Obama on Labor Day: Don't take rights for granted

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Obama on Labor Day: Don't take rights for granted
President Barack Obama speaks about the economy, Wednesday, July 30, 2014, at the Uptown Theater in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
President Barack Obama tries a sample of roasted coffee from Ethiopia at Parkville Coffee during a surprise stop along Main Street in Parkville, Mo., Wednesday, July 30, 2014, en route to leave Missouri and return to Washington after speaking about the economy. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
President Barack Obama greets people during a surprise stop on Main Street in Parkville, Mo., Wednesday, July 30, 2014, before leaving Missouri to return to Washington after speaking about the economy. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
President Barack Obama greets to the crowd after speaking about the economy, Wednesday, July 30, 2014, at the Uptown Theater in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
President Barack Obama speaks about the economy, Wednesday, July 30, 2014, at the Uptown Theater in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
President Barack Obama waves to the crowd after speaking about the economy, Wednesday, July 30, 2014, at the Uptown Theater in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
A guest uses their cellphone to photograph President Barack Obama as greets the crowd after speaking about the economy, Wednesday, July 30, 2014, at the Uptown Theater in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
President Barack Obama speaks about the economy, Wednesday, July 30, 2014, at the Uptown Theater in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
President Barack Obama speaks about the economy, Wednesday, July 30, 2014, at the Uptown Theater in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
President Barack Obama speaks about the economy, Wednesday, July 30, 2014, at the Uptown Theater in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
President Barack Obama waves as he speaks about the economy, Wednesday, July 30, 2014, at the Uptown Theater in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
President Barack Obama speaks about the economy, Wednesday, July 30, 2014, at the Uptown Theater in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
President Barack Obama arrives on the South Lawn of the White House after a fundraising trip to New York and Rhode Island on Friday, Aug. 29, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
FILE - In this Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014 file photo, President Barack Obama smiles as he takes questions about the economy, Iraq, and Ukraine, in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, before convening a meeting with his national security team on the militant threat in Syria and Iraq. Obama's summer fashion choice, not unprecedented among presidents - himself included - was the talk of social media, Thursday. Other presidents who have taken on tan include Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush and Dwight Eisenhower. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, file)
President Barack Obama waves as he boards Air Force One before his departure from Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Friday, Aug. 29, 2014. Obama is traveling to Westchester, NY and Rhode Island to attend a pair of private Democratic fundraisers before returning to Washington later tonight. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
President Obama reaches as he shakes hands with Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee shortly after arriving at T.F. Green Airport in Warwick, R.I., Friday, Aug. 29, 2014. The president traveled to Rhode Island to attend a Democratic fundraiser in Newport. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
President Obama holds up four-month-old Ryan Kelley, of Richmond, R.I., while greeting a gathering shortly after arriving at T.F. Green Airport in Warwick, R.I., Friday, Aug. 29, 2014. The president traveled to Rhode Island to attend a Democratic fundraiser in Newport on Friday. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
FILE - This Aug. 28, 2014 file photo shows President Barack Obama speaking in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, before convening a meeting with his national security team on the militant threat in Syria and Iraq. President Barack Obama’s acknowledgement the U.S. still lacks a strategy for defeating the growing extremist threat emanating from Syria reflects a still unformed international coalition. The president will meet with his top advisers and consult members of Congress to prepare U.S. military options. At the same time, he is looking for allies around the world to help the U.S. root out the Islamic State group that has seized large swaths of territory in Syria and Iraq.(AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
President Barack Obama speaks during the American Legion national convention in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014. Three months after a veterans' health care scandal rocked his administration, President Barack Obama is taking executive action to improve the mental well-being of veterans. The president was to announce his initiatives during an appearance before the American Legion National Convention that is fraught with midterm politics. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
President Barack Obama speaks about veterans issues at the American Legion’s 96th National Convention at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014. Three months after a veterans' health care scandal rocked his administration, President Barack Obama is taking executive action to improve the mental well-being of veterans. The president was to announce his initiatives during an appearance before the American Legion National Convention that is fraught with midterm politics. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
President Barack Obama speaks about veterans issues at the American Legion’s 96th National Convention at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014. Three months after a veterans' health care scandal rocked his administration, President Barack Obama is taking executive action to improve the mental well-being of veterans. The president was to announce his initiatives during an appearance before the American Legion National Convention that is fraught with midterm politics. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is asking Americans this Labor Day to think about the rights and benefits that people often take for granted.

In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama says he's optimistic about the growing economy. He says decisions made now will determine whether the recovery will pick up speed.

Obama says workers and unions fought for things like Social Security, Medicare, workplace safety laws and the right to organize. He says those fights built a stronger middle class.

Obama says to strengthen the modern middle class, the U.S. must raise its minimum wage. He says states and businesses have raised wages already and Congress should, too.

In the Republican address, Rep. Larry Buschon of Indiana says Republicans are focused on creating jobs, lowering costs and restoring opportunity.

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