Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ah, the good old misery index again

Differentiate Your Business has listed some misery indices from around the world. If you weren't around during the Carter administration, the misery index is a fake statistic in which you add the inflation rate with the unemployment rate. During the 1980 election, Ronald Reagan used the misery index to his advantage. And now Reagan admirer Barack Obama finds that people are talking about it again.

So while the U.S. has a "misery index" of 13, Switzerland has a much lower misery index (3.5), Japan's is only 4.8, Mexico's is 8.37, countries such as Spain and Greece have misery indices above 19 (Greece 19.23, Spain 23.99), and South Africa's misery index stands at 28.9.

The numbers really aren't comparable - you can't necessary say that South Africa is twice as bad as the U.S., and that Japan is almost three times better. But the numbers can be really potent in those countries, including my own, in which elections will soon occur.
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