Capitalism and inequality

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

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.

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.

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.

“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.