December 10, 2020 Social workers are understandably hopeful that a president Biden will prove to be a 21st-century Franklin Roosevelt - a centrist politician turned radical reformer in face of a grave national crisis. We need bold action on so many fronts - mass unemployment, systemic racism, debt, housing, criminal justice, voting rights, health care, … Continue reading Social workers should worry that Biden will be all talk, no action
December 6, 2020 United Nations general secretary Antonio Guterres delivered a speech on the climate emergency at Columbia University this past Wednesday. It's hardly the first time Guterres has urged rapid action on the climate crisis. But to date, the economically powerful nations of the world, in large measure responsible for the crisis, have paid … Continue reading UN chief Guterres lays it on the line; social workers should pay attention
December 5, 2020 Joe Biden may be president-elect, but it feels as if his former boss is drawing at least as much attention from a fawning press. Surely, there's a certain logic to a "return" of a triumphant former president Obama in face of the current president's defeat. After all, Trump long despised Obama, and … Continue reading A few reasons for social workers not to join in the gushing adulation of Obama
December 3, 2020 You have to roll back three-quarters of a century to find anything resembling a robust commitment of professional social work to the U.S. labor movement. I'm not thinking of social workers joining and/or forming unions (though surely that not a bad idea). I mean a substantive and sustained engagement of social workers … Continue reading Social workers should be labor activists
December 1, 2020 I'm just wrapping up a semester of teaching social welfare policy (and related systems) to multiple sections of undergraduate social work students. To say that the contextual circumstances of teaching this term - let alone this topic during this term - have been unprecedented (my nomination for 2020's word of the year) … Continue reading Thoughts on studying social welfare policy in a period of political regression
November 27, 2020 The outpouring of Thanksgiving Day "gratitude" - much of it no doubt sincere, too much of it sappy treacle - is over. So, on to Black Friday and the next round of hyped-up consumer gratification, right? Despite everything making 2020 such a rough ride - the Covid-19 pandemic and a nail-biting presidential … Continue reading Congress gives struggling people so much NOT to be thankful for
November 6, 2020 It's 6:00 p.m. Friday, three days after the last chance to cast ballots for the U.S. presidency, and we still don't have an acknowledged winner. But as the count continues, the trends increasingly favor Joe Biden to displace Trump from the Oval Office come January 20, 2021. We know that President Trump … Continue reading Let’s say Biden wins; then what?
October 28, 2020 The title question was recently posed by an undergraduate student in a social welfare policy course. Under discussion was the power of the federal courts to adjudicate ballot disputes - a pivotal power in the present moment, evident even to those who usually prefer to ignore the finer points of political conflict … Continue reading “But we’re a democracy; don’t they want everyone to vote?”
October 18, 2020 it's a given that Trump will resist a "peaceful transfer of power" when he loses the election by a landslide to Joe Biden. But Democrats - and most others looking on in horror at the continued unfolding of our national political nightmare - are banking on a decisive Biden victory at the … Continue reading An Overwhelming Anti-Trump Election Result May Not Be Enough
October 14, 2020 It's looking more and more like Biden will pull it off. He'll beat Trump resoundingly with a pretty deadbeat appeal - a return to some semblance of pre-Trumpian "normalcy." God knows we're all desperate to be done with the constant disruption of our lives - done with the virus, done with gridlocked … Continue reading Biden can win, but can he deliver on expectations?