Capitalism and inequality

Australian workers face mass job cuts amid coronavirus crisis

By Oscar Grenfell, 18 March 2020

Millions of workers, especially those employed on a casual basis, face financial ruin amid the collapse of the airline, hospitality and tourism sectors.

Democratic Party debate dominated by coronavirus pandemic

By Patrick Martin, 17 March 2020

The exchanges between the candidates had been rendered largely irrelevant by consolidation of the Democratic Party behind Biden, making him the presumptive nominee.

Health official warns that 150,000 Australians could die in coronavirus pandemic

By Mike Head, 17 March 2020

Many of these people will die as a direct result of the failure of the governments, both federal and state, to take the urgently needed action and allocate the necessary medical resources.

Australian governments invoke emergency powers amid COVID-19 disaster

By Mike Head, 17 March 2020

These laws contain powers only previously used in wartime, such as arbitrarily detaining, imprisoning or imposing massive fines on people, to be imposed now in the name of protecting public health.

After handful of tests, West Virginia officials claim zero coronavirus cases

By Naomi Spencer, 17 March 2020

The state has, by many metrics, the unhealthiest and poorest adult population in the US, putting a majority in higher risk categories for COVID-19.

Amid coronavirus pandemic Nevada gaming commission announces “no plans” to close casinos

By Jacob Crosse, 17 March 2020

Regulators in just six US states—Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois and Massachusetts—have ordered casinos shut down in a criminally belated attempt to halt the spread of COVID-19.

Australia: Queensland coroner finds Ardent Leisure culpable for Dreamworld theme park deaths

By Terry Cook, 17 March 2020

The coronial report demonstrated that the four tragic deaths in 2016 were the result of the subordination of customers’ safety to the pursuit of profit.

New York City finally closes public schools during coronavirus pandemic

By Sam Dalton, 16 March 2020

Public schools in the largest school district in the United States remained opened until this week, despite objections from parents, students and educators.

Amid growing coronavirus pandemic

Student organized investigation finds that Pomona College in California has denied 70 percent of housing requests

By Owen Mullan and Genevieve Leigh, 16 March 2020

“I’m being evicted from Pomona college. I’ve been homeless since I was 16. I come from an extremely abusive home without access to heat, hot water or food” one student, who spoke to the WSWS under the condition of anonymity, explained.

German student newspaper “Unauf” defends far-right violence against students

the IYSSE at Humboldt University, 16 March 2020

Following the refusal of Humboldt University management to condemn the physical attack by right-wing extremist professor Jörg Baberowski on a left-wing student, the “independent student newspaper at Humboldt University” has followed suit.

The coronavirus pandemic crisis intensifies

Capitalism is at war with society

By Joseph Kishore and David North, 13 March 2020

The spread of the coronavirus has exposed the disastrous consequences of decades of the massive concentration of wealth and inequality spawned by capitalism.

Australian government hands billions to business as coronavirus worsens economic slump

By Mike Head, 13 March 2020

Within hours, Morrison’s “stimulus” package was swamped by the deteriorating economic news from around the world and share prices plunged.

Ontario’s “Roadmap to Wellness” continues austerity for youth mental health services even as demand spikes

By Penny Smith, 13 March 2020

The Ford government is refusing to provide tens of thousands of children and adolescents with ready access to mental health care services that they urgently need.

Australian PM makes a desperate pitch to avert economic disaster

By Mike Head, 10 March 2020

Morrison’s speech shows that his main concern is to protect corporate profits and prop up his discredited government, not protect people from the coronavirus.

Opioid-related deaths in Columbus, Ohio area up 45 percent from last year

By Katy Kinner, 9 March 2020

The Franklin County coroner recently released data showing a shocking increase in overdose, suicide and homicide deaths in the first two months of 2020.

Murdoch’s News Corp shuts down Australian Associated Press

By Patrick O’Connor, 9 March 2020

Australia already has one of the most monopolised media industries in the world, with Murdoch publications comprising more than 70 percent of all newspapers sold.

Push: An exposure of financial parasitism and the global housing crisis

By Jean Shaoul, 7 March 2020

The film exposes the criminal role of the finance industry, aided and abetted by an army of lawyers, advisors and not least governments, in evicting people and jacking up rents after giving properties a superficial makeover.

The number of ultrawealthy individuals is growing dramatically on a world scale

By Kevin Reed, 6 March 2020

A new report by the consulting firm Knight Frank shows that the number of super-wealthy people in the world—those with more than $30 million in assets—is projected to increase by 27 percent over the next five years.

020 Ultra High net worth report

5 March 2020

Workers to pay the price as Australia joins global slide into recession

By Mike Head, 5 March 2020

The Covid-19 disaster has not yet resulted in large-scale sickness in Australia, but major companies are already unveiling job cuts due to the global impact on production, trade and travel.

On eve of “Super Tuesday” primaries

Democratic Party goes to war against Sanders

By Patrick Martin, 3 March 2020

The Democratic Party is opposed to raising the prospect of significant social reforms in the 2020 election.

Five members of neo-Nazi Atomwaffen Division arrested for targeting US journalists

By Kevin Reed, 3 March 2020

Although the Department of Justice refused to identify them as neo-Nazis, five members of fascist Atomwaffen Division were arrested and charged on February 26 with conspiracy involving harassment and “swatting” of journalists and political opponents.

Australia: Tram drivers’ union attempts to impose sellout agreement

By Patrick O’Connor, 3 March 2020

Tram workers ought to vote “no” to the proposed agreement, which undercuts their real wages and conditions.

Access to disability funding for Australian children depends on wealth

By Max Newman, 29 February 2020

Children in poorer suburbs can wait hundreds of days for essential support services.

Attacks against Sanders intensify ahead of South Carolina primary

By Patrick Martin, 27 February 2020

Sanders’ opponents are warning that he may take an insurmountable lead in delegates in the 14 states voting next Tuesday.

Mass workplace shooting at Milwaukee, Wisconsin brewery leaves six dead including gunman

By Jacob Crosse, 27 February 2020

Anthony N. Ferrill, a 51-year-old Molson Coors Beverage employee opened fire Wednesday morning, killing five coworkers before committing suicide.

Video shows Florida school police officer boasting after arresting six-year-old

By Shuvu Batta, 27 February 2020

Dennis Turner bragged that he had made more than 6,000 arrests and that Kaia Rolle had “broken the record” for the youngest child he had ever detained.

As support for wildcat strike spreads

Unions work to defeat UC-Santa Cruz grad student strike

By Jonathan Burleigh, 27 February 2020

The UAW declared in an open letter at Berkeley that it would not defend the UCSC strikers or any UC Berkeley students who took sympathy wildcat action.

Water shutoffs continue in Detroit in the face of growing opposition

By James Brewer, 27 February 2020

The Democratic administrations of both the city and the state insist that water shutoffs in Detroit remain as a “collection tool of last resort.”

Australian bushfire inquiry: Damage-control, cover-up and a push for military powers

By Mike Head, 27 February 2020

The central purpose of the royal commission is to absolve the federal and state governments of responsibility for the disaster, and to introduce unprecedented national emergency powers.

Nashville art school students, alumni oppose takeover by Christian college

By Warren Duzak, 26 February 2020

Students, alumni and faculty spoke out against the proposed merger of Watkins College of Art with Belmont University at a pop-up art exhibit on Saturday.

California governor to collaborate with Trump against the homeless

By Dan Conway, 26 February 2020

California, the largest state in the US, also has the largest number of homeless people.

Waiting times for aged care in Australia quadruple over past decade

By Clare Bruderlin, 25 February 2020

Such is the contempt of the ruling elite for the working class that many elderly people have died while waiting for a home care package.

“Robodebt” assault on Australian welfare recipients deliberately targeted the vulnerable

By Margaret Rees, 22 February 2020

The government knew the scheme was illegal long before it conceded that was the case in the Federal Court last November.

999 CA gov plans to house homeless in state property

21 February 2020

At least 2.5 million children in Germany live in poverty

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 19 February 2020

In Germany, one of the richest countries in the world, more than 1.5 million children live in families dependent on welfare, and many more in families considered to be working poor.

Markets soar as companies announce mass layoffs

By Nick Beams, 19 February 2020

The impoverishment of the working class is not an accidental outcome of the accumulation of wealth by a rapacious financial oligarchy—the two are directly linked.

Australian court backs police raids on journalists

By Mike Head, 18 February 2020

The ruling highlights the driving forces behind the persecution of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Las Vegas anti-homeless ordinance enforcement begins

By Jacob Crosse, 17 February 2020

Passed by the Las Vegas, Nevada, city council in November, the ordinance makes it a misdemeanor crime, punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine, for “sleeping or camping” in a public space.

Peruvian students protest threatened shutdown of private universities

By Cesar Uco, 17 February 2020

Thirty-nine private universities and two graduate schools failed to meet basic educational standards, threatening 166,000 students with being thrown in the street.

Chicago high school students hold sit-in in defense of students who refused to stand for national anthem

By Andy Thompson, 15 February 2020

The sit-in is an example of young peoples’ complete rejection of nationalism and racism promoted by the ruling class.

Trump’s “Blue Collar Boom”: Myth vs Reality

By Tom Hall, 15 February 2020

The reality of American social life is very different than the fantasy of a “blue-collar boom” which Trump delivered during last week’s State of the Union address.

Concordia University in Portland, Oregon set to close by end of the semester

By Kayla Costa, 14 February 2020

The Board of Regents announced the closure on Monday, making the school the most recent victim of the financial pressures that small, private liberal arts schools confront on the privatized education market.

Letter to members of the Young Democratic Socialists of America (YDSA)

the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (US), 14 February 2020

Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Democratic Socialists of America say it is possible to fight for socialism from within the Democratic Party. Such a political program is not real socialism and can lead only to disaster.

Growing class conflict in the US and the resurgence of socialism

By Joseph Kishore—SEP national secretary and candidate for US president, 13 February 2020

The expansion of the class struggle is the essential factor underlying the shift to the left among workers and the growing interest in socialism.

Recession warnings fuel political instability in Australia

By Mike Head, 12 February 2020

The bushfire and coronavirus disasters have had an enormous economic and social impact.

Trump budget gives top priority to new generation of nuclear weapons

By Patrick Martin, 11 February 2020

The budget document issued Monday reveals that the Pentagon views the use of nuclear weapons as a practical necessity.

Mother and six children killed in Mississippi house fire, only father survives

By Kate Randall, 11 February 2020

Between January 1, 2019 and February 10, 2020, there were 2,479 home fire fatalities in the US. Incidents with multiple fatalities accounted for 744 of these deaths.

John Deere announces layoffs at Iowa plant

By George Gallanis, 11 February 2020

Since announcing plans last August to cut costs and boost profits as part of its drive for “organizational efficiency,” Deere has laid off 220 workers at plants across Illinois and Iowa.

Dr. Lissa Johnson calls for workers and young people to rally in defence of Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning

11 February 2020

“Everyone who recognises the need, before it is too late, to take a stand against gross injustice and for fundamental democratic rights should attend the rallies.”

Trump outlines massive cuts in Medicaid and Medicare in 2021 budget plan

By Kevin Reed, 10 February 2020

The Trump administration is scheduled to release a 2021 budget plan on Monday that includes deep reductions in entitlement programs and other mandatory spending while increasing funding for the military and the Department of Homeland Security.

Democratic governor gives right-wing response to Trump State of the Union address

By Joseph Lorenz, 7 February 2020

The Democratic Party rebuttal included hypocritical invocations of democracy, demagogic appeals to struggling workers and falsification of the party’s reactionary record.

New Australian Greens leader makes a “left” pitch to young people

By Mike Head, 7 February 2020

By installing Bandt as leader, the Greens MPs demonstrated their concern over the mounting political disaffection.

999 south dakota

7 February 2020

Over 1.5 million homeless students in the US

By Trévon Austin, 6 February 2020

On the day that US President Donald Trump proclaimed a “blue-collar boom” in his State of the Union Address, the federal government reported that the number of students experiencing homelessness has hit a record high.

Social inequality main issue in the Irish general election

By Dermot Byrne, 6 February 2020

The Irish general election takes place under conditions of immense instability and uncertainty, with workers looking for a political alternative.

Australian government intensifies punitive drive against welfare recipients

By Margaret Rees, 5 February 2020

Before even paying back the money wrongly taken from some of society’s most vulnerable people via the “robo-debt” system, the government is moving to punish them again.

Take up the fight for international socialism! Join the IYSSE!

the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (Australia), 5 February 2020

One month into 2020, the crisis of capitalism threatens youth with the danger of nuclear war, authoritarianism, climate catastrophe and worsening inequality. International socialism is the answer.

Pennsylvania cancer patient sentenced to 10 months in prison for shoplifting $109.63 in groceries

By Kate Randall, 4 February 2020

Ashley Menser, 36, and her family were hoping that the fact that she was being treated for cancer would persuade the judge to either delay or defer her sentencing. They were wrong.

Washington DC transit authority proposes cuts in services in wake of 84-day bus drivers’ strike

By Nick Barrickman, 4 February 2020

The proposal calls for fare hikes and the elimination of dozens of routes.

Rising “under-employment” fuels discontent in Australia

By Mike Head, 4 February 2020

In working-class areas, young people and other workers are being pushed increasingly into the “gig economy” of casualised, temporary and part-time employment.

Australian PM compels minister to resign over sports grants pork-barrelling

By Mike Head, 3 February 2020

Morrison’s removal of McKenzie will intensify the turmoil within the increasingly discredited government and the entire political establishment.

Firms responsible for covering Grenfell in flammable cladding demand immunity from prosecution

By Charles Hixson and Robert Stevens, 1 February 2020

Evidence revealed as the second phase of the inquiry began demonstrates that the 72 people who were killed in the Grenfell fire inferno were victims of the heinous crime of social murder.

Nominal rise in US life expectancy reported after three years of decline

By Kate Randall, 31 January 2020

It is a stain on the record of the US, that in a country that spends more per person on health care than any other, more people die prematurely than in the vast majority of the world’s industrialized and growing economies.

Notes from Puerto Rico: Earthquakes and government indifference leave trail of social destruction

By Julio Patron and Kayla Costa, 30 January 2020

WSWS reporters spoke to workers and youth in Puerto Rico about the social conditions following the recent earthquakes that rocked the island.

“It’s going to be a bureaucratic nightmare”

Ohio foodbanks and charities struggle to prepare for Trump food stamp cuts

By Katy Kinner, 30 January 2020

By some estimates, the new rule being implemented in April will cause 20,000 Ohio residents to lose SNAP benefits.

Thousands of companies in Britain flout national minimum wage laws

By Joe Mount, 30 January 2020

In 2018, more than 11,000 companies underpaid their workers, while one-in-four workers over the age of 25 on the minimum wage were underpaid in 2019.

Australian government calls for national emergency powers

By Mike Head, 30 January 2020

Under the guise of dealing with bushfires and other disasters, Prime Minister Morrison is seeking to boost the powers of the state apparatus to suppress unrest.

Australia: Worker presumed dead in Tasmanian mine collapse

By Terry Cook, 29 January 2020

If the miners’ death is confirmed, it will be the fifth mining fatality in western Tasmania in just six years.

US Supreme Court considers ending ban on public funding for religious schools

By Nancy Hanover, 28 January 2020

On January 22, the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, a deeply reactionary case which takes aim at both the democratic principle of separation of church and state and the right to free, universal public education.

Trump rolls back clean water protections

By Daniel de Vries, 28 January 2020

The move will exempt more than half of the nation's wetlands from federal regulations.

At Davos, Spain’s PSOE-Podemos government shows the banks its credentials

By Alejandro López, 27 January 2020

Speaking at the World Economic Forum, Pedro Sánchez reiterated that his new Spanish Socialist Party coalition government with Podemos is committed to austerity.

27 January 2020

At Davos, Trump announces plans to cut Medicare and other social programs

By Trévon Austin, 24 January 2020

In an interview at the World Economic Forum at Davos, Trump said social programs would be targeted to reduce the federal deficit.

Record number of homeless deaths in New York City last year

By Sam Dalton, 24 January 2020

A new report reveals a rapid rise in the number of homeless deaths in the largest and wealthiest city in America.

Australian government releases whitewash report after more than 1,200 people die waiting for disability services

By Max Newman, 24 January 2020

More than one person a day has died since July 2016 waiting for National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) support packages.

The Politician: The unreality of official American political and social life

By Joanne Laurier, 24 January 2020

The Politician centers on the Machiavellian operations of an ambitious California high school senior, determined to win the election for student body president as a stepping-stone, ultimately, to the White House.

Australia: NSW Ambulance staff forced to do overtime to cover under-staffing

By Clare Bruderlin, 23 January 2020

The pressure on over-worked paramedics and other ambulance workers is the result of years of budget cuts and understaffing.

Australia: Thousands protest government inaction on bushfires and climate change

By our reporters, 22 January 2020

The organisers of the Melbourne demonstration provided no way forward beyond the confines of the capitalist system that has led to environmental destruction.

UK: Highest-paid CEOs take home 117 times that of an average paid worker

By Barry Mason, 21 January 2020

In 2018, the average FTSE 100 CEO earned £3.46 million, equivalent to £901.30 an hour.

Bushfire scientist warns that Australia’s disaster is “a wake-up call”

By Frank Gaglioti, 20 January 2020

“If nothing is done to address climate change this wildfire season will be a preview into our future.”

Amid poverty wages and tax cuts for the rich

JPMorgan Chase records the biggest profit of any bank in US history

By Gabriel Black, 18 January 2020

The profit bonanza on Wall Street is the outcome of a bipartisan drive to enrich the financial elite at the expense of the working class.

Rich in US and UK live nearly ten more healthy years than the poor

By Kate Randall, 18 January 2020

Wealthy men and women generally have eight to nine more years of “disability free” life after age 50 than the poorest American and English adults.

US students and youth speak out against the threat of war with Iran

By Trévon Austin, 17 January 2020

“We know who war benefits. It benefits the rich, and it’s always the poor and the working class who suffer the consequences. My father fought in World War II and the Korean War and it totally destroyed him.”

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.

Australian fires leave tens of thousands in financial hardship and stress

By James Cogan, 17 January 2020

The fires have most severely affected low-income workers and welfare recipients, self-employed contractors, small-business owners and family farmers.

Australian bushfire crisis highlights sweeping emergency powers

By Mike Head, 16 January 2020

By proclaiming “emergencies,” state governments can override any law in order to suppress rising social unrest.

Australia: NSW bushfire victims condemn inadequate planning and government responses

By our reporters, 16 January 2020

“Volunteers are dwindling in numbers and the average age is increasing. You can’t go flogging these people for 11 weeks of fire fighting.”

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.

Australia: Kinglake residents speak on government inaction 11 years after Black Saturday blaze killed 173

By our reporters, 14 January 2020

One resident stated: “I don’t care which party they are from—Labor, Liberal, whatever—these politicians only look after their pockets.”

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.

Inadequate government relief for Australian bushfire victims

By James Cogan, 9 January 2020

With his government under siege, Prime Minister Morrison announced that $2 billion in assistance will be provided over the next two years.

Australian bushfire victims speak-out: “What is our government doing at the moment?”

By our reporters, 9 January 2020

One resident of Balmoral, a village in NSW, stated: “We’ve been through tough times before but nothing like this. The size of fires is unprecedented. All the resources are stretched to breaking point.”

Australian bushfire catastrophe exposes the contempt of the ruling elites for working people

By James Cogan, 8 January 2020

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison will go down in history as the political leader who secretly went on holiday to Hawaii while the country burned.

“Robodebt” regime continues to inflict suffering on Australian welfare recipients

By Mike Head, 3 January 2020

The issuing of automated debt letters has been a calculated means of slashing social spending.

Australian Labor and Liberal ministers agree on further regressive education measures

By Patrick Kelly, 31 December 2019

The Alice Springs (Mparntwe) Declaration subordinates education policy even more explicitly to the demands of the largest corporations for a trained and readily exploited workforce.

Share market boom masks another financial crisis in the making

By Nick Beams, 30 December 2019

The year 2019 will go down in economic history as the great turnaround, when the world’s major central banks gave up on their attempt to return to “normal” monetary policy.

Australian mental health report highlights a systemic crisis

By Margaret Rees, 28 December 2019

Patients, carers and medical staff “are being traumatised by an under-resourced system.”

Billionaires’ wealth surged in 2019

By Barry Grey, 28 December 2019

The wealth of the world’s 500 richest people rose 25 percent in 2019, reaching a combined net worth of $5.9 trillion.