Author Topic: Biden misery index on rise as Americans pessimistic about country's future  (Read 142 times)

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Offline Ptarmigan

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Biden misery index on rise as Americans pessimistic about country's future

Americans are growing increasingly pessimistic about the current state and future of the country as the political phenomenon of misery takes hold, presenting problems for President Biden and Democrats ahead of this year's midterm elections.

As the national mood becomes gloomier under the Biden administration, a useful indicator for measuring economic pain has resurfaced after years of dormancy: the so-called misery index.

Created by the late economist Arthur Okun, the misery index became widely known in the 1970s and early 1980s during the presidencies of Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. It adds together two measures of economic pain — the unemployment rate and inflation for consumers — to give a sense of the economic distress felt by everyday Americans.

The index hit 11% in November and December and reached 11.5% last month — higher than any month in 2008 when the Great Recession began and just behind its highest levels in late 2009 and early 2010 when unemployment was around 10%. The current level is the highest in a decade, not including the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Misery Index is par with 2009.

Misery Index by year.
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