Posts filed under “Taxes and Policy”

Hedonically-Adjusted, Well-Spun, Nominal Misery Index

Numerous pundits have taken to claiming that the Misery Index — a combination of Inflation measures and Unemployment — is still relatively low when compared with the 1970s.

They are full of shit. I have to call shenanigans on that foolishness. The way Inflation and Unemployment are measured today versus 30 years prior makes this an apples & oranges comparison. Merely showing 2008 versus 1973 is  nonsense (see the chart of the misery index, below via the WSJ).

Why? If we were measuring Inflation & Unemployment the way we did in the 1970s, we would see unemployment much closer to U6 Unemployment levels of 9.7% (versus the popularized headline inflation level, U3 now at 5.5%); the inflation measures would see an greater differential — CPI might be closer to 10+.

That would put the Misery Index somewhere between 17 and 21 — pretty close to the 1970s highs.

(If any of you chart wizards can figure out how to create a more accurate Misery Index, please tag me. I figure we can use U6 for Unemployment, but I am not sure where to get more accurate data history for CPI)


Miserable Index:

Chart courtesy of WSJ


Compare the above chart above with the two below:

Inflation, Pre-1983 Measures

Unemployment, Various Measures


courtesy of Harpers


Recession Fears Reignited
WSJ, June 7, 2008; Page A1

Category: Employment, Inflation, Politics, Taxes and Policy

Pete Peterson on Charlie Rose

Category: Economy, Taxes and Policy

Corporate vs Personal Income Taxes

Category: Corporate Management, Dividends, Taxes and Policy

The Costanza Energy Policy: 25 Ways to Drive Oil to $150

Category: Energy, Politics, Taxes and Policy

States and Cities Impact On GDP

Category: Data Analysis, Economy, Taxes and Policy, Wages & Income

State Gas Taxes

Category: Energy, Taxes and Policy

Quote of the Day: US Energy Policy

Category: Energy, Taxes and Policy

Untapped Resources?

Category: Energy, Taxes and Policy

Another good Friday on CNBC — excellent guests, discussing real issues, and in great detail.

Like the interview two weeks ago with David Einhorn and William Ackman, this shows how good finacial television can be when a smart guest discusses weighty topics with sufficient time to go into details beyond bumper sticker.

I don’t know much about David Walker, but I was very impressed with him. Here’s info on the Peterson Foundation.

I don’t think the videos have as much Walker as they did on TV . . . 


Private Equity With Pete Peterson
click for video

Discussing the state of private equity, with Pete Peterson, The
Blackstone Group chairman/co-founder and David Walker former U.S.


Wall Street Star
click for video

Perspectives on the economy, with Pete Peterson, The Blackstone
Group chairman/co-founder and David Walker former U.S. Comptroller



Video: David Einhorn, Greenlight Capital, William Ackman, Pershing Square Capital

Category: Economy, Energy, Taxes and Policy, Video

Currency for the Blind

Category: Currency, Economy, Taxes and Policy