Attack on voting rights is the tip of the spear that can kill what’s left of U.S. social welfare policy

Voting rights are in sharp focus in social work, as well they should be. The coming week features two social work-related forum events - a Wednesday night presentation on the history of voting rights in Mississippi, sponsored by the Social Justice Committee of NASW Mississippi chapter, and a Friday late morning inaugural entry in "The … Continue reading Attack on voting rights is the tip of the spear that can kill what’s left of U.S. social welfare policy

The choice seems starkly clear: Social solidarity or civilizational breakdown. Which side is social work on?

Is this title some sort of trick question? Of course social workers (truly, anyone in their right mind, right?) would choose solidarity over breakdown. But why is that even a "choice" to begin with? To be sure, humanity faces a number of serious challenges, but a "breakdown of civilization" still sounds like alarmist hyperbole. Human … Continue reading The choice seems starkly clear: Social solidarity or civilizational breakdown. Which side is social work on?

The U.S. cannot afford its dysfunctional national government

At this moment (5:00 p.m., Friday, October 1), fierce "negotiations" continue within the Democratic Congressional caucus and between the caucus and the White House over what it will take to to get one or two holdout senators - the notorious so-called "moderate" Sens. Manchin of West Virginia and Sinema of Arizona - to join with … Continue reading The U.S. cannot afford its dysfunctional national government

Senator Joe Manchin’s outsized power subverts “our democracy” no less than Trumpublicans

The worst aspects of the U.S.'s profoundly undemocratic "democracy" is summed up in a single stunning situation. A New York Times article posted today begins like this: "Joe Manchin, the powerful West Virginia Democrat who chairs the Senate energy panel and earned half a million dollars last year from coal production, is preparing to remake … Continue reading Senator Joe Manchin’s outsized power subverts “our democracy” no less than Trumpublicans

Is rational incremental policy-making dead? It sure looks like it, leaving traditional social work policy practice in the lurch.

At its best, public policy-making is a fundamentally rational process, essentially a version of the practical problem-solving process at the heart of all forms of social work practice. While details may vary, the core elements of the process are universally familiar: a problem is perceived and defined; next the problem is assessed, or analyzed; based … Continue reading Is rational incremental policy-making dead? It sure looks like it, leaving traditional social work policy practice in the lurch.

This civilization is finished. We need a new global community compatible with social work values and commitments.

"This" civilization is the one built on an industrial foundation. By the most generous measure, it's scarcely 500 years old, and it's really only in the second half of that period that the techno-capitalist organization of society and economy picked up steam - a time span of wondrous, accelerating, almost magical achievement and transformation of … Continue reading This civilization is finished. We need a new global community compatible with social work values and commitments.

Shock upon shock upon shock – What are the implications for social work?

The title question is one I hope to explore in a series of posts over the course of the fall term. I'm sure there are colleagues across the country and around the world pondering precisely this question, though I suspect that at present their numbers remain far too few in comparison to the enormity and … Continue reading Shock upon shock upon shock – What are the implications for social work?

Never a viable option, denialism is really on the ropes these days

The American political hard right is accustomed to denying any reality it doesn't like - denial of unpleasant historical truths like slavery and the slaughter of native peoples; denial of unfavorable election outcomes like Trump's defeats (twice in the popular vote, once in the grossly undemocratic electoral college); denial of failed neoliberal market economics and … Continue reading Never a viable option, denialism is really on the ropes these days

“Dance for the Health of It” makes its conference debut

Braving the onslaught of the latest COVID surge, the Mississippi Health Disparities Conference 2021 successfully pulled off a full-day of presentations yesterday at the Mississippi Coliseum complex in Biloxi. Attendees were required to mask more-or-less continuously, and as far as I could tell, compliance was excellent. Kudus to the undaunted organizers, colleagues at USM who … Continue reading “Dance for the Health of It” makes its conference debut

Two pictures of Mississippi leadership in this week’s news; which should social workers prefer?

Two top Mississippi leaders made news this week. The first is Congressman Bennie Thompson, the only Democrat - and the only African American - in the Mississippi delegation. Thompson is chairing the House select committee's investigation of the January 6 pro-Trump assault on the U.S. Capitol, and kicked off the committee's first public session on … Continue reading Two pictures of Mississippi leadership in this week’s news; which should social workers prefer?