Notes on the US Social Crisis
Youth suicide rate up 56 percent from 2007 to 2016
By Kate Randall, 2 June 2018
The new statistics on deaths among US children and teens expose the social crisis confronting America’s youth in the form of gun violence, suicide, the opioid crisis, poverty and war.
By Norisa Diaz, 4 April 2018
While the motive for the shooting remains unclear, what is certain is that American society continues to produce mass shootings on an almost daily basis.
Notes from Puerto Rico
By Antonio Castro, 8 February 2018
This is the second in a series of updates from a local Puerto Rican worker on the unfolding crisis on the island in the wake of Hurricane María.
By Shelley Connor, 10 June 2017
Amid a continuing economic downturn, mortality rates have risen for Americans between the ages of 25 and 45, with a surging opioid crisis claiming lives daily.
By Kathleen Martin, 9 March 2017
High wind in Detroit caused power outages for a large portion of southeastern Michigan and tragically resulted in death for others.
By Tom Carter, 11 June 2016
The media and political campaign that is unfolding in America around the sentencing of Stanford University freshman Brock Allen Turner is fundamentally reactionary.
By Evan Blake, 4 June 2016
The US economy added only 38,000 jobs in May, the fewest since 2010, in another indication of the persistent slump gripping the US economy.
By George Gallanis and George Marlowe, 4 June 2016
After decades of robust industry and manufacturing, the city now faces rising unemployment, poverty and social misery.
By Niles Niemuth—SEP candidate for vice president, 26 May 2016
A Pew report released on the share of young people living with their parents sheds new light on the difficulties facing millions who are barely scraping by.
By Patrick Martin, 21 April 2016
New figures released by the Centers for Disease Control on declining life expectancy reflect the profound social crisis that is fueling the political convulsions in the US elections.
By Kate Randall, 2 February 2016
The SNAP cutoffs loom as hunger and food insecurity continue to rise and more than a quarter of the unemployed have been jobless for more than six months.
By Shannon Jones, 20 August 2015
Food banks and food pantries report that millions of families are still making difficult choices between eating and paying for other necessities
By Tom Hall, 31 July 2015
Despite six years of economic “recovery,” many indicators show that American households are worse off than they were during the depths of the 2008 economic crisis.
By Tom Hall, 22 July 2015
Three million more American children were in poverty in 2013 than at the height of the 2008 financial crisis.
By Naomi Spencer, 3 April 2015
Washtenaw County, Michigan is held up as a “knowledge economy” model for recovery in the state, but a new study finds 37 percent of residents cannot make ends meet.
By Evan Blake, 23 February 2015
Willacy County Correctional Center is one of fifteen federal for-profit prisons that house mostly undocumented immigrants under deplorable conditions.
By Shannon Jones, 18 February 2015
The 69-year-old Vietnam veteran was found huddled under blankets next to a space heater.
By D. Lencho, 9 February 2015
Removal of the homeless has begun at a “tent city” near downtown, while new encampments have sprung up in other parts of the city.
“A permanent Third World in America”
By Niles Williamson, 18 November 2014
A record 2.5 million American children were homeless last year amidst what the Obama administration has insisted is an economic recovery.
The human toll of slump and part-time employment
By Fred Mazelis, 2 September 2014
Maria Fernandes worked part-time at three separate Dunkin’ Donuts.
By Eric London, 26 May 2014
A report from the National Research Council details the devastating social impact of mass incarceration.
By Philip Guelpa, 26 May 2014
An Associated Press investigation revealed that two inmates recently died from horrific squalor and neglect at the prison.
By Naomi Spencer, 23 November 2013
Mass job line-ups across the country, rising infant mortality rates in Alabama, fatal accidents due to fatigue among truckers, and other recent indices of the social crisis.
By Naomi Spencer, 19 December 2012
A California family commits suicide, police use pepper spray on housing assistance seekers in Ohio, and a West Virginia newspaper features a “neediest cases” contest.
By Naomi Spencer, 5 December 2012
Jobless parents jailed for manner of transporting their children, Michigan mother harassed for deceased son’s student loans, more homeless risk hypothermia, study released on homeless students and an Ohio state road falls into sinkhole.
By Naomi Spencer, 20 November 2012
The DC housing voucher wait list is more than two decades long, Colorado child welfare workers are “at the breaking point,” and people in poverty are twice as likely to suffer depression.
By Naomi Spencer, 25 October 2012
A Massachusetts woman committed robbery to pay her landlord, apartment building collapses highlight shoddy construction practices and more Americans say they won’t be able to afford retirement.
By Naomi Spencer, 11 October 2012
This week: the psychological impact of solitary confinement on young prisoners, the swelling homeless population in New York, the epidemic of suicides among American Indian youth
By Naomi Spencer, 29 August 2012
This week we report a police killing in the nation’s capital, the untenable cost of child care, Florida’s effort to purge unemployment insurance rolls of hundreds of thousands, the doubling of the Georgia high school dropout rate, and the crisis in home energy assistance funding.
By Naomi Spencer, 19 June 2012
This week, Utah ties welfare aid to drug testing, San Antonio sees an epidemic of child abuse and neglect, researchers find a spike in American stress levels, and another Rhode Island city slides toward bankruptcy.
By Naomi Spencer, 11 June 2012
A Connecticut man cites “desperate times” for a robbery, a Missouri resident refusing eviction is shot by police, poor Virginia tenants are made homeless over their landlords’ violations, and other indicators of social breakdown.
By Naomi Spencer, 24 May 2012
This week, we report on a prison riot in Mississippi; the razing of multiple homeless tent cities; mass job lineups in the Pacific Northwest; and Tennessee’s growing dental health disaster.
By Naomi Spencer, 10 May 2012
This week we report on homelessness among Michigan children; a hungry homeless man seeks relief in jail; states privatize multitudes of services; and other facets of the social crisis.
By Naomi Spencer, 2 May 2012
Life expectancy falls in counties across the US, domestic violence and arrests of school children spike, the Obama administration scraps proposed child farm labor rules, and other signs of social breakdown.
By Naomi Spencer, 2 April 2012
This week, new findings emerge in the death of a homeless St. Louis woman arrested for seeking medical help, South Carolina health clinic workers are laid off without pay, Arizona moves toward the most restrictive abortion laws in the country, and other developments.
By Naomi Spencer, 24 March 2012
This week, tornado-stricken states are denied federal aid, Philadelphia criminalizes feeding the homeless, Missouri moves to end a health care program for the blind, and other signs of social distress across the US.
By Naomi Spencer, 8 March 2012
The government cuts school lunch program costs by using ammonia-treated meat byproduct; a wealthy New York family is charged with enslaving an undocumented immigrant; Idaho slashes taxes on highest earning households as schools and medical programs founder.
By Naomi Spencer, 14 February 2012
This week, the Labor Department loosens its child farm labor proposal, Alabama immigrants report being denied food stamps for their US-born children, and management of California’s prison health care system is turned over to the state.
By Naomi Spencer, 28 January 2012
Tornados ripped through central Alabama again this week; hospitals contend with meth-related accident victims and dental emergencies among the uninsured; California jail conditions worsen under prisoner “realignment” program.
By Naomi Spencer, 20 January 2012
Rising rates of mental illness, suicide, and child abuse coincide with drastic cuts to public health budgets and social worker burnout.
By Naomi Spencer, 10 January 2012
Columbus, Ohio provides a portrait of rising homelessness and the lack of affordable housing across the Midwest.
By Naomi Spencer, 4 January 2012
Thousands line up for subsidized housing, blight in post-Katrina New Orleans, inhumane conditions in youth prisons, and other indications of the social crisis in the United States.
By Naomi Spencer, 29 December 2011
The Christmas weekend saw numerous deadly house fires, a near-riot at the Mall of America, and other signs of mounting social distress.
By Naomi Spencer, 8 December 2011
A Texas mother denied food stamps shot herself and her two children; Tacoma, Washington, announced deep cuts in firefighting; the housing crisis deepened in the nation’s capital.
By Naomi Spencer, 24 November 2011
Millions of Americans face extraordinarily grim circumstances this holiday.
By Naomi Spencer, 29 October 2011
Relentless budget cuts are felt in public education, the justice system, and in health care programs for the poor.
By Naomi Spencer, 27 September 2011
Rhode Island homeless shelters are filled to capacity, coroners’ offices report rising numbers of unclaimed bodies, New York City threatens 100 schools with closure, and other reports of social distress in America.
By Naomi Spencer, 12 September 2011
An Ohio man without insurance dies of a tooth infection; a Georgia university opens a food pantry for students; Florida cities seek to drive out homeless population ahead of Republican convention; and other reports on social distress in the US.
By Naomi Spencer, 1 September 2011
Among symptoms of deep social decay are the slashing of legal aid funding, dire overcrowding in an Alabama jail and the plight of poor New Orleans residents six years after Hurricane Katrina.
By Naomi Spencer, 18 August 2011
Deteriorating social conditions find expression this week in a mass line up for dental care in Georgia, a crackdown on a growing New Jersey tent city, and deepening pessimism among the youth
By Naomi Spencer, 11 August 2011
Conditions of life are deteriorating for millions of working class families as key social programs are cut and job prospects dry up.
By Naomi Spencer, 4 August 2011
The federal budget deal targets critical social programs that are already under duress at the state level.
By Naomi Spencer, 26 July 2011
As state and local government budget crises deepen, working class living conditions are unraveling.
By Naomi Spencer, 20 July 2011
The economic crisis manifests itself in virtually every facet of working class living conditions in the US.