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In Labor Day message, Obama says workers fought for rights, benefits often taken for granted

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)

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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)

WASHINGTON - 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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Online:

Obama address: http://www.whitehouse.gov

GOP address: http://www.youtube.com/user/gopweeklyaddress

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