The U.S. Misery Index: It Ain't as Sweet as Your Ice Cream, Jack

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Despite Joe Biden’s recent ice cream cone pronouncement that “our economy is strong as hell,” Americans aren’t exactly feeling that strength. What Americans are feeling is strong Bidenflation caused by economic policies and inaction that are driving costs higher for every purchase from housing to the gas pump to the grocery store and beyond.

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Since the 1970s, economists have used the most recently updated Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) data to quantify the country’s economic health. To do so, they add the current U.S. unemployment rate, which edged down to a semi-stagnant 3.50%, to September’s worse-than-expected rate of U.S. inflation, which stands at 8.20%. Originally coined as “the discomfort index” by intellectual powerhouse and policy economist Arthur M. Okun, the sum of these two rates is now known simply as the U.S. Misery Index, which works as a snapshot in time of America’s economy as a whole.

The current U.S. Misery Index stands at a staggering 11.70%.

Both unemployment and inflation significantly impact the average American wage earner’s spending power, so the Misery Index also gauges the negative impact Bidenflation has on the quality of American life. With inflation at still-record-high levels, it follows that as the Misery Index climbs, the quality of American life declines. And even though inflation crept down slightly in September, as PJ Media’s Rick Moran wrote, it’s worrisome that it not only appears to show no discernible signs of cooling down entirely but that no one but the Fed seems concerned about it.

The Fed appears to be the only warrior in this battle, as the president and Congress have abnegated their responsibilities and refuse to do what’s necessary to help tame inflation. Cutting spending would be a very good start.

Inflation is now being driven by expectations of price increases as much as actual pressures on costs. This begets an inflationary spiral that can easily get out of control and make matters much worse.

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Meanwhile, Biden & Co. continue to blame the rest of the world for America’s economic troubles. “I’m not concerned about the strength of the dollar,” Biden stated at a Baskin-Robbins in Portland, Ore., on Saturday. “I’m concerned about the rest of the world…The problem is the lack of economic growth and sound policy in other countries, not so much ours,” he said in between nonchalant licks of his waffle ice cream cone. “And that’s having, it’s worldwide inflation, and it’s consequential.”

Oh, it’s consequential alright, Mr. President, but here’s a newsflash: U.S. presidents aren’t put in the Oval Office to tackle worldwide inflation. Your job is to serve and protect the American people and not push Bideninflation higher. That’s the thing about inflation that Biden & Co. are either unwilling or incapable of admitting: While inflation is spread worldwide, it makes virtually everything more expensive for everyday Americans. Americans living on the edge of poverty are now being flung head-first into the abyss while the White House crassly shrugs and gaslights a decrease in the cost of gasoline. Meanwhile, the administration conveniently fails to admit that its policies raised the prices to begin with and that gasoline is still more than a dollar per gallon higher today than when Biden took office. This higher cost means many Americans can’t afford to fill up at the pump in order to get to work, let alone pay for food at the grocery store.

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According to the most recent news release from the BLS, inflation hasn’t hit just one or two price sectors of the economy. In September, the “increases in the shelter, food, and medical care indexes were the largest of many contributors to the monthly seasonally adjusted all items increase.” And “the index for all items less food and energy rose 0.6 percent in September, as it did in August.” The indexes for “motor vehicle insurance, new vehicles, household furnishings and operations, and education were among those that increased” as well.

Today’s economic reality — whether Biden admits it or not — is rising prices, a volatile stock market, stagnant wages, climbing mortgage rates, and a weaker and weaker dollar. The truth is we’re already in a recession and we’re barreling headlong toward a depression fueled by the failed economic policies of the Democratic Party.

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Build Back Better? We don’t buy it, Jack. And we won’t let our friends and family forget how we got here as November 8 rolls around either.

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