The Social Crisis in America
By Fred Mazelis, 22 November 2011
Figures released by the US Census Bureau indicate an official child poverty rate of 21.6 percent, the highest since the specific surveys of child poverty began in 2001.
By Barry Grey, 17 November 2011
A new study released Wednesday on the relationship between family income and housing patterns in the US underscores the degree to which social inequality pervades every aspect of life in America.
A tale of two cities 2011
By Fred Mazelis, 15 November 2011
New York remains the most vivid exhibit of the misery created by twenty-first century capitalism alongside levels of parasitism that recall pre-revolutionary France or Russia.
By Patrick Martin, 31 October 2011
A series of reports over the past ten days—on poverty, wages, income inequality and social mobility—have painted a portrait of America starkly at odds with the official mythology of the United States as the land of unlimited economic opportunity.
By Barry Grey, 27 October 2011
A study released Tuesday by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reports that the richest 1 percent of US households nearly tripled their income between 1979 and 2007 and doubled their share of the national income.
By our correspondents, 21 October 2011
The huge turnout for the free clinic, sponsored by CareNow, is another demonstration of the desperate and growing health care crisis in the United States.
By Barry Grey, 11 October 2011
As the anti-Wall Street protests against social inequality and the tyranny of the financial oligarchy spread across the US, a new study released Monday documents the devastating decline in working class living standards over the past four years.
By Bill Van Auken, 5 October 2011
The Occupy Wall Street protest, now in its third week, has struck a powerful chord throughout the US, with similar occupations developing in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and other cities and towns across the country.
By Andre Damon, 29 September 2011
With the full backing of the Obama administration, US and foreign-based corporations are transforming the US into a cheap labor platform in direct competition with Mexico, China and other low-wage countries.
By Joseph Kishore, 23 September 2011
The wealth of the richest 400 Americans increased 12 percent over the past year, while new census figures document a shocking increase in the level of poverty in cities and communities throughout the country.
By Naomi Spencer, 22 September 2011
More than one in three young families with children were living in poverty in the US last year, the highest rate ever recorded.
By James Brewer, 1 September 2011
Telecommunications giant Verizon, which is demanding huge concessions from its workers, is one of the corporate giants that paid less in US taxes in 2010 than they paid to their chief executive officers.
By Nikolai Barrickman and Kate Randall, 2 August 2011
The Children’s Defense Fund details the tremendous decline in social conditions for America’s children since the onset of the recession.
By Lawrence Porter, 20 July 2011
The WSWS spoke with George Coling at the recent National Energy and Utility Affordability Conference in Florida.
By Naomi Spencer, 20 July 2011
The economic crisis manifests itself in virtually every facet of working class living conditions in the US.
By Lawrence Porter and Toby Reese, 20 July 2011
The National Energy and Utility Affordability Conference (NEUAC) was held June 27-29 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, amidst the growing utility crisis in the United States.
By Lawrence Porter and Toby Reese, 20 July 2011
An interview with Viletta Coombs at the National Energy and Utility Affordability Converence.
By Ramon Valle, 18 July 2011
Los Angeles and Orange Counties, known as centers of Southern California wealth and glamour, are now home to half a million people seeking help from food pantries.
By Debra Watson, 13 July 2011
A research team from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health has estimated that 875,000 deaths in the US in 2000 could be attributed to a cluster of social factors bound up with poverty and income inequality.
By Dwight Stoll and Sandy English, 11 July 2011
For people between the ages of 16 and 24, the official unemployment figure officially stands at 25 percent.
Part 3: Budget cuts
By Andre Damon, 6 July 2011
In this video, the third in a series on youth unemployment in Chicago, youth services workers speak about the disastrous effects of budget cuts on summer employment programs and activities.
By Barry Grey, 4 July 2011
While US unemployment remains at near-Depression levels and health care, pensions and education are being slashed by all levels of the government, the pay of corporate CEOs is soaring.
By Patrick Martin, 23 June 2011
The gap in the United States between the wealthy and everyone else has widened to unprecedented dimensions.
By Patrick Martin, 16 June 2011
The United States is falling further and further behind other industrialized countries. \
By Patrick Martin, 30 May 2011
While the president promised not to forget the tornado victims, the scale of federal aid is entirely inadequate.
By James Brewer, 30 May 2011
A recent report documents the erosion of the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program and warns of drastic cuts that many states are implementing that will put even more Americans at risk.
28 May 2011
The WSWS publishes here a reader’s letter in response to “The Joplin, Missouri tornado” on the dominance of Wal-Mart over the region.
By Tom Eley, 6 April 2011
Recent reports underscore how the US financial elite has used the economic crisis to further enrich itself at the expense of the vast majority of the people.
By Debra Watson, 30 March 2011
The government estimates that 25 percent of American children will soon be in poverty and 1.5 million children are homeless.
By John Marion, 16 March 2011
Thousands of Massachusetts families face having Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) benefits cut in half next year under the White House’s proposed budget.
By Andre Damon, 1 March 2011
While millions of people confront the daily miseries of unemployment, home foreclosure and poverty as a result of the economic crisis, corporate profits have continued to swell.
By Andre Damon, 21 February 2011
Between 50,000 and 100,000 people packed the capitol square in Madison, Wisconsin on February 19, demonstrating the popular hostility to austerity measures proposed by governor Scott Walker.
By Bill Van Auken, 18 February 2011
Protests by tens of thousands of state workers, teachers and their supporters against sweeping social cuts in Wisconsin mark a turning point in the United States.
By Andre Damon, 18 February 2011
Demonstrations continued Thursday in Madison, Wisconsin, as thousands of people packed the state legislature, while tens of thousands protested outside.
By Andre Damon, 17 February 2011
Tens of thousands of workers and students protested on February 17 in Madison, Wisconsin against Governor Scott Walker's plan to end collective bargaining for state employees.
By the Socialist Equality Party and the International Students for Social Equality, 16 February 2011
Supporters of the Socialist Equality Party and the International Students for Socialist Equality are distributing this statement to oppose Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s social cuts and attacks on workers’ right to strike.
By Patrick Martin, 15 February 2011
Two years after the multi-trillion dollar bailout of the banks, the Obama administration is proposing more than $1 trillion in cuts, largely to programs that benefit the working class.
By Naomi Spencer, 29 January 2011
Budget cuts carried out on the quiet have prevented emergency warming centers in Detroit from opening their doors all winter, leaving thousands of homeless and poor residents in the bitter cold.
By Jerry White, 18 January 2011
The auto show in Detroit is being used to celebrate the auto industry’s return to profitability, a year after the White House oversaw the gutting of auto workers’ jobs, wages and benefits.
By Tom Eley, 18 January 2011
JPMorgan Chase’s profit report for 2010 has become the occasion for a celebration by the American plutocracy of the return of the good old days before the Wall Street crash of 2008.
By Jerry White, 6 January 2011
The number of people in the US filing for bankruptcy rose by 9 percent last year to 1.53 million, as more working families fell victim to job losses, plunging home values and unforgiving creditors.
By David Walsh, 6 January 2011
President Barack Obama, noting the imminent departure of White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs in an interview with the New York Times January 5, let slip a revealing remark.
By Kate Randall, 30 December 2010
The tragic deaths of eight young people in a fire in an abandoned New Orleans warehouse point to the increasingly dire plight of young people in America today.
By Jerry White, 24 December 2010
Three years since the onset of the recession in December 2007, the majority of the US population is facing staggering levels of unemployment, home foreclosures, hunger and poverty.
By Jerry White, 22 December 2010
The ranks of the working poor swelled by 1.7 million from 2007 to 2009, according to a new analysis of US Census data.
By Fred Mazelis, 15 December 2010
The New York City administration is to experiment on the city’s poor by conducting a randomized trial on the effect of denying emergency housing assistance to those in danger of homelessness.
15 December 2010
Thousands of people who either lost their utility service or are in danger of doing so attended a "Customer Assistance Day" sponsored by DTE Energy in downtown Detroit. Several spoke to the WSWS.
By Andre Damon, 9 December 2010
The tax “compromise” announced by the Obama administration this week will actually raise taxes on the poorest Americans, while providing a huge boondoggle for top income earners.
By Tom Eley, 2 December 2010
The failure to extend unemployment benefits for millions of workers is a crime and a social catastrophe.
By Tom Eley, 26 November 2010
Members of US Congress increased their combined personal wealth by more than 16 percent from 2008 and 2009. Nearly half are now millionaires.
By Patrick Martin, 17 November 2010
While 50 million Americans are suffering hunger or are at risk of it, the US political system is focused entirely on the plight of millionaires facing a tax increase December 31.
By Tom Eley, 11 November 2010
The chairmen of the bipartisan deficit-cutting commission appointed by President Obama on Wednesday released a plan that would include massive cuts to social spending and tax cuts for the rich.
By Andrea Peters, 10 November 2010
The federal government has dramatically reduced funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.
By Oliver Richards and Karl Eisner, 11 October 2010
Thousands of homeowners struggling with foreclosures and financial distress attended a “mortgage modification” event sponsored by the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA) in Sacramento, California on the weekend. The gathering followed a similar “Save the Dream” event in Los Angeles that NACA officials estimated was attended by 40,000 people.
US Census Bureau figures
By David Walsh, 29 September 2010
Figures released Tuesday by the US Census Bureau reveal sharply worsening conditions for tens of millions of Americans under the impact of the economic crisis and the accumulation of vast wealth by a relative handful.
By David Walsh, 28 September 2010
The donation of $100 million by Facebook cofounder Mark Zuckerberg to the Newark school system is a small episode that reveals something fundamental about American society.
By Naomi Spencer, 20 September 2010
With unemployment and other indices of social distress on the rise, West Virginia’s unemployment benefit fund is on the brink of insolvency.
The failure of American capitalism
By Patrick Martin, 17 September 2010
The number of people living in poverty in America rose to 43.6 million in 2009, the US Census Bureau reported Thursday.
By Tom Eley and Barry Grey, 14 September 2010
The Obama administration has reacted to news that the US poverty rate has returned to the levels of the 1960s by ruling out any anti-poverty measures.
By Patrick Martin, 13 September 2010
Census figures for 2009, to be released Thursday, will show that the poverty rate soared last year to nearly 15 percent. One out of every seven Americans is now living below the official poverty level, the highest proportion since the 1960s.
By Clement Daly, 2 September 2010
A report released in July reveals that homelessness among public school students in the US increased by 40 percent from the 2006-2007 school year to 956,914 in 2008-2009.
By Naomi Spencer, 1 September 2010
The following is a republication of a series on the fifth anniversary of the Hurricane Katrina disaster, originally published in three parts on August 28-31, 2010.
By Matthew Brennan, 9 August 2010
Illinois food stamp use has increased by 12 percent over the past year, to more than 1.6 million residents. At the same time, social assistance programs are being subjected to deep funding cuts.
By Naomi Spencer, 3 August 2010
McDowell County, West Virginia’s southernmost county, has seen a dramatic decline in population as a consequence of the collapse of the mining workforce.
By Patrick Martin, 2 August 2010
The wedding of Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky, a multimillion-dollar affair held on an estate on the Hudson River, was a demonstration of the deep and unbridgeable social gulf in America.
Matewan, West Virginia, residents speak on dearth of services
By a WSWS reporting team, 30 July 2010
The small town of Matewan, situated in the steep mountains of Mingo County, West Virginia, earned a place in history for the struggles of the coal miners who called it home in the first part of the twentieth century.
Part 3: Environmental disaster and private profit
By Naomi Spencer and Rosa Lexington, 27 July 2010
Reckless surface mining operations in close proximity to communities has exposed residents of the coalfields to water contamination, flash flooding, and other dangers.
Report rubber-stamps bonuses
By Patrick Martin, 26 July 2010
The Obama administration’s “special master” has rubber-stamped the awarding of billions in bonuses to top executives of major banks during the period when they were being bailed out by the US Treasury.
Part 2: An epidemic of ill health among the poor
By Naomi Spencer, 24 July 2010
This is the second in a series of articles on the history, economy, social and environmental conditions of the Appalachian coalfields.
Part 1: Deprivation and inequality in the coalfields
By Naomi Spencer, 22 July 2010
This article is the first of a series on the history, economy, social and environmental conditions in the Appalachian coalfields of the United States.
By Josué Olmos, 17 July 2010
Seventeen-year-old Francisco Martínez and 18-year-old Victor Pérez died July 12 while working inside of a silo at a dairy farm in Thornapple Township, Michigan.
By Nancy Hanover, 16 July 2010
People are being thrown in jail for failing to pay debts in the United States, despite the fact that federal imprisonment for debt was abolished in 1933.
New study documents the impact of lead on Detroit school children
By Debra Watson, 29 June 2010
A new study has correlated high lead exposure among Detroit children in their early years to later school-age learning deficits.
By Ron Jorgenson, 25 June 2010
Nurses in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota voted by a 84 percent margin June 21 to authorize an indefinite strike against six Twin Cities health care systems.
By Naomi Spencer, 2 June 2010
The federal trial began last week for former Chicago police commander John Burge, who has long stood accused of torturing hundreds of poor, black prisoners beginning in the early 1970s. The case is a window to the meat-grinder of the city’s criminal justice system.
By Kristina Betinis and Naomi Spencer, 21 May 2010
A new report released May 5 identifies growing levels of poverty in Illinois that point to the existence of an unfolding social catastrophe.
By David Walsh, 14 May 2010
Banks in the US repossessed 92,400 homes in April, a record number. At the present rate, with more than 350,000 houses taken over by lenders in the first four months of 2010, more than 1 million American homes will be repossessed this year.
By Dan Brennan and Ali Ismail, 27 April 2010
The impact of the economic crisis on housing in New York City has once again laid bare the nature of class relations that exist in America’s largest city and the capital of global finance.
By Hiram Lee, 23 April 2010
New studies released by the Pew Research Center in March and April shed new light on the economic crisis, as well as the degree to which the American people feel anger and distrust toward the US government.
By Jerry White, 21 April 2010
The recent series of fatal house fires in Detroit, Michigan and the April 5 mine explosion in West Virginia, which killed 29 coal miners, reveal the brutality of American capitalism.
By Patrick Martin, 16 April 2010
Both new jobless claims and home foreclosures are rising sharply, dispelling claims that the US economy has begun to recover from the world financial crisis triggered by the September 2008 Wall Street crash.
By Natascha Grimmelshausen and Kate Randall, 14 April 2010
Women in the US have a greater chance of dying from complications of pregnancy and childbirth than in 40 other countries, Amnesty International reports.
Deadliest US mine disaster in nearly 40 years
By Andre Damon and Samuel Davidson, 12 April 2010
Workers and residents in West Virginia spoke out against the mine owner, Massey Energy, including for its refusal to allow coworkers to attend the funeral of those killed.
By David Walsh, 27 March 2010
Figures released by the US Commerce Department Thursday highlight the continuing decline in living standards for wide layers of the population, suffering from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.
In wake of Paterson “scandals”
By Bill Van Auken, 18 March 2010
A month-long media scandal-mongering campaign against New York’s Governor David Paterson has subsided after his unelected lieutenant governor, Richard Ravitch, a multi-millionaire establishment “fixer,” took charge in the state’s budget crisis.
“If you don’t have money, they don’t care about you”
By Phyllis Scherrer, 16 March 2010
The WSWS spoke to the widow and son of Curtis Mitchell, the 50-year-old unemployed steelworker who passed away 30 hours after he first requested an ambulance during the worst winter storm to hit Pittsburgh in over 125 years.
By Hiram Lee, 16 March 2010
Juanita Goggins, the first black woman elected to South Carolina's state government in 1974, froze to death in her home in late February. Goggins suffered from dementia, and her utilities had been shut off after she had not paid her bills.
By Andre Damon, 12 March 2010
The world’s billionaires saw their wealth grow by 50 percent last year, and their ranks swell to 1,011, from 793, according to the latest Forbes list of billionaires.
Wells Fargo executives double their compensation
By Andre Damon, 11 March 2010
US corporations are beginning to release figures on CEO pay for last year. Multi-million dollar packages are the norm in a year that saw the continued deterioration in the living conditions of the vast majority of the population.
By Nancy Hanover, 8 March 2010
In the aftermath of the deaths of 14 Detroiters as a result of utility shutoffs over the last two months, the media, the utility company and state and local officials have attempted to shift the blame onto the victims, claiming they failed to seek the help that is readily available.
By Tom Eley, 5 March 2010
Fires in Detroit-area homes with suspended utilities have claimed the lives of a number of people in recent months. Fault does not rest with the victims.
By Barry Grey, 5 March 2010
On Monday, the Supreme Court heard arguments in Skilling’s appeal of his 2006 conviction for fraud and conspiracy in connection with the December 2001 collapse of the energy giant Enron.
By Tom Eley, 20 February 2010
US states are imposing major cuts to Medicaid, the health insurance program for low income Americans, even as its rolls swell at a record pace.
By Andre Damon, 20 February 2010
The incomes of the very rich in the US grew phenomenally between 1992 and 2007, while their tax rates plummeted, according to recently uncovered IRS statistics.
By Tom Eley, 18 February 2010
More than half of all US children will suffer from chronic health conditions during their childhood, a marked increase over the past two decades, a new study shows.
By Lawrence Porter, 15 February 2010
Four children were killed in a tragic fire in an apartment on Saturday night. The closest fire department was recently closed due to budget cuts.
By Tom Eley, 13 February 2010
New studies reveal that the social divide has grown starker in the current economic crisis, and that the US is the most unequal of the advanced economies, with great wealth and extreme poverty having become practically hereditary conditions.
By Kate Randall and Andre Damon, 11 February 2010
For the second time in less than a week, heavy snow pummeled much of the US East Coast Wednesday, as snow removal teams struggled to keep up with widespread power outages.
By Hiram Lee, 4 February 2010
A new report on hunger in the United States paints a devastating portrait of social misery confronted by the working class. One in eight Americans now requires assistance from emergency hunger relief organizations.
By Lawrence Porter, 4 February 2010
A house fire after a utility shutoff claimed another victim, the latest in a series of tragic and entirely preventable deaths in the poorest large city in the US.