Misery Index at Highest Level Since 1991

The Misery Index, a combination of unemployment and inflation rates, is at its highest level since 1991 and stands at 12.8%.  Hope  and Change.  And Misery.

From Ed Lasky in the American Thinker:

The Misery Index is the sum of a nation’s unemployment, interest rates, and inflation figures. Given the Fed’s printing presses are running red hot and the Democrats show a propensity to profligacy, inflation looks to rise in the year ahead. Commodity prices are heading steadily higher, fueled by too much cash, and too much deficit spending. The Democrats have put policies in place that crimp the development of our vast mineral and energy reserves,. These trends are like the pig in the python – eventually the rise in these input prices will be reflected in higher prices for all consumers. A further source of anxiety should be the ever-weakening dollar that makes import prices higher in dollar terms.The misery index now stands at 12.8%, the highest since 1991 and 3 points above its average since then.

As Business Week reported this past week:

Whichever methodology you use, the misery metric will likely have political implications near-term… U.S. President Barack Obama faces his first midterm congressional elections in November. Their opposition will surely seek to capitalize on voter discomfort with the economy.

That’s what happened in 1976 when Jimmy Carter exploited a misery index of around 13% to help defeat Gerald Ford for the Presidency—only to see it rise to more than 20% four years later, costing him the same job. So unless they can cut their current indices, lawmakers could suffer their own form of misery this year: lost elections.


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