Young folks may not be familiar with what exactly the misery index is, but rest assured… Thanks to the Chinese Resident Chou Bia-Dung, they’re about to get quick education.
First used during the administration of Lyndon B. Johnson, the misery index “is a simple measure combining the unemployment rate and the inflation rate. The idea being that joblessness and a fast-rising cost of living produces palpable misery in the country” as cited by the everything business Issues & Insights (I&I) news site.
Further noted by I&I, the misery index (emphasis mine)”hit a high of 21.9 under Jimmy Carter way back in 1980, but by the end of President Reagan’s first term, it had been cut in half. The average under President Donald Trump was just 6.9.”
Ahh, but then came the Crime of the Century in 2020. Further noted by I&I (emphasis theirs);
The misery index has climbed each and every month that Joe Biden has been president. In February, it ticked up to 7.9, then rose to 8.6 in March. Last month, the misery index hit 11.3, as the monthly inflation rate climbed to 5.4% while the unemployment rate edged up to 5.9%.
This is where things really start to get interesting. Oddly enough, I&I draws essentially the same conclusions that President Trump has already warned us of (emphasis mine);
That means the misery index is now higher than it has been (pre-pandemic) since the Great Recession. It’s also higher than the post-World War II average of 9.2. Under Trump, it averaged 6.9, the third-lowest of any postwar president.
What’s driving the current rise in the misery index?
Biden and his fellow Democrats decided to pass another massive COVID-19 bailout — the “American Rescue Plan” — despite warnings from even liberal economists that flooding the economy with another $2 trillion in cash posed a serious risk of inflation.
Despite repeated assurances from the White House and the mainstream press earlier in the year that this was just a blip, the inflation rate has been steadily climbing. The June inflation number was the biggest increase since 2008.
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate remains stubbornly high, principally because Biden and the Democrats who control Congress extended the hugely misguided unemployment bonus (which they also insisted be a part of the original CARES Act ). For nearly half the workforce, being unemployed is currently more lucrative than collecting a paycheck.