Joe Biden says he didn’t want to steal spotlight after bin Laden raid

26 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Biden clarifies his role, advice to Obama in 2011 bin Laden raid.

Instead, he voiced deep concern about an America where too many believe, based on experience, that hard work does not pay, that dreams are delusions likely to be dashed. But just as crucial is restoring the belief that America is a place where work is justly rewarded and everyone who works hard can attain – without back-breaking debt – a middle-class life that includes home ownership, health insurance, a reasonable retirement and higher education for the kids.

Here’s what he said about it: “I’ve always believed that what sets America apart from every other nation is that we, ordinary Americans, believe in possibilities — unlimited possibilities. Possibilities for a kid growing up in a poor inner-city neighborhood, or a Spanish-speaking home, or a kid from Mayfield in Delaware, or Willow Grove in Pennsylvania – like Jill and I – to be able to be anything we wanted to be; to do anything – anything – that we want. It was real.” “When I was growing up, my parents, in tough times, looked at me and would say to me and my brothers and sister, ‘Honey, it’s going to be O.K.’ And they meant it. Families retained a middle-class lifestyle only by sending two adults to work, borrowing against assets like homes and financing college with crippling amounts of debt. Some went backwards, losing jobs and homes in the great recession, which was a catastrophe for the middle class caused by the recklessness of 21st century robber barons – Wall Streeters.

In the meantime, the already rich got richer as they took for themselves all the benefits of bailouts and all of the gains from increased productivity. Biden said that’s got to end: “We have to level the playing field for the American people.” Government achieved a major leveling with legislation in the 1930s. It established the 40-hour work week by requiring overtime pay for hours worked beyond 40, outlawed child labor, created the minimum wage, strictly regulated banks, created Social Security and encouraged workers to band together in labor unions to negotiate for better wages and working conditions. They’ve blocked a raise in the federal minimum wage for six years, meaning that these workers toil 40 hours a week in jobs that don’t pay them enough to support themselves.

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