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United States

09 Jul


A summer without jobs for America’s youth

July 9, 2015 | By |

This summer, only about one in four US teenagers will hold a job, down from one in two fifteen years ago. The decline in employment for teenagers is a major component of the mass joblessness that continues in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.

Despite six years of what has been officially billed an economic “recovery,” the share of teenagers who are employed has barely budged since the depths of the recession. A study published by Drexel University in May notes that despite a nominal improvement in the official unemployment rate, the prevalence of mass unemployment for teenagers points to “Depression Era-like labor market problems.”

With the 2016 presidential election campaign well underway, neither the media nor the top candidates of the two establishment parties bother to mention that there are no summer jobs for millions of young people and virtually unprecedented levels of youth unemployment. As far as they are concerned, it is a non-issue.

Not too long ago, summer jobs programs, though limited and inadequate, were considered to be an essential responsibility of the government, Now, such programs have all but disappeared.

The elimination of these programs, like other Great Society social reforms, is bound up with the decay of American capitalism, the rightward lurch of both corporate-controlled parties, deindustrialization and the ascendancy of a parasitic financial aristocracy.

The share of youth ages 16-19 working during the summer months has fallen from nearly 52 percent in 2000 to less than 27 percent today, according to the Drexel study. Year-round employment for teenagers has dropped from 45 percent to 27 percent over the same period.

Teen unemployment is particularly concentrated among low-income and minority youth. Less than 20 percent of youth from homes with annual incomes lower than $20,000 had a summer job in 2014, compared to 41 percent from homes with incomes higher than $100,000. Last year, only 19 percent of black teenagers had a summer job, compared to 34 percent of white teenagers.

A number of interrelated processes account for the dramatic fall in teenage employment. Amid persistent joblessness and falling wages, older workers are desperate to take any job they can, including those previously available to teenagers. Employers, demanding ever-greater productivity and flexibility from their workers, are less willing to accommodate young peoples’ school schedules, while growing numbers of young people are working for free in unpaid internships.

But the most significant factor in the decline of summer employment is the collapse in funding for summer jobs programs, particularly at the federal level. In 1999, federal subsidies made up 82 percent of funding for New York City’s summer jobs program. This summer, the federal government’s contribution is zero.

President Obama, despite having campaigned as a champion of young people, has allowed federal funding for jobs programs to decline year after year, particularly since the 2013 imposition of the “sequester” budget cuts.

Conditions today for working class youth in cities like Detroit, Baltimore, New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and elsewhere are no better than those that were so brilliantly and movingly described in Depression-era novels such as Richard Wright’s Native Son .

Nearly one in four people under the age of 18 in the United States lives in a family below the federal poverty line. A total of 16.3 million Americans under 18 live in poverty, and one in five children and young people live in households where there is not enough to eat.

This is in a country where the number of billionaires grows by leaps and bounds and the top 1 percent monopolizes ever-larger shares of the national income and wealth.

Education spending, like funding for jobs programs, is being slashed at every level of government. In 2015, states plan to spend $1,805 per student on higher education, 20 percent less than before the recession. Five states have slashed their higher education funding by more than 35 percent since 2008, with Arizona cutting its spending by 47 percent.

The ever-growing cost of higher education is making college inaccessible to millions of low-income students. Student debt has skyrocketed, with the average member of the class of 2015 graduating with more than $35,000 in debt.

Is it any wonder, under conditions of social blight and mass unemployment,that street crime and gang-related violence are on the rise in impoverished urban neighborhoods, as illustrated by the string of shootings that killed eight people over the weekend in Chicago?

Nor is it difficult to grasp the connection between such conditions and the transformation of local police into militarized occupation forces, employing deadly violence to suppress the social anger boiling just below the surface of society.

Chicago police superintendent Garry McCarthy declared in response to this weekend’s shootings that the police need to make “criminals… feel the repercussions of the justice system.” In Detroit, Police Chief James Craig has referred to the city’s youth as “urban terrorists.” Such statements reflect the complete inability of the present social order to address any social problem.

Today’s youth are the first generation in the US whose living standards have declined, in absolute terms, compared to those of their parents. The health of a society can be measured by the prospects it holds out for young people. By that standard, the conditions facing youth in America—and, indeed, in countries around the world—are an indictment of the capitalist system.

Andre Damon

08 Apr


IYSSE at the University of Michigan

April 8, 2015 | By |

Weekly meetings every Wednesday from 6:30pm-8:30pm in the Michigan
League, Room 2 (First Floor)
911 N University Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48109

IYSSE UM Facebook Page

08 Mar


IYSSE at University of Minnesota Twin Cities

March 8, 2015 | By |

Weekly meetings every Tuesday from 7pm-9pm in Ralph Rapson Hall #15 (Lower Level)
89 Church St. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455

04 Mar


IYSSE at San Diego State University

March 4, 2015 | By |

IYSSE at San Diego State University
Welcome to the San Diego State University (SDSU) Chapter of the International Youth and Students for Social Equality. Formed in 2008 at SDSU, the IYSSE fights for the revival of a socialist movement among young people throughout the country, as part of an international socialist movement of the entire working class. The IYSSE at SDSU has also organized rallies and protests on campus, including against US military intervention in Syria and in defense of public education.
Meeting time:
The SDSU chapter meets weekly on Tuesday at the newly constructed Aztec Student Union in the Visionary suite at 7:00pm.
Contact information
Anyone who would like more information can contact us through
Previous Events:
(The list of events is only a sample of the talks we have had since 2008)
•    The crisis in Ukraine: austerity, fascism and war
•    “Tsar to Lenin” Film Screening and Lecture
•    Lincoln: Equality and Revolution in America
•    Obama: Anatomy of a Right-Wing Presidency
•    The Enduring Significance of Marxism
•    Defend Edward Snowden!
•    Kony 2012: Humanitarianism of Imperialism?
•    Presidential Election and the Decay of American Democracy
•    The Syrian Crisis and the Response of the International Working Class
•    Leon Trotsky and the defense of historical truth
•    A Review of “In Defense of Marxism
•    Twenty-Five Years Since the Fall of the Berlin Wall
•    SYRIZA and the Significance of the Greek Elections

•    ISSE holds rally in San Diego in defense of public education
•    IYSSE holds anti-war rallies in San Diego and Berkeley, California

04 Nov


IYSSE at University of South Florida

November 4, 2014 | By |

Photo: The twenty-first century is no longer a novelty. As we begin the New Year, the past fifteen years provide sufficient data to allow us to identify the principal economic, geopolitical and social processes and tendencies that will determine the nature and direction of events in 2015 and the years ahead.

Join us for a discussion of current political events and the way forward for working class students every Tuesday this semester at 12:00 PM. Follow the link in the comments section for details.

The International Youth and Students for Social Equality, the student
movement of the Socialist Equality Party and the International Committee
of the Fourth International, fights for the revival of a socialist
movement among young people throughout the country, as part of an
international socialist movement of the entire working class.

The IYSSE stands in the tradition of revolutionary socialism, from the
origins of Marxism in the 1840s, through the Russian Revolution of 1917,
and the implacable struggle, led by Leon Trotsky, against the
bureaucratic degeneration of the Soviet Union under Stalin.

In the 21st century, the IYSSE, SEP and ICFI are fighting to unify and
mobilize the working class and youth internationally, to prepare the
working class for the conquest of political power and the establishment
of a genuinely democratic, egalitarian and socialist society.

Web site:


US students and graduates speak on the burden of college debt

Florida residents speak on poverty, unemployment benefit cuts

US college executive pay soars along with student debt

Tampa, Florida criminalizes homelessness

Jerry White speaks at the University of South Florida

SEP campaigns at University of South Florida

University of South Florida students speak out on proposed budget cuts

Read More

16 Aug


IYSSE at Morehead State University

August 16, 2014 | By |

We are the Morehead State Chapter of the International Youth and Students for Social Equality.
We meet every two weeks in Rader Hall, our meetings cover current political events throughout the world. After discussing political events, we study Marxist literature that is relevant to what we had discussed. Anyone that is interested in stopping by are invited to do so, our meetings are always open to the public. We welcome anyone who wants to participate.


Anyone who would like more information can contact us through Facebook or email:
Contact Email:

Previous Events

  • Egyptian Revolution: A public forum on the events of the Egyptian Revolution in 2011.
  • No to War in Syria!- A public meeting in opposition to the Obama administration’s war plans in Syria.
  • Tsar to Lenin-  A Film screening of the documentary of the events that lead up to the February & October Revolution of 1917 which also included the formation of the U.S.S.R. narrated by Max Eastman.
  • 15 Years of the World Socialist Web Site-  A forum over the chronology of the WSWS from 1998-2013.
  • What is the Socialist Alternative?

Future Events

  • Student Activities Fair- A public meet and greet forum for students and the population of Morehead , KY to attain information about the IYSSE. ADUC Lawn 6:30pm- 8:00pm, August 15, 2014.
  • Threat of Nuclear War-  Political discussion about the Imperialist Powers’ drive to a new world war, one that will be nuclear. August 20 2014. Rader Hall,  Room 104. 7:00pm-9:00pm


25 May


IYSSE at Montana State University

May 25, 2014 | By |

Welcome to the Montana State chapter of the International Youth and Students for Social Equality.

We meet every two weeks in the Renne Library, discussing current political events. Alongside, there is also a discussion of Marxist literature, chosen to be generally relevant to recent events. All interested parties are invited to stop by and participate in the discussions. Read More

25 May


IYSSE at Wayne State University

May 25, 2014 | By |

We are the Wayne State Chapter of the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (Facebook page)

We meet every Wednesday evening at 7pm in the Student Center. Check our newsletter or Facebook page to find out the room for each week. The IYSSE at Wayne State University is also the youth wing of the Detroit Workers Action Committee (DWAC), which holds a program to organize neighborhoods, schools, factories and workplaces against the bankruptcy of Detroit and the continual social counterrevolution being waged against students and workers.


Read More

24 May


IYSSE at San Diego State University

May 24, 2014 | By |

Meeting time:

The SDSU chapter meets weekly on Tuesday on the third floor of Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union in the Visionary Suite at 7:00 pm.


This Fall semester the IYSSE will be holding a three part historical series dedicated to reviewing three of the most crucial political experiences in the struggle for socialism during the twentieth century. The revolutionary events in Russia, China, and Spain emerged out of the international development of capitalism and in turn sent powerful shockwaves around the world. These experiences also demonstrated the central significance of the working class, as well as the need for political leadership in the form of a revolutionary party. Together, they contain in concentrated form a series of political lessons that are essential to understand the current crisis of capitalism as well as the way forward toward a rational organization of society under socialist principles.

The first will be September 20th, on the Russian Revolution, 1917
Assigned ReadingLeon Trotsky – Three Conceptions of the Russian Revolution

The second will be October 4th, on the Chinese Revolution, 1925-7
Assigned Reading: The tragedy of the 1925-1927 Chinese Revolution Part 1
The tragedy of the 1925-1927 Chinese Revolution Part 2
The tragedy of the 1925-1927 Chinese Revolution Part 3

The last will be October 18th on the Spanish Civil War, 1936-9
Assigned Reading: The Spanish Civil War and the Popular Front Part one
The Spanish Civil War and the Popular Front Part two

Guest Speakers

October 26, 7 pm, SDSU Aztec Student Union, Templo Mayor 231, SEP presidential Candidate Jerry White present “Socialism and the 2016 elections”

24 May