– Current Blog Posts: Inflation & Unemployment

This note is all about economic misery – or economic bliss – depending on your situation. When Jimmy Carter was running for President of the U.S. in 1976 he coined the term, Misery Index”. The misery index was defined to be equal to the sum of the inflation rate and the unemployment rate. He defined this index because he noticed that inflation and unemployment were higher in 1976 than they were in 1972. Because high inflation and/or high unemployment are indicators of a poorly performing economy, Carter thought it would be useful and colorful to create one indicator that showed a double-failure of the Nixon/Ford administration. This helped Carter once, but unfortunately he prevailed over an even higher index that came back to haunt him in his failed bid for reelection against Ronald Reagan.