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Reagan vs. Obama on Jobs

Regan
Photo courtesy of Marion Doss

Republican’s can’t seem to stop talking about Ronald Reagan. I hear so much about the man that I almost automatically tune out when I hear his name mentioned. The low point for me was while watching the Republican debates and sighing as I watched each candidate try to “0ut-Reagan” the others. Then again, sometimes looking at what the U.S. economy was doing during Regan’s time in office can be downright startling. For example, look at the labor force participation rate:

You’ll notice right away that I have painted two columns. The red is Reagan while the blue column is the labor market that Barack Obama will have to own this election season. I found this graph while trying to find a way to show the nation’s “true” unemployment rate (i.e. one that also takes into account those who have given up trying to find work) and I think the comparison is shocking. The title of Tommy de Seno’s article (where I first saw the graph) “Four Years of Obama Undoes Eight Years of Reagan” makes the point pretty clear.

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