Middle Class <————> Unions <————> American Dream.
Here’s to you, Labor—despite a tough year at the hands of corporations (I mean, people) and politicians. To all those who went before and helped create the 40-hour work week, weekends off, health care, pension, Medicare…you know, a good life. The Middle Class.
The American dream.
That’s the bedrock this country is built on.
Hard work. Responsibility. Sacrifice. Looking out for one another.
Giving everybody a shot, everybody a chance to share in America’s prosperity, from the factory floor to the boardroom.
That’s what unions are all about. (Applause.) And that’s something that’s worth keeping in mind today. We’ve come through a difficult decade in which those values were all too often given short shrift. We’ve gone through a decade where wealth was valued over work, and greed was valued over responsibility. And the decks were too often stacked against ordinary folks in favor of the special interests.
An impassioned defense of “the world’s strongest middle class” and how we made the basic gains—40 hour work week, weekends off, social security, Medicare—that, generations later, we take for granted.
Jump to 3 minutes in, start there if you like (though even in intros he’s got great energy going):
President Obama addresses a crowd at the GM Plant Parking Lot in Detroit, Michigan. September 5, 2011.