Mamaroneck, New York

An Aging But Living Generation

I am really fascinated by the effects of America’s aging population. Baby Boomers are now the majority generation of our elderly population. Baby Boomers are the children of the Greatest Generation, those who grew up during the Great Depression and World War II.

Many social safety net programs like Medicaid and Social Security were introduced right when Baby Boomers were coming into the middle of adulthood. As a result, they are the first generation in which nearly the entirety of the generation is covered by these programs. And that’s a good thing! Before, elderly poverty was a tragically common issue.

However, the popularity of these programs has had unintended negative consequences. Because the Baby Boomer generation was much larger than their parents’ generation, taxes from the Boomers’ income could be used to pay for Social Security and other social programs benefiting their smaller, parents’ generation.

But now that the Baby Boomers are retiring, and the current adult workforce is much smaller than the Baby Boomers were in their heyday, most of the social safety net is being bankrupted from inadequate taxation. The Baby Boomers simply did not birth enough future tax-paying children to offset the costs of the programs they now rely upon.

Another result of Medicaid and Medicare being so popular is inadequate resource distribution. In hospitals, there are not enough beds. In clinics, there are not enough doctors. And so on. But for elderly populations with chronic health conditions, a lack of proper health care can be the difference between life and death.

Similar to these issues, there’s another problem particularly impactful to elderly populations: medication errors. One effect of America’s aging population is, as you can imagine, increased demand and use of medication to treat illnesses and conditions. But the increase in use has not always been met with an increase in training or staffing to deal with medication errors.

Some medication errors include events like nursing home aides giving residents too much or too little of a particular medicine, improperly timing the administration of the medication, and even administering expired medication.

I did some research on the website for Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton, LLP, and on the site, medication errors are described as a type of medical malpractice becoming increasingly common in nursing homes. That makes sense with the greater elderly population in America. It may be a result of negligence, understaffing, or both. Either way, there are legal options if you or a loved one suffered from a medical error at a nursing home.

Nursing homes are only going to become more important with an aging population and longer life expectancy because of medical advances. As a society, we will either have to readjust our expectations on inclusion for older people or we will have to become comfortable with the idea of our most vulnerable population possibly being injured from accidents like medication errors.

It does not have to be this way. If we diverted more resources to nursing homes and held our medical professionals more accountable for appropriately administering medication, our elderly population would be safer.


Getting a Better Understanding of DWI Texas Laws

We often expose ourselves to the risk of legal problems not out of purposeful action but simply out of ignorance of the law. This is the case far too often in DWI charges. We simply don’t know what the limit is when we’re drinking, and we accidentally put ourselves in legal jeopardy.

This ignorance can mean that we are forced to pay fines, deal with life without a license, or even face a prison sentence when we didn’t even know we were doing something illegal.

It’s a tricky situation, particularly since that ignorance often isn’t a very effective defense. The best way to avoid the risk of accidentally breaking a DWI law is to learn more about the law now, so you know when your actions have crossed a line.

Thankfully, Ian Inglis Attorney at Law has provided a lot of resources to better understand Texas law in regard to DWIs. Using his site, I’ve found a lot of great information to help protect myself and hopefully protect you, the reader, from accidentally breaking the law while on the road (or in the water) in the future.

Here are a few great facts about Texas law that you may want to know before you step out into the world and accidentally expose yourself to serious penalties.

First, let’s talk about what a DWI is. A DWI is a driving while intoxicated charge, which is for anyone who has been driving while over the legal limit. What is that limit, though? In Texas, it is .08 for those driving their own vehicles. However, for those who are driving a commercial vehicle (like truckers or cab drivers), the limit is .04. That is incredibly low, meaning it’s probably safer not to drink at all. Equally important, if the person driving is under 21, any amount of alcohol constitutes a DWI charge.

Now that we know what a DWI is, we need to know more about what happens after a conviction. The actual sentencing laws are fairly complex since there are so many different DWI charges that you might face. However, a first offense, generally speaking, can mean up to $2,000 in fines, up to 6 months in prison, and up to two years without your license.

A second offense can mean up to $4,000 in fines, up to one year in prison, and up to two years without your license.

A third offense can mean up to $10,000 in fines, up to 10 years in prison, and up to two years without your license.

Just as the sentencing gets more severe with each new offense, so too does the prosecution. In other words, a single DWI conviction may result in fairly minor penalties (and may have no jail time involved), but future convictions are far more likely to have disastrous consequences.

That’s why it is all the more important to understand what a DWI is in Texas and make sure you avoid even the possibility of a conviction.


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.


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