Good news to kick off 2021: UM prof counters state auditor’s attack with lawsuit

January 1, 2021 Tenured University of Mississippi sociology professor James Thomas has formally responded to state auditor Shad White's claim that he violated the state’s no-strike law. Thomas, represented by the Mississippi Center for Justice, is suing White for defamation. Good for him, and kudos to MCJ for taking up the case. Here's the story … Continue reading Good news to kick off 2021: UM prof counters state auditor’s attack with lawsuit

All indicators point to massive system contradictions, ultimate failure

December 30, 2020 You didn't need to experience a hellish 2020 to know that our system of global capitalist domination does a pitiful job of meeting the needs of the vast majority of people in the U.S. and on the planet as a whole. But 2020 has shoved the madness up to new and heretofore … Continue reading All indicators point to massive system contradictions, ultimate failure

U.S. failing the test of providing basic care for its people

December 14, 2020 The Electoral College meets today, and so naturally the U.S. media is obsessed with the outcome, for one reason only - tweeter-in-chief Trump keeps claiming he won, firing up his supporters and inciting some of them to stage street demonstrations and even a few to commit acts of violence. But serious as … Continue reading U.S. failing the test of providing basic care for its people

Social workers should worry that Biden will be all talk, no action

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

UN chief Guterres lays it on the line; social workers should pay attention

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

A few reasons for social workers not to join in the gushing adulation of Obama

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

Social workers should be labor activists

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

Thoughts on studying social welfare policy in a period of political regression

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