I actually doubt you did look at the BLS data because if you did you would know your claim of 21M jobs under Reagan was bogus. So your lying at some point.
And it's difficult to even credit Reagan with reducing inflation because as you should know inflation is handled by the Fed Reserve, not the WH. And Volcker was appointed by, drumroll... Carter.
It also sucks that Reagan, despite the low inflation, increased public debt as a share of GDP from a post ww2 low of 33% under Carter to a amazing 66%. Goldilocks is an apt term - because your description of the 80's is as close to a fairly tale and as far from reality as one can get.
"This suggests that jobless benefits which run for 99 weeks are partly to blame for the high unemployment numbers we're facing."
Head over to your local job fair and compare the number of openings with the number of people waiting in line. Or talk to any HR manager and ask them how many applications they receive per job posting.
Only a complete imbecile would blame unemployment on the lack of workers rather than a lack of jobs.
One thing we have to get out on the airwaves is that there is no "SS crises". The only thing that is predicted to happen is that soon SS will have to dip into the trust fund to cover the cost of boomer retirement - which is as planned! The trust fund was set-up for that very eventuality.
Now sure the fact that SS will no longer run a profit will remove it as a source of funds for the federal government. But that's a problem with the govt, not with SS. Social Security has run a profit for the last 28 years. It is an immensely successful program.
Oh I do agree, the lack of communication from someone whose communication skill was his biggest asset is frustrating.
However I will caution with the historic references. Reagan's popularity plummeted to 38% despite a far shallower recession within his first 2 years. Also the public discourse was changing anyway regardless of Reagan (see Thacther in the UK). In the end both went with the flow as much as they 'changed it' themselves.
I think as far as Israel is concerned most Pals were terrorists regardless of and prior too 9/11. Certainly after 9/11 sympathy for the Pals did decrease in the US somewhat, which was sort of inevitable, however it's important to remember that their wasn't much sympathy to begin with. So I don't think you can call 9/11 a spur to anything in the Israel-Pal dispute other than the invasion of Iraq.
Ummm, inflation is not called "growing the economy". You yourself point out that inflation was high during the early 80s, so why use dollar terms rather that gdp numbers? Except for '84 Reagans economic legacy is pretty anemic. Unemployment also remained stubbornly high right until 1988. Reagan in fact has one of the worst job growth performances of any modern president. Actuals figures are 16 mill for Reagan, compared to 22 mill for Clinton and 24 mill for JFK-Johnson.
We should stop thinking about it in terms of votes on legislation so much as moving the overton window in public discourse. Politicians always react to public pressure, even between elections. Most of the public discourse in the last 2 years has been coming from the conservative side rather than the left (other than online). Besides to whole concept of being "disappointed" in the dems vis a vis progressives is way overblown. There are at last count about 170-180 progressives and progressive-leaning reps. If we want more progressive legislation we should probably be electing more reps to get closer to the 50% mark rather than being disappointed.
There are quite a few things one can do - organize and develop grass-roots organisations with an agenda and action-plan. Find common ground and motivate political support. Get people out there to actually demonstrate for what they believe in. Supporting one candidate or another is not an answer since the "problem" is systemic and not limited to individual actors.
Actually I don't comment here very often, I just stop in a few times. The fact that you say you supported Clinton "right up to the very end" while railing against the rest of the democratic party as corporate sell-outs pretty much says all I need to know. The crack about Reagan ofcourse gave it away, but confirmation is always appreciated.
As good a strategy as that is it does suffer from the drawback of forcing us to suffer through 2-4 years of a conservative nut in government. I mean it's fine if the conservatives were moving left like in the UK, but over there they're getting worse and worse. So it's a bit like cutting off your hand to spite your face.