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Reagan’s 1984 Labor Day Speech Explains The American Dream Is About Work Not Welfare

Ronald Reagan’s speech on Labor Day in 1984 is a striking reminder of why work – not welfare – is the true goal for those trying to attain the American dream.

The former president reminded Americans that while presidencies and administrations come and go, the foundation of economic prosperity is grounded in principles.

“Meaningful work, not welfare, is every American’s hope, and we have a continuing responsibility to make those hopes a lasting reality,” Reagan said.


“We must not and will not rest until everyone who wants a job has found one,” he continued, “until all Americans can reach as high as their vision and talents take them.”


The American Presidency Project has a full transcript of Reagan’s speech.

It has familiar themes to that of the current Trump administration, currently in the process of overturning Obama-era waivers for work requirements of welfare recipients.

“Work should always be encouraged as a condition for receiving welfare,” acting Assistant Director for the Department of Health and Human Services Steven Wagner said last week.

Below is a radio Reagan address made a couple of days prior to Labor Day in 1984, which praised “the working men and women whose dreams and hard work helped build America into the greatest Nation in the world.”

The same hard-working men and women Trump is currently battling for.


Reagan’s 1980 Labor Day speech will truly sound familiar to fans of President Trump, however.

In an appeal to blue-collar workers, Reagan kicked off his campaign for the presidency by making a pitch for conservative values, while simultaneously explaining why Democratic policies were bad for hard-working Americans.

“This country needs a new Administration,” Reagan explained. “With a renewed dedication to the dream of an America, an Administration that will give that dream new life and make America great again.


As we celebrate this Labor Day, remember it is President Trump who is fighting to move America away from a nation content to accept government assistance and toward a nation molded in Reagan’s vision that “meaningful work, not welfare, is every American’s hope.”

Do you support Reagan and Trump’s vision of working toward the American Dream? Share your thoughts below!

Read more at the Political Insider

Rusty Weiss

Rusty Weiss is a freelance journalist focusing on the conservative movement and its political agenda. He has been writing conservatively charged articles for several years in the upstate New York area, and his writings have appeared in the Daily Caller, American Thinker,, Big Government, the Times Union, and the Troy Record. He is also Editor of one of the top conservative blogs of 2012, the Mental Recession.

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