Mamaroneck, New York

Why we need our unions

You know if New York City is struggling to defend its unions, that unions must be in trouble. If there is an iconic city for American workers and American unions, it has to be the Big Apple. There, unions could famously push their weight around. They could demand to be courted with promises from every politician running for anything. Yet there too, it appears the unions are fighting a losing battle.

At one point in the not so distant past, a very large percent of the American labor force was unionized. Though never quite as union-friendly as some of the more liberal countries in Europe, America from the ‘50s through the ‘70s still had a significant amount of its labor organized by unions. In fact, for much of that time, about a third of all workers were in unions. Even as late as 1983, when the Bureau of Labor began recording regular statistics, about 20% of the workforce was still unionized.

Now, it is only 10%.

It doesn’t take a genius to know that unions are dying in America. The question is, why?

After all, even today, with the unions weaker and weaker, and politicians dedicated to destroying them (more on that in a moment), union workers still earn more than the average nonunion employee. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, union workers make about $1,004 in an average week, whereas nonunion workers make just $802. Even factoring in the highest possible union dues, that is a massive income differential.

Looking beyond the United States, the case is even clearer. Union workers in France and Germany enjoy high wages and a great deal of job security. Where unions are welcome, those in the unions thrive.

In America, unions are not welcome. There has been a war on unions for decades. Politicians and business leaders are famously anti-union, and it has been through regular, focused efforts that union protections have been stripped on the national and state level.

Beyond that, there’s been the loss of jobs where unions were once strongest. Industrial jobs have moved overseas, and the jobs that have replaced them, like service-oriented jobs, are traditionally anti-union. Many such places make it a firing offense to try to organize workers on any level.

To give businesspeople and politicians their fair say, there’s something to the point that unions can, when given too much free rein, harm the economy. France regularly struggles with strikes over the littlest incidents, and the country’s new president is working on pushing back some laws that are a little too worker-friendly. It’s an old stereotype, but it isn’t entirely untrue, that once you’re hired on somewhere in France, you simply can’t be fired.

That being said, though, American workers should feel aggrieved that their unions have been taken from them. With low wages and massive income disparity, now is exactly when we could use strong unions working for us.

No matter where you live in America, however, whether New York City or rural Alabama, the union is a dying animal. It’s been hurt fatally. It’s just taking its time to die.

Effects of a Traumatic Brain Injury

Suffering a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be a devastating experience for anyone. When trauma to the head is sustained due to a motorcycle accident, a fall, an explosion, or any other common cause of traumatic brain injury, the effects can be far-reaching and extremely difficult to cope with.

Types of Traumatic Brain Injury

The degree of severity of TBI varies widely. Mild cases of TBI may result in a temporary and brief loss of memory, loss of consciousness, confusion, irritability, headaches, sleepiness, visual and/or auditory impairment, fatigue, or nausea. More severe cases have longer-term effects, and may result in permanent changes in the victim’s motor and cognitive functions, as well as their personality.

Some common types of TBI include:

  • Brain Damage
  • Concussions
  • Contusions
  • Hematoma
  • Memory Loss
  • Seizures

How long do the effects last?

In most cases, the effects of TBI clear up on their own with minimal medical intervention over a short period. In others, however, the effects can linger, leading to anger, depression and frustration. It can significantly affect a person’s work, health, family, and social life. If left untreated, moderate to severe TBI can lead to a gradually worsening medical situation for the patient.

This is especially true if the injury is a result of the negligence or carelessness of the person or persons who caused the accident. For some sufferers of TBI, finding constructive ways to deal with this type of tragic situation can be extremely frustrating. Fortunately, pursuing legal action against those responsible for an injury can help to provide financial relief for many of the problems caused by TBI.

Personal injury attorneys would know about comparative negligence, and joint liability, and the laws governing personal injury claims. The lawyer will also be able to tell if a particular case merits filing a case for TBI.

If you have suffered a traumatic brain injury due to someone else’s negligence, make sure to contact a personal injury lawyer today. An attorney will be able to guide you through your case to make sure that you are justly compensated for your injuries.

Qualifying for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

The last choice for settling debts and avoiding foreclosures is to file for bankruptcy. Although it has its disadvantages such as carrying an unfavorable mark on your credit record for a certain amount of time, bankruptcy nevertheless helps in clearing out debts and giving debtors a new start.

Those who wish to get the benefits of Chapter 13 bankruptcy should know that not everyone is eligible. Knowing how Chapter 13 works can help in understanding if you qualify for it or you can choose another option. First, businesses (whether owned by one person or more) are not eligible for Chapter 13 if they wish to apply under the company’s name. You can only file for Chapter 13 as an individual, putting your business-related debts as your personal responsibility.

Next, to be eligible for Chapter 13 you must be able to prove that your income is enough for a repayment plan. This income is determined after deducting certain allowable expenses and necessary payments for secured debts. The repayment plan you present should allow you to pay for specified debts in full, otherwise the judge may not approve of your repayment plan. If you have applied for bankruptcy within 180 days but were dismissed, you are not qualified to file for Chapter 13. Also, those who wish to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy should attend a certain number of sessions on credit counseling within 180 days before actually filing.

The advantage of Chapter 13 bankruptcy is that it allows debtors to keep certain properties or assets while paying their creditors. Chapter 13 bankruptcies is generally aimed for people who wished to pay off their debts in an acceptable setting, thus the need for a strict standard is necessary in order to increase the number of debtors who has the capacity to pay their creditors.

Mental Illness and Disability Benefits

Texans, and other people in the United States, commonly perceive disability as physical. When people hear the word “disability,” many envision of a person in a wheelchair, or someone who is unable to see or hear.

Mental disorders are less visible, but may be just as detrimental to living a normal life as physical disability. Some mental illnesses allow the person to claim Supplemental Security Income.

There are several disabilities that may enable the affected person to file an SSI claim. They are schizophrenia, mental retardation, anxiety-related disorders, somatoform disorders, affective disorders (including depression), substance addiction, and autism.

Individuals suffering from these conditions must be able to prove that their disorder prevents them from performing normal daily activities. This means that the disorder must be severe enough to drastically impact day-to-day life.

For example, a schizophrenic person who is still able to drive to work, buy their own groceries, and shower would be unable to claim benefits. Likewise, individuals who are limited by anxiety must be able to prove they have continuous and prolonged muscle tension, apprehension, and hyperactivity in order to claim benefits.

Clearly, some of these factors may be hard to prove. If you or a loved one is suffering from an extreme mental disorder in Texas, you don’t have to go on without aid. Please consider contacting an attorney to find out whether or not you could file for supplemental security income benefits today.

What is Whiplash?

Of the unseen effects of car accidents, whiplash is among the most common. Whiplash is the term applied to injuries to the cervical vertebrae (the seven vertebrae closest to the skull in humans) that occur as a result of hyperextending the neck. It is seen most often after car accidents, but can arise from other quick, unexpected jolts to the neck as as well.

When a car is struck from behind, the resulting force pulls its passengers’ skulls back, and then snaps them forward, similar to the cracking of a whip.

whiplash injuryThe resulting damage to the neck muscles and vertebrae can be severe. Some symptoms of a whiplash injury include:

  • Stiffness in the neck
  • Shoulder and back pain
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches

Whiplash injuries can sometimes lie dormant for periods of weeks or months, making it difficult to pinpoint exactly when and how they occurred. There is no single definite treatment for whiplash, but pain medications and physical therapy can be helpful.

An Update: The Unseen Effects of Car Accidents

Because of the serious potential for significant injuries, the first thought that comes to mind when considering a car accident is to wonder if anyone is physically hurt. If the accident is serious enough, after all, the likelihood of serious physical injuries, or even death, is fairly high. According to the website of Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck, P.A., too few people consider the emotional and psychological trauma that can also result from car accidents.

Pain and suffering

This can be the basis for both actual and punitive damages in personal injury cases levied on those whose negligence or recklessness brought about the car accident. The effects of pain and suffering cannot be seen, measured, or submitted into evidence, and some of them only appear in subtle ways, or years after the event. But they can nonetheless be as real and as devastating as broken bones.


Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is the umbrella term used for the psychological and emotional damage one sustains in a violent or traumatic incident, such as a car accident. One of the most common PTSD symptoms is anxiety. An accident bring a person face to face with the fragility of life, and many people can’t handle losing the feeling of safety they previously had.

As a result, some find themselves unable to enter or drive a car. Others relive the accident over and over again through nightmares, affecting sleep, work, and relationships.

In accidents where one or more people died, some people experience what is known as survivor’s guilt, another form of PTSD where the patient experiences a sense of worthlessness and accountability for the lost lives.  Without proper treatment, these symptoms of PTSD can permanently impair a person’s ability to function normally. It is up to car accident attorneys to ensure that the costs associated with recuperating, coping, and treating these unseen effects of car accidents will be shouldered by the person or persons whose negligence or carelessness caused the accident in the first place.

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