America’s “Misery Index” has risen over five points since the Obama administration took office. The “Misery Index” simply adds together unemployment and inflation for an arbitrary look at human misery in America.
The biggest drop in the “Misery Index” came during Ronald Reagan’s terms in office. The Reagan tax cuts, combined with Volker’s tight monetary policy (encouraged by Reagan) in the early 1980s, dropped the index nearly 10 points over his eight years in office.
Conversely, the biggest spenders have had the worst records. Presidents Carter and Nixon exploded the index; Obama is following their path and is on track to at least beat Carter.
Here’s more on the story from RealClearMarkets:
CHICAGO (Reuters) - An unofficial gauge of human misery in the United States rose last month to a 28-year high as Americans struggled with rising inflation and high unemployment.
The misery index -- which is simply the sum of the country's inflation and unemployment rates -- rose to 13.0, pushed up by higher price data the government reported on Wednesday.
Inez Stallworth, an underwriting assistant for a financial services company, recently gave up her car, in part because of rising costs for gasoline and groceries.
"I can't fit it in," said the 27-year-old Chicago resident, who said most of her extended family was getting by "paycheck-to-paycheck."
Consumer prices rose 3.9 percent in the 12 months through September, the fastest pace in three years.
With gasoline prices high, consumers have less to spend on other things. Moreover, a rise in overall prices saps economic growth, which is typically measured in inflation-adjusted terms.
Read more here: *RealClearMarkets*