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On May 1, countries around the world will be celebrating the legacy of American unions — only our country won’t be one of them. May Day has a long and complicated history in the United States, especially during the Cold War, leading us to be ON MAY DAY WHY I’M GRATEFUL FOR UNIONS
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And to this day, we see the benefits of what those workers fought for. Even if you aren’t a union member, if you
one of the only developed nations not to observe the holiday. But now, as the power of unions continues to diminish and jobs disappear to automation, I’d argue that remembering our country’s roots in the labor movement is vitally important. Yes, Labor Day is meant to fill this role, to honor the hardworking people of this country. But sadly, it seems to have lost much of its meaning. In fact, a great many blue-collar workers across industries now work on the holiday meant to celebrate them. To me, it feels a bit like asking your mom to make breakfast on Mother’s Day. So, as someone who works extensively with
have two days off a week, receive overtime pay, and are protected by
workers’ compensation laws, you have the legacy of generations of American laborers to thank. That said, significant challenges face workers in this country today. Automation, weakened labor laws, the increased hiring of uninsured and underpaid independent contractors — it’s a tough time to be an unskilled worker in the 21st century. As a Social Security disability and bankruptcy firm, we see the end results of these challenges all too often.
union members, and as the son of a nonunionized laborer, I’m taking May 1 to reflect on the benefits we Americans enjoy thanks to these organizations. It’s easy to take our average 9-to-5 work schedules for granted — 40 hours a week, 5 days a week just feels natural to most people. But the truth is, these reasonable hours and the two-day weekend were hard-fought victories. During the 19th century, you could be worked long hours all week in extremely hazardous conditions for only meager pay. If you got injured and couldn’t perform your job anymore, you were just plain out of luck. Worst of all, working adults weren’t the only ones exposed to these horrors — children worked right alongside them in the coal mines, factories, and rail yards risking life and limb for starvation wages. It was under these conditions that Americans began to unionize and collectively demanded change.
A single medical emergency can send an otherwise fiscally responsible family deep into the red. People who have given decades of service to a company can be laid off in favor of robotic replacements. Even being in a union doesn’t guarantee protection from medical and financial woe in the world today. These are all reminders that workers’ rights aren’t set in stone. I’m proud to have represented many hardworking people in their time of need, whether they’re in a union or not. Still, it troubles me that the people we rely on to build our homes, power our cities, teach our children, and perform so many other vital services are so frequently put on the brink of financial ruin. The least we can do is celebrate the legacy of their work in guaranteeing the rights we have today. Happy May Day, –Paul H. Young
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SAVE THE PLANET WITH YOUR PLATE
It can be difficult to see the connection between your plate and the planet, but scientists say that eating less red meat and processed foods can greatly reduce your environmental impact. About 25% of climate change today is fueled by agriculture and factory farming, particularly the large quantities of the greenhouse gas methane that cows produce. This means that the fewer animal products you consume, the more sustainable your diet will be. Producing and packaging beef is 100 times more emissions-intensive than producing legumes. While a lack of protein is a common concern about plant-based diets, many dietary experts say that plant-based diets can meet nutritional needs. Also, proteins aren’t the only nutrient your body needs, and dozens of vegetables and starches can offer a combination of proteins that are as complete and healthy as beef or chicken. With April being Keep America Beautiful Month, here are some eco-friendly diet adjustments anyone can make to help preserve the planet. Eat Plant-Based Diets The main goal of a plant-based diet is to replace animal products as the centerpiece of the meal. At least three-fourths of your meal should be vegetarian, but you don’t necessarily need to cut
meat out altogether. For example, eating a Mediterranean diet can be very sustainable. Red meat is rare, and there’s a strong focus on legumes and vegetables. Adopt Meatless Mondays or Mornings If you’re not ready to commit to a plant-based diet, going vegetarian one day a week can be a great option. Adopting a plant-based diet one day a week or eliminating meat from one meal a day is a great way to reduce meat consumption. Go Flexitarian If you want to eat more vegetarian meals but find animal products are too hard to give up, going flexitarian is a good compromise. A flexitarian eats mainly plant-based dishes but also includes a modest amount of poultry, fish, milk, and eggs with a limited amount of red meat. If you’re able to dedicate even just one week to trying a plant- based diet, it can help you get a feel for if you’re capable of making the switch. You may even realize that it’s not hard to change your diet, and you might find it fun to try a whole different range of flavors through vegetarian food as you “reinvent” your favorite meaty dishes.
CLASSIC PHILLIES MOMENTS
BIG PLAYS FROM PAST SEASONS
With the 2020 baseball season about to get into full swing, we wanted to do our part to support the Phillies by recalling some of their most memorable moments. With such a storied team, whose roots go back to the 1880s, we can’t fit every jaw-dropping grand slam and hair-raising catch into one article. So these are just a few moments that stuck out to us fanatics here at the firm. Joe Blanton Hits a Homer There’s something about a star pitcher hitting a home run that just feels special. So rarely counted as a threat — and outright excluded from stepping up to the plate in the American League — a pitcher putting points on the board is a self-contained underdog story. So, while Blanton’s solo home run during Game 4 of the 2008 World Series did little more than further the Phillies’ existing lead on the Rays, it was still a great moment of defiance for pitchers everywhere. Kim Batiste’s Double The 1993 Phillies were like the MLB version of “The Sandlot,” a ragtag band of outsiders with chips on their shoulders. They’d had the worst record in the National League just the previous year, but with hard-nosed fortitude, they clawed their way into the
NLCS. That’s when they proved the last of the naysayers wrong. In a made-for-Hollywood moment during the 10th inning of Game 6, Batiste sent a double screaming over Atlanta’s third baseman, allowing John Kruk to make the series-winning run. Pete Rose Scoops Up History This may be one of the most nail-biting moments in the history of televised sports. In the 10th inning of Game 6 of the World Series, the Phillies were on the cusp of winning their first championship ever. There was just one problem — the Kansas City Royals had the bases loaded and were within striking distance of clinching the title. With one out, the Royal’s hitter sent up a pop fly, and catcher Bob Boone and first baseman Pete Rose scrambled for it. Good thing, too, because the ball bounced out of Boone’s glove, but Rose was there to catch it before it hit the ground. Tug McGraw followed up by striking out Willie Wilson to make Phillies history.
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WHEN IS THE ‘RIGHT TIME’ TO FILE FOR BANKRUPTCY?
First things first, there is never a “good time” to declare bankruptcy. Making this decision will always have long-term ramifications, and your financial future will always be impacted. However, sometimes bankruptcy is the right choice — the most sensible and stable option available. Identifying when the time is right to make this important decision is crucial to your financial recovery. Know Your Debt The first factor you should examine when considering bankruptcy is the type of debt you are under. Some forms of debt, such as credit card bills, medical expenses, mortgages, car loans, car lease obligations, home lease obligations, personal loans, lawsuit judgments, and utility bills can be erased by declaring bankruptcy. However, not all debts work this way. If you have student loan debt (both public and private), owe income taxes, child support, alimony, court fines and other penalties, or personal injury debts following a DUI, bankruptcy won’t make these obligations disappear. Assess Future Plans An unavoidable risk of bankruptcy is damage to your credit score. Filing Chapter 7 will hurt your score for 10 years while Chapter 13 will stick around for 7. So, if you need decent credit in the foreseeable future to secure housing, a car, or employment, it’s best to hold off on declaring. The last thing you want to do is to file for bankruptcy only to find you can’t get a job to rebuild your finances.
Consider Time and Money Bankruptcy has costs associated with it beyond the $300 filing fee. You’ll need to go to court and will likely want a lawyer to represent your case, which means investing money and hours into clearing your financial slate. Debtors who have these resources in extremely short supply should consider changes to their financial habits before committing to bankruptcy. Taken together, you can see that bankruptcy doesn’t favor young people trying to establish themselves. However, for those who have already put down roots but find themselves straining against seemingly inescapable financial hardship, bankruptcy is a viable option.
EASY DEVILED EGGS
1/2 cup mayonnaise
Salt, paprika, garlic powder, and pepper, to taste 12 large eggs, hard-boiled Fresh parsley, minced, and paprika for garnish
• • • • •
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp dried parsley flakes
1/2 tsp dill weed
1/2 tsp fresh chives, minced 1/2 tsp ground mustard
DIRECTIONS 1. In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, milk, parsley flakes, dill, chives, mustard, salt, paprika, garlic powder, and pepper. Mix well and set aside. 2. Cut eggs lengthwise and remove yolks carefully to preserve egg whites. 3. In a small bowl, mash yolks. 4. Mix mashed yolks with mayonnaise mixture. 5. Spoon or pipe the mixture back into the egg whites. 6. Garnish with fresh parsley and paprika. Refrigerate before serving.
Inspired by TasteOfHome.com
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11 CONVENIENT OFFICE LOCATIONS
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE
1 Celebrating America’s Workers
2 Eco-Friendly Diets
Great Moments From the Phillies
3 The Right Time to File for Bankruptcy
Easy Deviled Eggs
The History of Libraries in America
THE OLDEST LIBRARIES IN AMERICA
A STORY OF MANY FIRSTS
What’s the oldest library in America? It’s an easy question to ask, but it has an unexpectedly complicated answer. Before the Industrial Revolution generated greater interest in public services, a library’s function and purpose varied widely. Several libraries in the United States claim to be the country’s “first,” but for different reasons. Colleges and the Clergy Some believe Harvard University hosted the first library in the United States. Harvard was the first university in the United States, founded in 1636, and clergyman John Harvard seeded the library with a 400-book collection. Soon after, however, Thomas Bray, another clergyman, began establishing the first free lending libraries throughout the colonies to encourage the spread of the Anglican Church. Not surprisingly, most of the libraries’ holdings were theological. A Few More Firsts During the 1700s, a few more “first” libraries were established. In 1731, Ben Franklin and a few others started the first subscription library in the United States. Members of subscription libraries
could pay to buy books or borrow them for free. In 1757, 60 men founded the Library Company of Burlington in New Jersey, and Thomas Rodman received a charter from King George II to operate the business in 1758. The library still operates under that charter today. The Library of Burlington was the first library to operate out of its own building after a prominent resident donated the land in 1789. By the People, for the People In 1833, just as the Industrial Revolution was picking up steam, the Peterborough Town Library was founded in Peterborough, New Hampshire, at a town meeting. It was the first tax- supported free public library in the United States and in the world. Not long after that, the Boston Public Library, known as the “palace for the people,” became the first municipal public library in the country. The Boston Public Library was also the first library to have a space specifically for children. Out of all the “first” libraries in the country, these are the most probable progenitors of most libraries today — even if they weren’t exactly “first.”
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