I'm indifferent. When Reagan got in, I was 28 years old and working for STC, later renamed to StorageTek, then it became a part of Sun Micro which in turn is now a part of Oracle. Reagan's policies impacted me directly because his Justice Department dropped lawsuits against IBM. This is very old computer industry history, but the bottom line for me was that StorageTek suddenly became unimportant for IBM to tolerate as a competitor. There was a whole lot of nasties going on that brought StorageTek into Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and there went the job.
Reagan eliminated my job
But even though Colorado entered a deep recession partly due to this and partly from a downturn in the energy industry, other regions of the country were still doing well. Fed Ex picked me up to work in the Memphis campus.
While all this was going on, Reagan's policies were attacking the rust belt, the very Democrats who had voted him in. Fortunately, many of those rust belters were picked up by DP (Data Processing), now IT, because if you had the brains to learn new stuff, you were in demand. And DP was largely not unionized, so the union busting efforts passed the industry by.
Then there was a recession after Reagan left office. GHWB got the blame for that, but it was really Reagan's policies come home to roost. Enter Clinton and the IT boom of the 1990s. That turned into a stupid bubble because venture capitalists were too uniformed to tell when shysters were pulling the wool.
The rest is well known. However, I peg Reagan as starting the assault on the middle class with policies that worked against the people who elected him. That became what we see today: people voting against their own self-interests. It's pretty darn amazing how long this has gone on.
Unemployment is down to 9%. Yay! But it should be a lot lower. Boo. Long-term unemployment has become the norm. So, what's the electorate going to do? Keep on voting in Reagan worshipers or finally rediscover who is on their side?
Seems the change started in 2006, really got going in 2008 and backslid in 2010. The story just keeps on going.
In the end, Reagan could have been a lot worse than he was. However, his administration did spawn Dick Cheney. The novice far outdid the master when it came to heartless brutality. Now it's literally heartless. That tells me there really is a God with a supernatural sense of humor.
Some other things I remember from the Reagan years:
* Nancy consulted with astrologers.
* Ronnie made a joke in the USSR about launching missiles, which started speculation on his mental health.
* People hated Meases to Pieces.
* Computers were always shown in movies as reel-to-reel tape drives and blinking/bleeping dumb terminals.
* Fed Ex topped the 1,000,000 package-a-night level.
* Mobile phones were the size of two paperback novels glued together end-to-end, but you could actually make phone calls with them.
* A 56kbs modem was not available to the public, but Fed Ex had them.
* Movie popcorn still tasted good and was really bad for you.
* The Valley still contained the Valley Girl accent, which has since gone viral across entire generations.
* Offices still contained Selectric typewriters.
* Technical libraries were all paper-based and HUGE!
* Al Gore was pushing for the National Research and Education Network (NREN), aka the Information Superhighway.
* Former President Carter was still blamed for the 1970s inflationary period.
* Sarah Palin was nobody I'd ever heard about, nor was GWB.
* The idea of working from home was just a pipe dream.
* Working the Internet meant knowing Unix commands.