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Kucinich sees 1 million new jobs in early retirement program

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Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) has an idea he thinks will create 1 million new jobs, fast.

His piecemeal solution to the employment crisis: get the old people to retire and bring in some “new blood.”

By providing government incentives for workers to retire at the age of 60 instead of 65, Kucinich believes all the newly open positions would create a surge of fresh employment.

“Nearly 70 percent of workers elect to take early retirement under current rules, which allow eligible individuals to begin receiving a reduced Social Security benefit starting at age 62,” a media advisory from the Congressman’s office claimed. “The Kucinich Plan would reduce the eligibility age to 60 for the first million workers who want to take advantage of an earlier retirement date.”

With some 4.2 million U.S. workers between ages 60-65, Kucinich believes at least 1 million will take advantage of early retirement, even though the Social Security payout would be at a reduced rate. Additionally, instead of Medicare, Kucinich proposes early retirees received health coverage through the COBRA program.

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Kucinich estimates the cost of his plan to be around $15 billion — funds that will not come from Social Security, but out of amounts already set aside to cope with the financial crisis.

“This is something we could do now,” he said. “This gives companies a chance to get new blood in, in a way that does not make them get more money to do it.”

“My plan is a cost-effective way to create job opportunities for younger workers while making it possible for older workers to retire at 60 with the equivalent of their social security early retirement benefit.”

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This video is from NBC affiliate station WKYC in Ohio, broadcast Jan. 25, 2010.


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Disney heiress who went undercover to Disneyland ‘livid’ at conditions and pay

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Heiress Abigail Disney went to one of her family's resorts to see conditions for workers herself and was disgusted by what she saw.

In comments to Yahoo News podcast "Through Her Eyes," Disney described how she went to Disneyland in California undercover and found that workers at the resort were treated poorly—and underpaid.

"Every single one of these people I talked to were saying, 'I don't know how I can maintain this face of joy and warmth when I have to go home and forage for food in other people's garbage,'" said Disney.

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Ex-Peru president wanted for corruption arrested in the US

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Former Peruvian president Alejandro Toledo was arrested in the United States Tuesday to face extradition to his home country on corruption charges, authorities in the South American nation said.

The 73-year-old is suspected of involvement in the sprawling Odebrecht scandal in which the construction giant paid hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes throughout the continent to secure huge public works contracts.

The Peruvian attorney general's office announced on Twitter that Toledo "was arrested this morning for extradition, in the United States."

Toledo has been formally charged with receiving a $20 million payment from Odebrecht to grant it the tender to build the Interoceanic Highway that links Peru with Brazil.

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Comic-Con mines past for future hits on 50th edition

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A smorgasbord of sequels, prequels and reunions from "Terminator" to "Game of Thrones" awaits thousands of misty-eyed comic book geeks and sci-fi nerds descending on San Diego this week for the world's largest celebration of pop culture fandom.

The 50th edition of Comic-Con International will see 135,000 cosplayers, bloggers, movie executives and humble fans pile into a sweaty convention center for glimpses of their heroes, in town to promote the next mega-hit films, TV shows and comic books.

This anniversary edition promises to be more nostalgia-laden than most -- among those expected to appear are Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton, who will soon reunite on screen for the first time since 1991's "Terminator 2" for Paramount's killer cyborg sequel "Dark Fate."

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