The Misery Index

I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders. I will be glad and exult in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High (Psalm 9:1-2).

There is an official Misery Index.  

Developed as an economic indicator, the list helps determine how citizens are doing economically. I guess the underlying idea is that misery increases with money worries.

Since Harry Truman, the worst number on the Misery Index occurred when Ronald Reagan took office – 19.33, but at the end of his presidency, it was 9.72.  During the last four presidents – Bush, Obama, Trump, and Biden – the Index has hovered from 7 to 10.  

The Misery Index calculates its numbers using the unemployment rate and the rate of inflation. It assumes that higher unemployment and worsening inflation create misery. 

The Misery Index has gone up in the last year. Though unemployment has come down, inflation has risen. Evidently, the rate of inflation overrules the unemployment rate to determine our misery.

Speaking as Pastor Grant, I’m not letting unemployment or inflation increase my misery. The joy of the Lord overrides economics.

The Index changed how it calculates misery recently. The list now includes inflation, unemployment, interest rates, and GDP (Gross Domestic Product). Also, it now includes other countries. 

The United States is listed on the revised index at 16.7.  

Cuba lists at 15.8, so I’m immediately suspicious of accuracy. I’ve visited Cuba five times, but I will continue to live in Ohio!

In 2020, Zimbabwe topped the Misery Index at 547! Iran scores 92.1, Haiti at 48.9, Mexico at 25.6, New Zealand (supposedly a happy place) at 22.2, and Israel at 14.4. 

Taiwan has the least misery at 3.8 and Guyana seemingly has no misery at -3.3. (I think Guyana should export some of its excess lack of misery to a few people that I know!)

Tomorrow, with Interruption #544, I will provide an assessment test to gauge your misery, and when I write Psalms On Saturday, will list the antidote verses to unhappiness found in the Psalms.

In all countries and at all times, events swirl causing either misery or joy. Your joy does not depend on economic indicators.

An Old Testament prophet gave a prophecy about your misery in 2022…  

The joy of the Lord is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10).

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *