It’s been a while since we checked in with where the American Misery Index stands. Each month, economists use the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics data in an attempt to gauge the health of our economy. By adding the current U.S. unemployment rate of 4.00% to the current rate of U.S. inflation of 7.48%, economists quantify the economic well-being of the country into the U.S. Misery Index. In turn, the Misery Index is used to gauge how average Americans are weathering the ups and downs of the U.S. economy, including under the Biden/Harris administration’s disastrous economic policies.
The current U.S. Misery Index stands at a painful 11.48%. Once again, the current Misery Index is higher than the previous month’s index (of 10.94%). Things are definitely not improving for the average American family’s wallet.
So what exactly does the Misery Index tell us? First, we know that as the rate of inflation goes up, the cost of living increases. Next, as unemployment numbers rise, more and more people fall into poverty. Consequently, the Misery Index acts as a kind of snapshot that can be used to gauge the health of the economy as a whole, since both unemployment and inflation impact the average American wage earner.
Does it really matter who is in the White House? The answer is yes. Inflation decreases the purchasing power of consumers. Higher prices mean fewer goods can be purchased, so even as more Americans are back to work after the economic disruptions of the pandemic, their wages, savings, and investments buy less and less the more inflation rises. The sad fact is, even though consumers haven’t done anything wrong, inflation and the mere passage of time increase the prices of everyday goods and services such as housing, food, and transportation. Under these conditions, when and if workers get a raise this year, inflation will eat up any of their gains. In other words, as the Misery Index rises, life simply becomes more and more expensive.
As in the above chart, when the Misery Index is compared over the terms of the U.S. presidents, it’s obvious that most Americans have been economically better off under most Republican presidents. In fact, most Americans enjoyed a fairly robust economy with a low Misery Index hovering around 5.0% to 6.0% under Donald J. Trump until the COVID-19 pandemic hit. It’s unmistakable that the Biden administration’s economic policies are increasing the everyday American’s misery. When Biden took office in January 2021, the index stood at 7.70% and it has since climbed to a crippling 11.48% today.
All American voters would do well to remember this misery and these economic numbers under Biden when it comes time to vote in 2022 and 2024.
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