News / USA

Obama: Fight for a Stronger Middle Class

FILE - U.S. President Barack Obama.
FILE - U.S. President Barack Obama.
VOA News

Americans have to keep fighting to build a "stronger middle class in today's changing economy," U.S. President Barack Obama said in his weekly address Saturday. 

That fight includes the right to have affordable health insurance, fair pay, family leave and workplace flexibility, Obama said in a worker-focused address tailored for the Labor Day weekend.

Raising the minimum wage would be one of the "best ways to give a boost to working families," the president said. He noted that 13 states and the nation's capital have raised their minimum wages in the last 18 months.

Obama said the states where the minimum wage was raised have experienced higher job growth than those that did not raise the minimum.

As of August 1, the District of Columbia and 23 states had minimum wages above the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which offers a state-by-state breakout.

America "built the greatest middle class the world has ever known" by making sure that everyone who is" willing to work hard and play by the rules can get ahead," Obama said.

Representative Larry Bucshon, from the Midwestern state of Indiana, said in the Republican address that the Obama administration's policies "continue to harm" the nation's economy and families struggling "to make ends meet." 

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Frank from: Quinn
August 30, 2014 5:31 PM
Stronger but shrinking middle class.

by: Mark from: Virginia
August 30, 2014 3:08 PM
How about this to stimulate job growth and the economy...STOP OUTSOURCING JOBS. Bring those jobs back the U.S., stop letting foreign countries with poor to dismal quality control, using unsafe (read, deadly) materials, forced labor and terrible work environments and human rights abuses do the work that Americans can do here. Oh, and pull the plug on Obamacare.. the program stinks, it places a greater burden on the Middle Class and creates more uninsured because their rates skyrocketed to pay for a namesake health care that works worse than your Administration. Just to name a few things, of course.
Kind of late to try to 'fix' something you helped break, and continue to break. The Middle Class is shrinking, creating a wide gulf between the filthy rich and the stinking poor. Like the deficit, its going beyond the band aids now to a point where only an act of God could fix it. Congress could care less for the working Americans... they only want to fatten their pockets before they leave their cushy jobs for an early retirement. They have it made with free health care no other American can hope to enjoy and a pension that will keep them comfortable for the rest of their greedy lives.

This is not how the Founding Fathers intended things to work. Working for the government, ie. Congress and playing at President was seen as a honorable thing, an act of Service to the country and when a few terms were over, they returned to civilian life with very little, if any, 'perks' to show for it. They re-integrated back into society as productive members of society. Not fat cats as they are now. Congress was never meant to be a career choice.
Oh, and one other thing...close the danged border in the South, keep illegals out and send those illegals now inside the U.S. packing their trash with a one-way ticket back to their home country. It would do no good generating jobs when illegal immigrants snatch them up and send their money earned out of country, untaxed.
Just another Lame-Duck presidential attempt to 'make nice' with the Country after screwing them over for 6 years.

(Oh, and VOA, much worse has been said of the President and been allowed on your forums of Public Debate-just saying)

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs