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The Reagan Question: Are You Better Off Now Than You Were Eight Years Ago?

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Publication Date:

Publisher(s): Center for Economic and Policy Research

Author(s): John Schmitt; Hye Jin Rho

Topic: Social conditions (Social conditions and problems)

Keywords: Personal wealth; Household income; Unemployment rate

Type: Brief

Coverage: United States

Abstract:

In his closing remarks during the final presidential debate of 1980, Ronald Reagan famously asked the American people: "Are you better off now than you were four years ago?"

The table below updates Reagan's question by comparing the state of the economy in 2000 and 2008. We use 25 indicators of economic well-being and economic performance and find that 23 of the 25 indicators are worse in 2008 than they were in 2000.

With this report, CEPR is trying a new feature for our site - allowing you to provide us with feedback. Sources: 2008_Better_Off_Sources.pdf