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Out Cartering Carter

I remember the Presidency of James Earl "Dhimmi" Carter.  Those memories are not fond.

While the most visceral of those memories remain the Iranian kidnapping of our Embassy personnel (an act of war) and the disaster that was Desert One (Carter's rescue operation run from the White House Situation Room), I also remember the Misery Index.

For those who don't remember it, the Misery Index was the sum of inflation (as measured by the CPI as calculated then) and unemployment (again, as measured then) rates.  The record was 21.98 in June of 1980.

Notice the past tense?

Using the same metrics as were used in 1980 the current Misery Index is in excess of 25.

Shadow Stat Misery Index Highest on Record

John Williams, over at Shadow Stats, compiles economic data for inflation and unemployment the way it used to be calculated pre-1990. Based on that data, the CPI inflation rate is over 10%, and the unemployment rate is over 15% (see charts). The Misery Index is the sum of the current inflation rate and the unemployment rate.  If it were to be calculated using the older methods, the Index would now be over 25, a record high. It surpasses the old index high of 21.98, which occurred in June 1980, when Jimmy Carter was president. Most believe the height of the Index along with the Iranian hostage crisis is what caused Carter to lose his re-election bid.

Using current calculation methods, April unemployment came in at 9.0% and the annualized April CPI number came in at 4.8%, for a Misery Index reading of 13.8.

The last time the Index came in with a higher reading with this index reading was in March 1983, with a reading of 13.90.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.


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Comments (10)

Yes, misery indeed. This c... (Below threshold)

Yes, misery indeed. This country should swear off affirmative action after this. Come on 2012--- fix this stupid!

Notice also that the govern... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Notice also that the government keeps redefining the way these numbers are calculated in order to keep the numbers down.

Inflation is not a problem because they keep dropping out goods that would make the index go up. Unemployment is still under 10% because they keep reducing the job force and redefining who they consider to be looking for a job.

If it keeps up they will have a hard time retaining the White House no matter what imbecile the GOP nominates (and unfortunately, the GOP seems to be on the road to nominating an imbecile).

"(and unfortunately, the GO... (Below threshold)

"(and unfortunately, the GOP seems to be on the road to nominating an imbecile)"

Yep.. They just cannot see outside the bubble. Apparently the feel that Obama is so bad they can run another carbon copy of Mc Cain and get it handed to them.

Stuck on stupid is an equal opprtunity employer.

The bad economy in 1980 was... (Below threshold)

The bad economy in 1980 was not Carter's fault. The President only has limited impact on the economy.

The bad economy today is not Obama's fault. The President only has limited impact on the economy.

The bad economy then and now is all Bush's fault. The President has total control of ever aspect of the economy. Bush screwed it up so much that the bad economy went back in time and ruined the economy for Jimmy Carter.


Just goes to show that liar... (Below threshold)

Just goes to show that liars can figure, and figures can lie.

GarandFan,Or as Cl... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves Author Profile Page:


Or as Clemens put it: "Lies, damn lies, and statistics."

Carter gave us the triple d... (Below threshold)

Carter gave us the triple double. Inflation, unemployment and interest rates. Obama is very close to breaking that record. Tick, tick, tick. ww

"Obama is very close to br... (Below threshold)

"Obama is very close to breaking that record. Tick, tick, tick. ww"

Barry will make it a quadruple headed Hydra by adding 'ObamaCare'!

Anything Carter can do, Barry can do better.

Maybe He will fish Goatboy's carcass out for a November surprise?

Well, at least we don't hav... (Below threshold)
Tsar Nicholas II:

Well, at least we don't have half-mile long lines for gasoline . . . yet.

"Well, at least we don't ha... (Below threshold)

"Well, at least we don't have half-mile long lines for gasoline . . . yet."

Might be because the unemployed can't afford it thanks to the falling dollar.






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