The Real Misery Index

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Johnny Oxygen's picture
Johnny Oxygen
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 9 2009
Posts: 1443
The Real Misery Index

http://5minforecast.agorafinancial.com/the-real-misery-index/

 

 

Here’s a cheery way to begin the week. For a brief moment on Friday, the “misery index” of the Jimmy Carter era reared its ugly head again.

Readers old enough to recall “the misery index” will remember it was computed by adding the inflation rate to the unemployment rate. On Friday, CNBC posted, and Drudge picked up, a brief story about how the misery index stands at its highest since 1983:

9.1% unemployment + 3.6% consumer price index = 12.7% misery index

What the story did not explain is how government has gamed both elements of the misery index in the ensuing 28 years.

People who’ve given up looking for work no longer count as unemployed. Statisticians make the rising price of steak go away by assuming you buy less steak and more hamburger. And so on.

John Williams at ShadowStats.com still runs the numbers the way they were in those bygone days. Let’s recalculate…

22.3% unemployment + 11.2% consumer price index = 33.5% misery index

That compares to a peak misery index of 22.0% in June 1980.

If circumstances now feel worse than they did then, if the “recovery” of the last two years seems like a chimera, now you have a statistical glimpse why.

If they don’t feel worse, then you’ve been successful at staying abreast of the trends… and on the “right side of the trade,” for which you should be commended. We’ll do our best to assist you in that endeavor, if we can…

Travlin's picture
Travlin
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 15 2010
Posts: 1322
Nice Johnny

Hi Johnny

Thanks for the good info.  I remember the 1980 - 83 recession.  At the time it was the worst since the Creat Depression and we thought it was awful.  It was a cake walk compared to now.  The ShadowStats numbers really tell the story.

Hope you're located on high ground and not close to a river.  Smile

Travlin 

Johnny Oxygen's picture
Johnny Oxygen
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 9 2009
Posts: 1443
Re: Nice Johnny

I am about 1000 feet above sea level.

If I get flooded I think I have bigger problems than a wet basement. Laughing

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