The United States was also facing its worst economic recession since the Great Depression in 1982. Unfortunately for Reagan, after getting his tax reform act passed by congress in 1981, the economy took a turn for the worse just a few months later. Though policies from the act had yet to even be enacted, the American public immediately associated the two events and questioned Reagan's promises. Many who had voted for him felt betrayed by him and the government as they saw their savings dwindle quickly. The economy would soon right itself, however, and Reagan would be re-elected in 1984.
In popular culture, space and technology were reaching the height of their popularity, as space themed movies, television shows, and even rides as Disney World, proliferated around the country. The first space shuttle, Columbia, successfully entered and returned from space in April 1981, and "E.T.: The Extraterrestrial" was released in movie theaters in 1982, spurring an increased interest in space and technology. Even recording technology and the art of music was changing rapidly, as seen by the debut of MTV in August 1981, which emphasized the connection between audio and visual art. Interestingly, the first video ever broadcast on MTV was of the launch of the Columbia space shuttle from earlier that year, further emphasizing the growing connection between music and technology.