Capitalism and inequality

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.

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.

Australian fires bring growing global climate crisis into stark relief

By James Cogan, 23 December 2019

The catastrophic fires in Australia follow blazes that have engulfed large areas of California, Siberia, Borneo and the Amazon.

Australia: Toxic air from bushfires rated a “public health emergency”

By John Mackay, 23 December 2019

Health professionals have called on governments to take action amid record levels of bushfire haze in towns and cities.

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.

Inequality and falling living standards fuel political “fragility” in Australia

By Mike Head, 21 December 2019

The financial elite’s enrichment has occurred at the direct expense of the wages, working conditions and social services of the working class.

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.

UC Santa Cruz graduate students wildcat strike enters critical phase

By Meenakshi Jagadeesan, 18 December 2019

The students, whose demand is a “Cost of Living Adjustment” to their wages as Graduate Teaching Assistants, are withholding submitting the final grades for Fall quarter.

Severe heatwave set to worsen Australia’s bushfire emergency

By Martin Scott, 18 December 2019

Already exhausted firefighters are preparing to face horror weather conditions this week.

Australian budget report points to impact of globally-driven slump

By Mike Head, 17 December 2019

The government drastically cut its forecasts for economic growth and tax revenues, as well as for wages.

Report highlights social crisis confronting Australian youth on welfare

By John Harris, 14 December 2019

Hundreds of thousands of working-class youth and students confront soaring housing and utility costs, and a deepening jobs crisis.

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.

California graduate students on wildcat strike

By Evelyn Rios, 11 December 2019

Graduate students at the University of California, Santa Cruz are demanding raises to meet the cost of living in one of the country's most expensive regions.

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.

Growing poverty and inequality in New Zealand

By Tom Peters, 11 December 2019

Despite the Labour Party’s promises, poverty, housing unaffordability and food insecurity have increased significantly in the past two years.

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.

Worker killed in horrendous incident on Sydney construction site

By Terry Cook, 10 December 2019

The latest tragic death brings the number of fatalities in the sector for 2019 to 22.

Australian economy remains in slump as trade tensions mount

By Mike Head, 10 December 2019

Corporate profits and share prices have soared in 2019, but at the expense of falling real wages and rising unemployment.

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.

Harvard University graduate student union begins strike over pay, conditions

By Kate Randall, 4 December 2019

The HGSU-UAW has made only token appeals to other sections of workers at Harvard to support the grad student workers’ strike and has offered substantial concessions to the university on virtually all issues.

Harvard University grad students set to strike over pay, grievance procedures, healthcare

By Kate Randall, 3 December 2019

Harvard officials’ hard line in relation to collective bargaining on grad students’ pay is in line with a recent NLRB proposal that would curb the establishment of graduate student unions at private universities.

Australia: Ongoing health fallout from 2018 toxic chemical blaze

By Margaret Rees, 3 December 2019

Firefighters and residents are continuing to suffer ill effects from the huge fire in Melbourne’s West Footscray.

After student sets himself on fire, French youth protest: “Precariousness kills”

By Francis Dubois, 30 November 2019

Anas K.’s desperate action and his scathing denunciation of the Macron government and of capitalism have reverberated powerfully among tens of thousands of students who face the same dire conditions.

The Triumph of Injustice, by Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman: How tax cuts for the rich fuel inequality

By Andre Damon, 30 November 2019

Saez and Zucman argue that the systematic reduction of taxation of the rich and widespread tax evasion by corporations have been major factors in the growth of social inequality.

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.

Workers underpaid by $1.35 billion a year

Low wage rises in Australia “become the new normal”

By Nick Beams, 29 November 2019

A survey conducted by the accounting and financial firm PwC has found that 13 percent of the Australian workforce is being underpaid.

Renewed surge in US mergers

By Nick Beams, 28 November 2019

Last Monday alone, takeover deals amounting to more than $70 billion were announced as multinational firms sought to tighten their grip on the markets in which they operate.

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.

Students walk out in support of Nashville teacher victimized for assigning homework on the “N-word”

By Trévon Austin, 27 November 2019

Steven Small was the subject of an anonymous complaint from a parent after he gave students an assignment discussing the 1987 Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Fences” and its use of the racial slur.

Assange’s lawyer Jennifer Robinson addresses public meetings in Australia

By Patrick O’Connor, 25 November 2019

Robinson warned that the US attempt to prosecute Assange for publishing the truth was setting a “terrifying precedent” for all journalists and media organisations.

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.”

Australian bushfire crisis continues as political fallout intensifies

By Mike Head, 18 November 2019

Prime Minister Morrison and Labor Party leader Albanese have both tried to call a halt to any discussion of the crucial issues raised by the fires.

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

Two killed, three injured in Santa Clarita, California school shooting

By Dan Conway, 15 November 2019

The victims were aged 14 to 16 with the suspected shooter also admitted to the hospital with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot to the head.

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.

Mass protests after police shoot and kill Aboriginal teenager in remote Australian town

By Eric Ludlow, 15 November 2019

The police killing of Kumanjayi Walker in the poverty-stricken Northern Territory community of Yuendumu has led to widespread protests across Australia.

Australian aged care report: “A shocking tale of neglect”

By Cheryl Crisp, 13 November 2019

The inquiry’s “urgent” recommendations do nothing to address the underlying reasons for these appalling conditions.

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.

Australian Labor Party review covers up causes of federal election debacle

By Oscar Grenfell, 11 November 2019

The real reason for Labor’s defeat is that it is incapable of making a credible appeal to workers and young people, after decades of having imposed the dictates of big business.

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

Australia: Mobilise students, staff and academics against the closure of Macquarie University’s human sciences faculty

By the Committee for Public Education, 7 November 2019

The National Tertiary Education Union’s major concern is not the job cuts themselves, but that they were left out of the “consultation process” required to implement them.

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.

Australia: Bullied teachers reveal union complicity in victimisations—Part 1

By Sue Phillips and Erika Zimmer, 4 November 2019

The WSWS and Committee for Public Education discuss the crisis in Australia’s public schools, with the founders of the Bullied Teachers Support Network.

Australia: Official unemployment figures downplay growing jobs crisis

By Terry Cook, 2 November 2019

The mass destruction of full-time jobs and a rapid growth in casualisation across every sector has been overseen by Liberal and Labor governments alike.

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.

The global youth radicalization and the fight for socialism

By Eric London, 30 October 2019

The political awakening of the most educated, urbanized and technologically interconnected generation in history is of critical strategic significance for the entire working class.

Stop the censorship of socialist views by the University of Leipzig student council

the IYSSE Leipzig, 30 October 2019

The student council refused IYSSE official club status, effectively imposing censorship on left-wing and socialist views on campus.

Seventy percent of US Millennials say they are likely to vote socialist

By Genevieve Leigh, 29 October 2019

The growing interest in and support for socialism coincides with a significant growth of class struggle and social protest internationally.

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.

At New York forum in defense of Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning

UN special rapporteur on torture warns: “Assange will not get a fair trial in Virginia”

By Sandy English, 17 October 2019

A panel discussion at Columbia University on Tuesday laid bare the fraudulent character of the charges brought against Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning and put the spotlight on those who committed the war crimes that WikiLeaks exposed.