The Dreaded Misery Index Is On The Rise Under Biden
I & I Editorial Board
July 16, 2021
Young adults today are likely unfamiliar with the term “misery index.” But they could soon learn about it the hard way, thanks to President Joe Biden’s economic incompetence.
The misery index, a measure started under President Lyndon Johnson, 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.
The index has long been forgotten because it’s been so low for so long. It 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.
The misery index spiked at the start of the COVID-19 lockdowns, jumping from 5.94 to over 15 in one month with the surge in unemployment. But then it quickly dissipated, as the economy under Trump rebounded faster than the so-called experts had predicted. By the time Trump left office, the misery index was back down to 7.7.
A funny thing has happened since.