The Social Crisis in America

Oakland, California: With guns drawn, police evict homeless mothers from house

By Adam Mclean, 17 January 2020

A SWAT team wielding semi-automatic AR-15s broke down the front door of the house with a battering ram and arrested the residents of the house along with two protesters.

Thousands of Florida educators rally to demand increase in pay and school spending

By Matthew MacEgan, 14 January 2020

Defying threats of firings and massive fines for engaging in what some officials called an illegal strike, teachers rode chartered buses and car-pooled from as far away as Miami, nearly 500 miles from the state capital.

Washington, D.C., political establishment blocks minimum wage increase for city’s tipped workers

By Douglas Lyons and Nick Barrickman, 13 January 2020

Analysis of the past two District election cycles found that restaurant industry lobbyists contributed more than $236,000 in total to the campaigns of the Democratic mayor as well as multiple city council members.

US alcohol-related deaths doubled between 1999 and 2017

By Kate Randall, 10 January 2020

The increase in alcohol deaths—along with other “deaths of despair,” including those from opioids and suicides—has contributed to a decrease in life expectancy in the US, which fell each year from 2015 to 2017.

Christmas Day fire in Minneapolis, Minnesota displaces more than 200

By Kate Randall, 27 December 2019

The tragedy underscores the Trump administration’s vindictive housing policy, which has cut funding for housing programs and strengthened work requirements for obtaining assistance.

010 Minneapolis shelter fire displaces 200 homeless

27 December 2019

020 San Diego housing crisis

27 December 2019

“It’s just getting harder and harder to live”

Homeless in San Diego, “America’s Finest City”

By Meenakshi Jagadeesan and Ryley Koffing, 27 December 2019

San Diego has the fourth-highest number of homeless residents in the United States.

Industrial carnage in US: 5,250 workers killed on the job in 2018

By Steve Filips, 27 December 2019

Fatal on-the-job injuries in the US increased by 2 percent in 2018, according to this year’s report by the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Christmas 2019: More than half a million homeless in America

By Niles Niemuth, 24 December 2019

At a time when the ruling elite is celebrating the continued rise in the stock market and patting themselves on the back for historically low unemployment figures, the number of people who are being thrown out on the streets is on the rise.

Las Vegas apartment fire kills 6, injures 13 and displaces over 50 residents

By Jacob Crosse, 23 December 2019

Residents of the Alpine Motel Apartments reported no fire alarms or sprinklers went off, forcing them to leap out of windows to escape.

Explosion at Illinois silicone manufacturing facility entirely preventable

By Jessica Goldstein, 23 December 2019

The findings of the Chemical Safety Hazard Investigation Board report demonstrate that AB Specialty Silicones is responsible for the deaths by willful negligence.

Facing scrutiny in the US, Purdue Pharma markets OxyContin overseas

By Gary Joad and Brian Dixon, 21 December 2019

Like Purdue Pharma did in the US, sales representatives for Mundipharma are aggressively marketing OxyContin to physicians in other countries for everyday aches and pains, downplaying its addictive properties.

With support from Governor Newsom, California utility PG&E finalizes settlement with fire victims

By Anthony del Olmo, 19 December 2019

The revised settlement retains the incredibly inadequate $13.5 billion payout, a pittance compared to the immense destruction wrought by the company’s criminally negligent practices.

US rural county jails see a rapid rise in incarceration rates

By Benjamin Mateus, 18 December 2019

There are an estimated 758,400 people incarcerated in local jails throughout the US, an increase of 1.8 percent from mid-year 2017.

George Zimmerman, killer of Trayvon Martin in 2012, sues his victim’s family for $100 million

By Fred Mazelis, 12 December 2019

Zimmerman’s legal maneuvers must be treated with the contempt they deserve.

New York University charges food-insecure students for "free" meals

By Sam Dalton, 11 December 2019

Last semester 1,933 students, nearly 10 percent of the school’s undergraduates, utilized the Courtesy Meals Program.

November US jobs report in perspective: Most jobs “added” to US economy are low wage

By Jessica Goldstein, 10 December 2019

A stark contrast exists between the official US jobs report numbers and the reality that many of the jobs available are of low quality and the result of betrayal by the trade unions.

Thousands of children in New Jersey found to have elevated blood lead levels

By Erik Schreiber, 10 December 2019

The New Jersey Department of Health’s annual report shows that scandalous levels of lead contamination in public water are not limited to the city of Newark, where local officials’ criminal response made headlines this year.

South Florida UPS driver, motorist killed in reckless police shootout in rush hour traffic

By Matthew Taylor, 7 December 2019

At least nineteen police officers fire 200 rounds into a UPS delivery truck which had been hijacked after a jewelry store heist, killing the driver, the two carjackers and an nearby motorist.

US farmer suicides on the rise as Trump’s trade war, extreme weather hit hard

By Anthony Bertolt, 7 December 2019

Farm debt in the US stands at a combined $416 billion, which is an all-time high, and more than half of all farmers have lost money every year since 2013.

Trump administration food stamp cuts spell hunger and destitution for millions

By Kate Randall, 6 December 2019

The Trump Administration announced Wednesday a rule change that will deprive nearly 700,000 people of benefits from the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, increasing hunger for countless families.

Over 2 million Americans don’t have access to indoor plumbing or water, report finds

By Jacob Crosse, 6 December 2019

The inequality that is endemic to the capitalist system finds expression in the lack of access to the most basic of human needs in the richest country in the world.

Nearly 700,000 to lose food stamp benefits under new Trump Administration rule

By Meenakshi Jagadeesan, 5 December 2019

The rule will lead to 688,000 losing their SNAP benefits in the coming year.

Over 250 students arrested in Michigan by ICE in fake university scam

By Jacob Crosse, 29 November 2019

After arresting 161 students in January and February earlier this year, US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement revealed that they had detained an additional 91 students in an ongoing sting operation conducted by the federal agency.

Brookings Institution study finds a staggering 44 percent of US workers earn low wages

By Jessica Goldstein, 29 November 2019

The study’s finding that 44 percent of the US workforce earn low wages paints a devastating picture of the realities of capitalism and working class life in the world’s wealthiest country.

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.

Social counterrevolution and the decline in US life expectancy

By Niles Niemuth, 28 November 2019

A study published this week by the Journal of the American Medical Association confirms that the fall in life expectancy in the US is the product of a decades-long assault on the working class.

Historically low number of Americans receiving unemployment benefits due to increasing restrictions

By Jacob Crosse, 23 November 2019

Restrictions enacted by state and federal governments following the Great Recession have prevented millions from receiving their deserved benefits and discouraged those in need from applying.

999 Farmer suicides in the Midwest

23 November 2019

080 Shredding of unemployment benefits in US

22 November 2019

United States has the highest child detention rate in the world

By Niles Niemuth, 19 November 2019

A UN report released Monday finds that the United States leads the world in depriving children of liberty, particularly through immigration detention.

Obama joins effort to push Democratic primary campaign to the right

By Patrick Martin, 18 November 2019

Obama declared his opposition to anything “revolutionary” or “crazy” being put forward by presidential candidates whom he did not name, although he was clearly referring to Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

Louisiana governor wins re-election in blow to Trump

By Patrick Martin, 18 November 2019

Edwards won despite three campaign appearances by President Trump and an all-out effort by the Republican National Committee.

Federal court strips citizenship from US-born woman held in Syrian detention camp

By Tom Carter, 18 November 2019

Handing a victory to the far-right campaign to undermine the Fourteenth Amendment, a federal judge found that Hoda Muthana is not a citizen despite the fact that the State Department twice issued a passport listing her nationality as “United States of America.”

Young FedEx worker killed in latest industrial death at Memphis World Hub

By Warren Duzak, 18 November 2019

Duntate Young, 23, was killed on Wednesday while working the midnight shift at the company’s World Hub in Memphis.

150 Farmer suicides in the Midwest

18 November 2019

16 November 2019

Las Vegas, Nevada city council passes punitive anti-homeless ordinance

By Jacob Crosse, 15 November 2019

Passed by a 5-2 vote, the ordinance enforcement mechanisms include up to a $1,000 fine and six months in jail.

Steel layoffs in US mount due to falling production and trade war

By Samuel Davidson, 11 November 2019

Growing layoffs at US Steel and other major US steel producers over the past three months, point to a further slowdown in manufacturing and the impact of Trump’s trade war.

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.

240 Fried chicken sandwiches

8 November 2019

High lead levels found in many Detroit metropolitan cities

By James Brewer, 6 November 2019

The appearance of the toxin in the tap water of diverse communities in Michigan reveals the broad social character of the lead-in-water issue.

Hundreds protest police violence in Brooklyn, New York subway

By Josh Varlin, 4 November 2019

Recent incidents of police violence in the subway system, connected to the crackdown on “fare evasion,” have fueled growing anger among workers in New York City.

More fires ignite as wildfire season deepens in California

By Kevin Martinez, 1 November 2019

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

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

Growing outrage over PG&E role in California fire disaster

By Gabriel Black, 30 October 2019

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

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

By Sam Dalton, 29 October 2019

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

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

By Renae Cassimeda, 28 October 2019

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

As educators enter eighth school day on strike

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

By George Marlowe, 28 October 2019

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

Lessons of the GM autoworkers strike

By Marcus Day, 28 October 2019

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

Trump proposal denies free school meals to half a million children

By Kate Randall, 25 October 2019

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

Reports highlight rising methamphetamine health crisis across US Midwest

By Jacob Crosse, 24 October 2019

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

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

By Genevieve Leigh, 24 October 2019

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

Suicide rates and suicidal behavior rise sharply among American youth

By Trévon Austin, 18 October 2019

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

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

By Dan Conway, 17 October 2019

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

California Governor vetoes $2 billion affordable housing bill

By Rafael Azul, 16 October 2019

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

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

By Patrick Martin, 14 October 2019

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

Wildfires and forced blackouts lead to multiple deaths in California

By Evan Blake, 14 October 2019

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

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

By Aaron Murch, 14 October 2019

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

Four homeless men murdered in New York City’s Chinatown

By Owen Mullan and Sandy English, 14 October 2019

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

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

By Dan Conway, 12 October 2019

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

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

By Casey Gold, 1 October 2019

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

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

By Shuvu Batta, 27 September 2019

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

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

By Casey Gold, 24 September 2019

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

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

By Kevin Reed, 23 September 2019

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

US Justice Department sues Edward Snowden to block proceeds of memoir

By Kevin Reed, 23 September 2019

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

US deal with El Salvador puts new roadblock to asylum seekers

By Norisa Diaz, 23 September 2019

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

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

By Naomi Spencer, 16 September 2019

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

New York City mayor declares end of measles public health emergency

By Gary Joad, 16 September 2019

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

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

By Jacob Crosse, 16 September 2019

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

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

By Rafael Azul, 13 September 2019

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

US study shows: Poverty and social inequality are killers

By Patrick Martin, 12 September 2019

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

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

By Benjamin Mateus, 9 September 2019

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

Florida teen hangs himself in Broward County maximum-security jail

By Casey Gold, 9 September 2019

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

The epidemic of nurse suicides and the US healthcare crisis

By Kate Randall, 7 September 2019

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

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

One year since the Chicago house fire that killed ten children

By Benjamin Mateus and George Gallanis, 6 September 2019

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

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

By Patrick Martin, 2 September 2019

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

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

By Kate Randall, 27 August 2019

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

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

By Mitch Marcus, 24 August 2019

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

Democrats enforce crackdown on vehicular homelessness in Los Angeles

By Rafael Azul, 23 August 2019

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

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

By Andre Damon, 19 August 2019

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

“This is corruption, collusion, conspiracy”

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

By our reporters, 19 August 2019

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

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

By George Gallanis, 19 August 2019

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

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

By James Vega and Phyllis Steele, 17 August 2019

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

Lead contamination crisis grows

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

By Shuvu Batta, 16 August 2019

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

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

By our reporters, 13 August 2019

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

American horror story

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

By Eric London, 12 August 2019

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

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

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

By Jerry White, 9 August 2019

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

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.

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.

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

By Kate Randall, 26 July 2019

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

Electrical worker killed at pipe mill in Western Pennsylvania

By Samuel Davidson, 26 July 2019

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

Trump administration proposes cutting off food stamps for 3 million Americans

By Brian Dixon, 25 July 2019

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

Pennsylvania school threatens children with foster care for school lunch debt

By our reporter, 24 July 2019

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

Mass protests shake Puerto Rican and US political establishment

By Jerry White, 23 July 2019

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

Merchants of death

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

By Genevieve Leigh, 23 July 2019

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

Millions without electrical power in Michigan and northeast US

By Bryan Dyne, 23 July 2019

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

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

By Jacob Crosse, 20 July 2019

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

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

By Clare Hurley, 16 July 2019

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