixson, 16 November 2020

A 2013 email from Deborah French, Arconic’s UK sales representative, referring to ACM (aluminium composite material) panels noted, “using PE is like a chimney which transports the fire... in the shortest times.”

Auto parts company ordered to pay $1.5 million following death of Alabama worker

By Aaron Murch, 16 November 2020

Ajin, a Korean parts manufacturer, was ordered to pay over a million dollars in fines and settlements after a 20-year-old contract worker was killed after safety procedures were blatantly ignored.

Closure of Louisiana’s Shell Convent Refinery will impact 1,100 jobs and create economic hardship

By James Langley, 16 November 2020

The refinery is being closed as part of a corporate-wide restructuring triggered by falling oil demand due to the pandemic.

Another 709,000 file for unemployment in the US as evictions resume, food lines grow and job cuts continue

By Jacob Crosse, 14 November 2020

Massive job losses in education, coupled with the expiration of unemployment benefits, has left millions on the brink of destitution.

Tropical Storm Eta causes widespread flooding in southeastern US as record-setting hurricane season continues

By J. L’Heureau, 14 November 2020

After devastating large swathes of Central America and Southern Mexico last week, the storm system named Eta, the 28th of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, made two separate landfalls in Florida this week.

The mental health of young adults is being ravaged by the pandemic—the suffering needs to stop

By Kate Randall, 13 November 2020

Many months into the pandemic, with a surge in COVID-19 cases affecting virtually every US state, a new study shows that there is a veritable tsunami of depression flooding over the nation’s young adult population.

999 Portland homeless to be turned away from winter shelters due to covid

13 November 2020

Orchestra, opera musicians face severe pay cuts, furloughs, uncertainty in the midst of the pandemic

By David Walsh, 12 November 2020

Management at various orchestras, operas and other cultural organizations are taking full advantage of the COVID-19 crisis to press forward with their demands as part of an offensive for pay and other cuts under way for more than a decade.

Australian government slashes JobSeeker to force more workers into low-paid jobs

By Mike Head, 12 November 2020

Both major parties agree on using the mass unemployment and financial distress triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic to further restructure economic and social relations in the interests of the capitalist class.

Young people hit hard by UK jobs massacre

By Margot Miller, 11 November 2020

More than one in 10 people aged 16-25 have lost their jobs, and just under six in 10 have seen their earnings fall since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Wall Street and global stocks boosted by news of COVID-19 vaccine

By Nick Beams, 11 November 2020

The surge in the equity markets does not indicate any underlying strength in the economy but is more an expression of the highly speculative character of shifts by Wall Street investors.

Spain’s PSOE-Podemos regime rejects lock-downs as COVID-19 soars

By Alice Summers, 10 November 2020

The priorities of the ruling class in Spain are clear: even if lockdown measures could largely eliminate the virus in only a few weeks, they would rather see mass contagion and death in order to ensure the working class keeps producing profits.

Possible COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough makes measures to stop virus spread now more urgent

By Andre Damon, 10 November 2020

The announcement of progress on a COVID-19 vaccine makes all the more necessary urgent measures to stop the spread of the virus until the vaccine is widely available.

Hundreds dead and missing after Eta devastates Central America and southern Mexico

By Andrea Lobo, 10 November 2020

As of this writing, 98 people have been found dead and 187 have been reported missing, while many more casualties are feared as rescuers reach isolated communities.

Why did some working class regions vote for Trump?

By Eric London, 10 November 2020

A review of social conditions and historic voting patterns in southern West Virginia, eastern Ohio, the Rio Grande Valley, Texas and central Indiana discredits the claim that Trump voters are merely white fascists and racists.

The deliberate sabotage of online learning in the US

Part 2

By Chase Lawrence, 10 November 2020

The underfunded and chaotic implementation of online education is being used to force students back into unsafe classrooms.

Australian university workers speak out on the destruction of their jobs and conditions

By our reporters, 10 November 2020

“It’s how the system is designed, it facilitates exploitation.”

US jobless rates falls but long-term unemployment up sharply as millions remain out of work

By Shannon Jones, 7 November 2020

More than seven months since the start of the pandemic only about one half the 22 million jobs lost earlier in the year have been recovered as the upsurge of new COVID-19 cases is likely to hammer service and retail jobs.

999 Poverty in Silicon Valley

7 November 2020

Australian report reveals widespread food insecurity

By John Harris, 6 November 2020

Currently, 43 percent of all food insecure people are going a whole day without eating at least once a week, compared to 30 percent in 2019.

Another 751,000 US workers file for unemployment benefits as job growth slows

By Jerry White, 6 November 2020

The pandemic and the economic and social crisis in America are worsening even as Wall Street celebrates its best week since April.

Chinese government blocks Jack Ma’s major IPO

By Nick Beams, 5 November 2020

The decision to block the listing of Ma’s fintech company Ant, which would have been the biggest initial public offering in history, was clearly taken at the highest levels in Beijing

Australian billionaires celebrate skyrocketing wealth while pandemic forces workers into poverty

By Max Boddy, 5 November 2020

The combined fortunes of Australia’s richest 200 individual and families increased by a staggering $82 billion during the past year.

In closed-door meeting, top CEOs give Quebec Premier his marching orders

By Laurent Lafrance, 5 November 2020

Although the meeting was held in the greatest secrecy, there is no doubt that Legault was ordered to keep the economy “open” as COVID-19 cases surge, no matter the cost in human life.

Breonna Taylor’s mother demands an independent investigation into police killing after exposure of grand jury whitewash

By Steve Filips, 5 November 2020

Tamika Palmer is demanding a new investigation after three jurors revealed that Republican Kentucky attorney general Daniel Cameron did not follow procedure and present the possibility of six homicide charges against the officers who killed Taylor.

999 Food bank report reveaIs mounting hunger in AustraIia

4 November 2020

The fraud of IMF-World Bank “debt relief” for poor countries

By Nick Beams, 4 November 2020

Even where money is provided by the IMF, in many cases it is used not to finance health and other necessary measures, but to pay off private-sector lenders.

Large bonuses awarded to executives of bailed-out US companies

By Kevin Martinez, 31 October 2020

Major companies such as Hertz and JCPenney paid their executives millions in bonuses before filing for bankruptcy and cutting thousands of jobs during the pandemic.

Mass layoffs in the US as states face unprecedented budget crisis

By Shannon Jones, 31 October 2020

Walt Disney, Raytheon and Boeing were among the major corporations announcing huge job cuts this week as the total projected budget shortfall facing state governments has reached $434 billion.

New report outlines accelerating inequality in Australia, amid rising social distress

By Linda Tenenbaum, 30 October 2020

The University of NSW and the Australian Council of Social Services have co-authored a significant report on income wealth and inequality, both before and during the pandemic.

Nearly 10,000 eviction actions filed across the US since September despite CDC moratorium

By Aaron Murch, 29 October 2020

According to a recent clarification issued by the CDC, landlords can proceed with the legal procedures required for an eviction as long as tenants are not forced out before the end of the year.

Significant fall on Wall Street amid rising COVID-19 infections

By Nick Beams, 29 October 2020

The market sell-off has not been confined to Wall Street as Europe’s Stoxx 600 index closed down 3 percent, losing 6 per cent since the end of last week, and now at its lowest level since May.

WSWS coverage of political economy is scientific and therefore partisan

By Nick Beams, 29 October 2020

The WSWS approaches the myriad questions that arise from an analysis of what is called the “economy” on the basis of the historical materialist method elaborated by Karl Marx.

Australian university union runs limited “wage theft” campaign

By Gabriela Zabala, 29 October 2020

The NTEU claims to have been unaware of the level of exploitation and underpayment, especially of casuals.

Hunger and social misery soar in Washington D.C. during the pandemic

By Nick Barrickman and Dominic Gustavo, 28 October 2020

Local charities reported a nearly 300 percent increase in demand in the months following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gig workers hired to evict people from their homes as millions struggle to pay rent

By Dominic Gustavo, 28 October 2020

A new startup is recruiting temporary “gig” workers to evict people from their homes during the most severe housing crisis since the Great Depression.

999 MMT Part 3

27 October 2020

Rally welcoming relaunch of WSWS

The pandemic has only accelerated the underlying contradictions of capitalism

By Cheryl Crisp, 27 October 2020

The remarks below were given by Cheryl Crisp, national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party of Australia.

Metropolitan Police arrest first person in relation to Grenfell inferno after 40 months

By Charles Hixson and Robert Stevens, 26 October 2020

It was reported in January that the police’s own study of the Grenfell Inquiry’s final report may take until 2025— eight years after the fire. Given this situation, it is possible that a decade will have passed since the fire before the police make any decisions.

Modern Monetary Theory and the crisis of capitalism: Part two

The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People's Economy by Stephanie Kelton

By Nick Beams, 26 October 2020

Modern Monetary Theory is the latest in a long line of attempts by “left” theorists to maintain that capitalism can be made to work for society if only outmoded thinking about the monetary system is abandoned.

Thousands of furloughed US aviation workers see no relief from US Congress

By Steve Filips, 24 October 2020

Tens of thousands of airline workers remain furloughed as relief remains stalled in by US Congress.

Detroit City government insists demolitions go forward, ignoring health dangers and unmet housing needs

By James Brookfield and Debra Watson, 24 October 2020

The City of Detroit is pushing ahead with its home demolition program despite a critical shortage of affordable housing.

Catastrophic job losses continue in the US as nearly 800,000 new unemployment claims reported

By Jacob Crosse, 23 October 2020

Over 65 million claims have been filed since mid-March as state and federal assistance expires for millions.

Support for socialism jumps by nearly 10 percent among US youth amid pandemic depression

By David Fitzgerald and Gabriel Black, 23 October 2020

These statistics quantitatively express a significant shift in political mood and perspective that has occurred over just the last year, as the COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged the US and the world.

Goldman Sachs fined $2.9 billion over role in 1MDB corruption case

By Nick Beams, 23 October 2020

The case involved the embezzlement of billions of dollars from the 1MDB fund, including by two Goldman bankers.

Corporate America puts its money on Biden and the Democrats

Part two

By Patrick Martin, 23 October 2020

Biden and the Democrats have significantly outraised Trump and the Republicans, with cash from Wall Street and Silicon Valley accounting for much of the difference.

Ten percent of US households face eviction by year’s end

By Katy Kinner, 22 October 2020

As the CDC eviction moratorium order reaches its expiration date on January 1, the eviction and homelessness crisis in the US is heading toward an explosion of unprecedented proportions.

On the brink: A photographic examination of social cleansing in London

By Paul Mitchell, 22 October 2020

“My aim is to focus on existing council properties that have been neglected due to the lack of maintenance. It’s imperative to showcase the decay of these buildings as it’s been a deliberate strategy to run them down.”—photographic artist Sarah Douglas

Marcus Rashford’s fight against child poverty exposes Labour and trade unions’ partnership with Johnson government

By Barry Mason and Robert Stevens, 22 October 2020

Marcus Rashford has more fight in his little toe than the entire Labour and trade union bureaucracy.

999 GM investments

22 October 2020

US Justice Department and eleven states file antitrust lawsuit against Google

By By Kevin Reed, 22 October 2020

The US Department of Justice submitted a lawsuit against Google on Tuesday saying the $1 trillion corporation was in violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act.

Europe on course for double-dip recession

By Nick Beams, 21 October 2020

The IMF’s forecast for a global recovery in 2021 is looking increasingly shaky in the face of a second wave of COVID-19 infections.

999 Google anti-trust case

21 October 2020

Further signs of the “devastating impact” of the pandemic on arts and artists: What are the implications?

By David Walsh, 21 October 2020

The ongoing destruction of the jobs, incomes and aspirations of tens of thousands of artists of every kind in the US and elsewhere has a significance that goes beyond the immediate cultural sphere.

999 Fed data show over 100 million Americans out of work

21 October 2020

Federal Reserve data shows over 100 million in US out of labor force

By Jacob Crosse, 21 October 2020

The number reveals that despite claims of a falling unemployment rate, millions remain out of work as Congress refuses to pass coronavirus relief.