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—Misery Seeks Company

Yale professor, Arthur Okun created the Misery Index for academics, business leaders, policymakers, and investors alike to gauge the perceived present pulse of the economy. Particularly, how the American public at large is feeling about their current state. The Misery Index is the total of both the inflation and unemployment rate. The higher the number, the more “misery.” Since the end of WWII, there have been 11 recessions (gray areas). Three presidents during this time frame failed in their attempts to reelected. During Bill Clinton’s ’92 reelection campaign, the phrase, “It’s the economy, stupid,” was the mantra. When Ford, Carter, and Bush failed in their efforts, the Misery Index was between 10% to 17%; today, the index is 5.4%. Low inflation and Americans working makes for a festive holiday season.