The Consumer Price Index was increasing by 13% when Reagan took office. That means a market basket of goods and services cost more and more. Under Reagan the CPI increase dropped to 3%. You can compare Cost inflation, the CPI, to wage inflation to see whether real wages are increasi ng. What you don’t seem to get is that workers, retirees, and the unemployed are all consumers who benefit from prices that don’t rise so rapidly. The rising stock market relates to rising GDP and other factors beyond cost inflation.