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We’re Going To Need A New Misery Index

Lately it seems like we’re living a rerun of That 70s Show.  America is suffering through many of the same problems we had during the Carter administration – with some of them on a grander scale.

  • Inflation – check
  • Skyrocketing energy costs – check
  • Contracting job market – check
  • Advancing foreign threats – check
  • Immigration crisis – check
  • Hostage crisis in an Islamic country – DOUBLE CHECK

Is there a pattern emerging?  The president in charge during the 70s was a … liberal democrat.  The president in charge now is a … liberal democrat.  It’s almost as if the socialist ideas of the Democrat party don’t actually work – in spite of their assurances to the contrary.  You’d think the Dems would have learned a thing or two about what works and what doesn’t in the last 40 years or so.  But if you thought that you’d be wrong.  They’re convinced the problem is their messaging not their policies – so we’re going down this road again.

In the late 1970s, things were so bad that we needed a new vocabulary and economic measurements to express just how miserable things were.  Economists prior to the 1960s didn’t think it was even possible to have a stagnant economy and high inflation.  Unfortunately, it didn’t take Jimmy Carter long to prove that theory wrong.  It turns out, it was in fact possible to mismanage the economy so badly that people experienced the double whammy of a bad economy (along with unemployment) and high inflation.  British politician Iain Macleod coined the term “stagflation” to describe the phenomenon.  We may get to change that term to hyper-stagflation under this administration.

But during Carter’s time in office, we needed more than a new label for the problem.  As management guru Peter Drucker used to say, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” So, economist Arthur Okun invented a quantifiable measure for our misery – the misery index.  The misery index is calculated by adding the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate to the inflation rate – and voila, a number to express how miserable Americans were.  We could even plot our misery on a graph.  But unfortunately, measuring our misery didn’t seem to do much to manage our misery – unless the goal was to manage it upwards.

Americans suffered through a rising misery index throughout the Carter administration – peaking at 21.98 near the end of his only term in office.  The misery index under President Carter increased by an average of 2.33 for each year of his presidency.  Compare that to our current misery index.  In his first year in office, President Cockwomble’s (follow the link, it’s perfect) misery index has increased from 7.7 to 11.9.  That’s lower than Carter’s, but it’s an increase of 3.59 in just one year, and puts Biden on track to set an all-time record high – unless he changes course, which he won’t.

At the end of the 70s the American public was suffering from malaise – a general sense that something (actually everything) was very wrong.  Jimmy Carter even gave a speech about it.  In his “Malaise Speech” Carter said that our problems were all solvable, but that we had lost confidence in ourselves.  The implication being that it was all our fault, and we were letting him down.  He was only half right – we had lost confidence all right, but in him, not ourselves.  We corrected that in the election of 1980.

As a result of the “Malaise Speech” Carter has gone done in history as the president that didn’t have faith in Americans.  If politics had participation trophies, he would have earned one.  You see, Jimmy wasn’t uncaring, he was misguided.  He wanted to relieve the suffering of Americans, but his ideas were all wrong.  Nothing he did worked, and much of it made things worse.  He simply wasn’t up to the job.  He never understood that fixing the problems only required unleashing Americans.

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Well, we’re feeling that 70s style malaise again.  But this time it’s a bit different.  President Carter mismanaged problems created largely by outside forces.  Our current fool in the White House broke everything himself.  He was handed a vibrant economy, a secure border, and improving international relationships.  In 1 year, he broke everything for the sole purpose of undoing everything Trump – and now we’re living a rerun of That 70s Show.

We’re all sensing that things have gone awry again (see current right track/wrong track polling), but Biden doesn’t appear to think any of our problems are his problems.  If there is any indication that he’s working on any of the problems noted above, I’m not seeing it.  When he’s not calling a lid at 3:00 for ice cream, he’s working on institutionalizing election fraud, driving inflation up even more with trillions of dollars of deficit spending, and green lighting Putin and Xi Jinping to make their imperialistic ambitions come true.

Unlike the 70s, this time around, a big piece of our malaise is that we’re saddled with a president who simply does not care about the suffering of Americans.  Has there been any instance in which he has shown genuine empathy towards others?  He met with the relatives of the Marines who were killed in Afghanistan and talked about his son.  He attended a 9/11 memorial on the tenth anniversary of that fateful day and complained about people protesting him.  He hasn’t even put the needs of his own children ahead of his own.  Was he tending to the welfare of his son Hunter, when he set him up as the bagman in the family graft for influence business?

None of America’s current problems seem to get a rise out of the man.  But shout “Let’s Go Brandon” and that’ll light him up.  Such insensitivity to the suffering of his own countrymen, and hypersensitivity about his own feelings, says something very disturbing about the man’s character.  He’s either mentally deranged or emotionally stunted.  Either way, we have a man-child, with limited cognitive ability, leading people for whom he has no emotional affection.

Fortunately, we know what to do about our current malaise.  We just need to prevent the Dems from nationalizing election fraud to do it.  Thankfully we’re getting a bit of help with that from the only two sane Democrats left alive.  God truly does move in mysterious ways.

The resemblance between now and the late 1970s is so striking, we need another metric to track how bad things are.  But I think we can use something simpler than a complex calculation using economic indicators.  I think a simple countdown to the day that we Americans get a chance to fix our problems will do.  The metric would be a daily ticker slowly counting down to election 2024 – Let’s call it the Reversing A Past Political Electoral Rip-off (RAPPER) countdown.  We’re currently at day 978.

By John Green

John Green is a political refugee from Minnesota, now residing in Idaho. He currently writes at the American Free News Network and The Blue State Conservative.  He can be followed on Facebook or reached at

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Blue State Conservative. The BSC is not responsible for, and does not verify the accuracy of, any information presented.

This article was first published by the American Free News Network.

Featured image by Diego Torres Silvestre from Sao Paulo, Brazil, CC BY 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons