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Huffington This Week: The Working Life

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In this week's issue, Zach Carter and Jason Cherkis look at the 30-year tenure of Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell, particularly his legacy in his home state.

Zach and Jason take us inside the small Western Kentucky city of Paducah -- or "The Atomic City," so named for the nuclear power plant that has been a major source of local jobs since the years following World War II. And we meet the Buckleys, a family whose history is tied to the plant, going back to when Fred Buckley, now 85, commuted three hours a day to work there as a security guard for $1.46 per hour.

Three generations later, the Buckleys are still working at the plant. And McConnell, who has been a senator since 1984, has been the plant's defender for nearly as long, displaying a loyalty that has earned him the respect of local workers, including Fred Buckley. As Zach and Jason put it, in Paducah, McConnell is not the "sour-faced person of Washington gridlock. He is an honorary union man."

But as Zach and Jason show, that's only one small part of McConnell's legacy, and they trace some of the state's biggest problems to McConnell's refusal to put his "indefatigable talents" toward desperately needed reforms. "He may be ruling, but he's ruling over a commonwealth with the lowest median income in the country, where too many counties have infant mortality rates comparable to those of the Third World."

Elsewhere in the issue, Gregory Beyer and Catherine Pearson examine how the rising average retirement age is prompting more and more individuals and companies to prioritize well-being. The fact that 36 percent of workers now expect to work past age 65 -- as opposed to 11 percent in 1991 -- has opened up a new conversation about long-term sustainability, as Americans try to live and work more sustainably with an eye toward working later into life. As Greg and Catherine write, more companies are joining the "growing movement to push back against difficult economic realities by redefining the way we think about work -- as less of a rat race and more of a marathon, with rest and recharging opportunities along the way."

Finally, as part of our ongoing focus on stress, Carolyn Gregoire looks at the lasting effects of stress on one particular demographic: men.

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This story appears in Issue 61 of our weekly iPad magazine, Huffington, in the iTunes App store, available Friday, August 9.

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