President Obama Lauds Workers’

Output And Seven Years Of Achievement

President Obama in his weekly address said seven years ago if attempts were not made to save the American auto industry it would have created havoc for workers directly and indirectly as hundreds of thousands of workers were being laid off from jobs that had been their ticket to a middle-class life.

Moreover, he noted that at the time when the country was going through one of its worst economic crises and millions of people were set to lose their jobs, his administration had no choice but to step in and halt the crisis.

“Some said it was too late to turn things around. But I refused to turn my back on so many of the workers that I’d met.  Instead, I placed my bet on American workers.  I placed my bet on American manufacturing.  In exchange for help, we demanded responsibility.  We said the auto industry would have to truly change, not just pretend that it did.  We got labor and management to settle their differences.  We got the industry to retool and restructure.  Everyone had some skin in the game,” the President noted.

Photo Credit: The White House.
Photo Credit: The White House.

“Our plan wasn’t popular.  Critics said it was a “road to socialism,” or a “disaster” waiting to happen.  But I’d make that bet again any day of the week,” he added.

The President said the American auto industry has recovered, and it has now added more than 640,000 new jobs.

“We’ve cut the Detroit-area unemployment rate by more than half. The Big Three automakers are raising wages.  Seven years ago, auto sales hit a 27-year low.  Last year, they hit an all-time high,” the President said.

He further said that he will visit the Detroit Auto Show to see the progress made and pointed to the fact that every American should be proud of what their most iconic industry has done.

He said over the past seven years the country has witnessed the following:

Businesses are now on a 70-month streak of job creation, with more than 14 million new jobs in all.

Schools have been revamped as well as payment for college.

Historic investments in clean energy have been made and a path created for a low-carbon future.

More than 17 million Americans have been brought into the health care system.

Health care prices have grown at the lowest rate in fifty years.

More than 90 percent Americans now have access to health care for the first time.

The deficits have been cut by nearly 75 percent given the health care process.

“The point is America can do anything. Even in times of great challenge and change, our future is entirely up to us. That’s been on my mind while I’m writing my final State of the Union Address. And on Tuesday, I’m going to talk about the choices we have to make to set this country firmly on an even better, brighter course for decades to come,” concluded the President.

Davy Desmond, Readers Bureau, Fellow

Edited by Jesus Chan

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