The U.S. Government’s Misery Index is at its highest since 1993.


I got a press release today announcing the details of a new analysis released last week by the Campaign for America’s Future. The upshot of the findings was that the Misery Index is at the highest since 1993. (Who’d have thought that the federal government, the same people who brought us sleep-inducing terms like “civilian noninstitutional population” and “consumer price index,” could whip out a pleasingly blunt term like Misery Index?)

Since the index represents the sum of unemployment and inflation rates, I guess there’s no more appropriate term to use. The number reflects the fact that, according to Robert Borosage, co-director of the Campaign for America’s Future, “Honest people who work hard for a living are struggling to make ends meet. The misery is felt at the gas pump and the grocery store and it’s getting worse, not better.”

If you’d like to take a gander at how the Misery Rate breaks down over the years, the government offers a site here. Here’s to hoping things turn around soon. (My Optimistic Rate is 24 percent.)