The Social Crisis in America
“The politicians in Flint, Lansing and Washington—they’re all for capitalism”
By Lawrence Porter, 27 April 2017
A retired autoworker reflects on three years of the Flint water crisis.
“What they did to this city is criminal”
By Larry Porter, 26 April 2017
Hundreds of Flint residents marched to City Hall Tuesday to protest the failure of federal, state and local officials to address the disaster they all had a hand in creating.
By Kathleen Martin, 26 April 2017
A recent study shows the growing gap between life expectancies for the rich and poor is 12.7 years difference on average.
By Christopher Davion, 19 April 2017
President Trump chose Kenosha for the location for his “Buy American, Hire American” executive order
By Patrick Martin, 19 April 2017
Steven Stephens died in Erie County, Pennsylvania less than 48 hours after posting a video on Facebook of the killing of a 74-year-old stranger, Robert Godwin.
By Ben McGrath, 11 April 2017
The poverty and declining social conditions found in cities like San Bernardino are major contributing factors in now routine outbursts of mass violence.
By Kate Randall, 11 April 2017
Income-based disparities in US life expectancy are worsened by the for-profit US health care system.
By Jessica Goldstein and Benjamin Mateus, 10 April 2017
The US Environmental Protection Agency determined that the relocation of West Calumet residents was unnecessary.
By Matthew Taylor, 5 April 2017
The American Society of Civil Engineers gave the US a D- in its latest report card on the state of the nation’s schools, bridges, roads, water systems and other critical infrastructure.
By Glenn Mulwray, 3 April 2017
A recent report revealed that children in working class neighborhoods across California have tested for elevated lead levels as high or higher than children in Flint.
By E.P. Milligan, 1 April 2017
Drug overdoses now account for more deaths than from guns or car accidents; 63 percent of overdoses were due to opioids.
By James Brewer, 25 March 2017
:Residents suspect that the announcement that lead levels have improved is now being used by authorities to sweep the water crisis under the carpet.
By Niles Niemuth, 24 March 2017
The latest research by economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton provides new insights into the social crisis which has devastated the American working class since the year 2000.
By Shannon Jones, 22 March 2017
In 2016 the combined wealth of the world’s richest individuals rose 18 percent to a staggering $7.67 trillion.
By Philip Guelpa, 21 March 2017
Bill de Blasio’s latest housing proposal would merely shift homeless people from one form of temporary and thoroughly inadequate shelter to another.
By our reporter, 16 March 2017
Chicago schools and the city’s water infrastructure contains lead piping that expose the population to the danger of lead poisoning.
By Jerry White, 15 March 2017
At its peak last week, more than a million homes, schools and businesses in the metropolitan Detroit area and outstate areas had no electricity.
By Patrick Martin, 14 March 2017
With only token opposition from the Democrats, the Trump administration and congressional Republicans are eviscerating what remains of the gains of the working class dating from the last period of social reform.
By Norisa Diaz and Renae Cassimeda, 8 March 2017
WSWS reporters recently spoke with homeless residents on the difficulties of getting by in one of the nation’s most expensive cities.
By Patrick Martin, 28 February 2017
A budget outline presented by the White House Monday calls for a $54 billion increase in military and police spending, offset by an equal cut in domestic social spending.
By Andre Damon, 25 February 2017
The precipitous rise in drug overdoses is among the sharpest expressions of the profound social crisis gripping the United States.
By Kathleen Martin, 23 February 2017
Artist tenants at the century-old Russell Industrial Center are scrambling to find new work and gallery spaces due to a last-minute eviction notice from the city of Detroit.
By Naomi Spencer, 22 February 2017
The genuinely tragic outcomes of so many children caught up in the drug crisis are compounded by official indifference.
By Tom Hall, 20 February 2017
Total US household debt is expected to surpass levels reached just prior to the subprime mortgage crisis that triggered the 2008 Recession.
By Jessica Goldstein, 20 February 2017
Although lead contamination in the area has been known of for decades, no substantial efforts were made to address the toxin until recently.
By Nick Rodriguez, 17 February 2017
The disturbing incident, which took place last year but was only recently made public, sheds a stark light on the harsh realities of life confronting the working class.
By Naomi Spencer, 17 February 2017
Last week, Louisville reported 151 overdoses over four days, 52 of them within a 32-hour period.
By Zac Corrigan and Ben McGrath, 15 February 2017
Several days of rain are forecast to begin this evening, meaning residents must be prepared to evacuate again at a moment’s notice.
By Evan Blake, 15 February 2017
Over 600 pages of redacted reports by local police officers, firefighters and building inspectors detail dozens of visits to the Ghost Ship warehouse in recent years.
By Shelley Connor, 11 February 2017
The number of children living in families with incomes below twice the federal poverty level has increased one percentage point since 2009, the official start of the “economic recovery.”
Budapest Festival Orchestra in New York
By Fred Mazelis, 11 February 2017
Symphony orchestras in major US cities (and many smaller cities as well) have large and growing numbers of immigrants in their ranks, and the music they perform is international in scope and history.
By Debra Watson, 8 February 2017
A US District Court judge has agreed to an out of court settlement in the Michigan “robo-fraud” scandal that lets state officials off the hook and leaves thousands of claimants out in the cold.
By Shelley Connor, 8 February 2017
The Army Corps of Engineers has given Energy Transfer Partners the final go-ahead needed to tunnel under Lake Oahe and complete the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline.
By Samuel Davidson, 6 February 2017
More than 100,000 Pittsburgh residents were advised to boil their water before drinking or using it for other needs.
By Evan Winters, 4 February 2017
Food banks have proliferated across college and university campuses, with cuts to food assistance in 22 states in 2016 exacerbating the problem, particularly for part-time students.
By Brad Dixon, 1 February 2017
Drug distributors have repeatedly failed to report “suspicious orders” of opioids, while industry lobbying has curtailed enforcement of the law by the Drug Enforcement Agency.
By Kristina Betinis, 27 January 2017
Trump’s threats to intervene in Chicago to promote “law and order” reveal his plans for urban areas across the nation.
By Matt Rigel and Marcus Day, 27 January 2017
In the first US mining fatality of 2017, a truck operator died after a partial collapse at Linwood Mining and Mineral in eastern Iowa.
By Joe McGee, 25 January 2017
“Why is West Virginia so poor?” a new report asks. Some answers are to be found in the history of coal mining in the state as well as the severe impact of the 2008 financial crisis.
By Henry Seward, 25 January 2017
The 2016 best-selling memoir by a lawyer at a Silicon Valley investment firm is a rehash of reactionary attacks on the working class in Appalachia and the Midwest.
By Christopher Tiberio, 20 January 2017
With an explosion of the city’s homeless population, the NYPD has taken control of security in the shelters as a way to monitor and terrorize their temporary residents.
By Shelley Connor, 16 January 2017
While the media glowingly reviews Obama’s legacy over the last eight years, sobering reports point to significant declines in living standards among young people.
By Shelley Connor, 13 January 2017
Firefighters arrived at the scene quickly, but the three-storey, 107-year-old home was already completely engulfed in flames.
By James Brewer, 13 January 2017
An overflow crowd of anxious and angry residents wasn’t buying the rosy scenario presented by officials on the Flint water crisis.
By Shelley Connor, 9 January 2017
For years, the Pentagon has maintained that child abuse is less common and less severe in military homes than it is among the civilian population.
By Naomi Spencer, 29 December 2016
Social services and foster care programs across the US are overwhelmed by the influx of children from families shattered by the opioid epidemic.
By Eric London, 28 December 2016
There were scenes of panic across the US on Monday as thousands of shoppers, fearing mass shootings, fled shopping malls, revealing an acute level of social tensions as 2016 comes to a close.
By Naomi Spencer, 28 December 2016
The increase coincides with the deepening of poverty and an explosion of painkiller and heroin use in the United States.
By Andre Damon, 20 December 2016
A new study by economists Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman gives the most complete picture to date of social inequality in America.
By Shannon Jones, 20 December 2016
A review reluctantly and belatedly conducted by the state shows that 93 percent of claims flagged for fraud between 2013 and 2015 were in fact legitimate.
By Kate Randall, 19 December 2016
CDC research shows that heroin overdose deaths in the US have reached epidemic proportions, surpassing 30,000 in one year for the first time in recent history.
By our reporters, 19 December 2016
Reporting teams from the WSWS spoke to those escaping from deadly cold temperatures at warming centers in Detroit and Chicago.
By Kevin Martinez, 13 December 2016
The legislation, which will raise the retirement age and cut benefits, exposes Donald Trump’s fraudulent campaign promise not to touch the government program for the elderly and disabled.
By our reporters, 13 December 2016
WSWS reporters spoke with workers who came to see the site of the fire that killed 36.
By Naomi Spencer, 13 December 2016
It is the latest in a series of devastating attacks on benefits for one of the lowest-paid public sector workforces in the country.
By Niles Niemuth, 12 December 2016
It is the social catastrophe, rooted in the decline of American capitalism, that underlies the political crisis of both big-business parties and will lead to immense social convulsions.
By Genevieve Leigh, 12 December 2016
The year 2015 marks the first in recent history in which more people died from heroin-related causes than from gun homicides.
By Gabriel Black, 12 December 2016
The average top percentile income earner makes double in a year what an average worker in the bottom half of society makes working their entire life.
By Steve Light, 10 December 2016
Lack of affordable housing and overcrowding of the homeless shelter system results in tragedies, the most recent being the death of two young sisters by radiator steam burns.
By Jerry White, 9 December 2016
The decline is a product of decades of deindustrialization and social retrogression, and is a devastating verdict on the eight years of the Obama administration.
By Kate Randall, 7 December 2016
At the root of the tragedy lies the dysfunctional character of American capitalism, including a housing crisis born of poverty, social inequality and years of neglect by government authorities.
By Shelley Connor, 3 December 2016
The fatalities caused by wildfires in Sevier County, Tennessee are expected to rise as search efforts continue.
By Philip Guelpa, 3 December 2016
The spike in the rate of home foreclosures reflects the combination of growing income inequality and rampant real estate speculation.
By Brad Dixon, 29 November 2016
The pharmaceutical industry, which has contributed to the opioid epidemic, is now hiking the price of naloxone, the treatment for opioid overdoses.
By Kate Randall, 26 November 2016
The attack on Medicare will be a centerpiece of the drive by the Trump administration to destroy all that remains of the social reforms of the past century.
By Marc Wells, 26 November 2016
An examination of social conditions in Los Angeles, America’s second largest city, reveals the intense hardship facing wide layers of the population.
“There are a lot of struggling people in the Detroit Metro area”
By Shannon Jones, 25 November 2016
As we enter the holiday season, residents of Detroit and surrounding suburbs face continued high levels of unemployment, food insecurity and homelessness.
By Andre Damon, 24 November 2016
For millions of American families, the Thanksgiving holiday will only underscore the economic insecurity and social misery they confront.
By Debra Watson, 23 November 2016
Following the rejection of a lawsuit on a moratorium, thousands of Wayne County, Michigan residents may soon face eviction as officials seize properties for back taxes.
By Gabriel Black, 22 November 2016
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation’s annual report points to the growing danger of a general collapse in the US pension system.
By John Marion, 22 November 2016
While raising fares and privatizing jobs since the 2015 snowstorm crisis, the Baker administration has not provided adequate resources to assure basic safety for subway riders.
By Carlos Delgado, 21 November 2016
The shutoff notices come as the state challenges a federal order to begin door-to-door water delivery.
By Kate Randall, 19 November 2016
One in seven people in the US will become addicted to drugs or alcohol in their lifetimes, but only 10 percent of them will ever receive any treatment.
By Tom Eley, 5 November 2016
A report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that American children from 10 through 14 are now more likely to die from suicide than from car accidents.
By Brad Dixon, 1 November 2016
Recently unsealed court records shed light on the measures taken by Purdue Pharma to defeat efforts by state officials in West Virginia to limit the sale of OxyContin.
By Kate Randall, 31 October 2016
The columnist downplays the impact of skyrocketing premiums, deductibles and co-pays to tout the pro-corporate health care “reform” as a brilliant success.
By Andre Damon, 27 October 2016
On Monday, the US Department of Health and Human Services announced that premiums for health insurance plans sold under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will increase on average by 25 percent in 2017, raising health care costs of millions of working people by thousands of dollars.
By Fred Mazelis, 20 October 2016
A 0.3 percent cost-of-living adjustment in monthly checks will be completely eaten up by increased Medicare premiums.
By Philip Guelpa, 17 October 2016
Chronically poor maintenance by the private landlord, facilitated by the city, creates dangerous and deadly conditions for working class tenants.
By Carlos Delgado and James Brewer, 6 October 2016
October 1 marked the anniversary of the first acknowledgement by the governor of Michigan of the Flint water crisis, which poisoned an entire city.
By Nancy Hanover, 1 October 2016
On Wednesday Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette ruled that dozens of “failing” public schools in Detroit could face closure at the end of the school year.
By James Brewer, 1 October 2016
The unserious efforts being made in replacing lead service lines in Flint are further discredited by the revelation that even more homes have them.
By Samuel Davidson and James Brewer, 29 September 2016
Belated lead-in-water testing by Pittsburgh authorities showed dangerously high levels of lead in 43 percent of homes.
By Kevin Martinez, 24 September 2016
After a breakdown of a plant that had not been maintained for decades, authorities are trading blame for the failure to maintain the island’s outdated infrastructure.
By James Brewer, 22 September 2016
Six months ago, unbeknown to the public, a resolution from the governor’s office was passed, effectively preventing the city from suing the state over the water crisis.
By Patrick Martin, 15 September 2016
The Obama administration and the Democratic Party have seized on the latest Census Bureau report as support for their bogus claims of a genuine economic recovery.
By Kate Randall, 14 September 2016
Median household income is still 1.6 percent lower than the previous peak of $57,423 in 2007, before the economy sank into recession.
By Kate Randall, 13 September 2016
As two new reports document the shocking consequences of food insecurity, the social disaster in America is being ignored in the elections and the contest between Clinton and Trump.
By Debra Watson, 13 September 2016
During the Great Depression of the 1930’s evictions in major American cities like Milwaukee were a fraction of what they are today. Meanwhile, in the US, post-2008 rental housing market rates continue to rise as working class incomes stagnate and even fall.
By Julio Patron and David Brown, 12 September 2016
The spread of Zika in Puerto Rico and the mainland United States is driven by poverty and will impact the area for years to come.
By James Brewer, 10 September 2016
The mayor of Milwaukee has declared that all residents in older homes should use certified filters to remove lead from their drinking water.
Notes on the housing crisis
By Philip Guelpa, 10 September 2016
Extreme economic inequality in New York City is creating conditions that are unlivable for much of the city’s population.
By Nick Barrickman, 8 September 2016
The closure of the for-profit school’s 130 US-based campuses came after an investigation questioned the institution’s organizational integrity, financial viability and academic standards.
By Janel Flechsig, 5 September 2016
Hundreds of members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe have been peacefully protesting the construction of an oil pipeline that traverses burial grounds they regard as sacred.
By Naomi Spencer, 5 September 2016
Overdoses, alcoholism and suicide are leading causes of death for young and middle-aged workers nationwide. Appalachia and the “rustbelt” of the Midwest are among the worst hit regions.
By Matthew MacEgan and Kristina Betinis, 3 September 2016
Early Friday morning, a category 1 hurricane named Hermine made landfall in northwestern Florida, marking the first time in 11 years that the state has had such a storm.
By Fred Mazelis, 1 September 2016
A major cause of the deepening homeless crisis is the lack of decent-paying jobs, combined with the even more dramatic decline of affordable housing.
By James Brewer, 1 September 2016
A report submitted as evidence that the Flint water crisis was the result of racism is aimed at concealing the class issues and diverting popular outrage into establishment channels.
By Mike Ingram, 31 August 2016
The Millennium Tower in Boston's downtown provides a playground in the sky for the wealthy, overlooking an increasingly polarized city.
By Kate Randall, 31 August 2016
The EpiPen scandal has become a focal point of anger over the subordination of health care to huge corporations driven by an insatiable quest for profit.