Diary

Obama fearmongering and the Misery Index

According to Hannity’s count, Obama used the words “crisis” or “catastrophe” no less than 24 times during his mortgage crisis speech today here in Arizona. And we’ve all heard “the worst economy since the Great Depression” enough times to go “postal” if we hear it one more time! (My apologies to you faithful postal workers here!).
Thanks to www.miseryindex.us, it takes only a few seconds to easily refute Obama’s fearmongering. A simple look at a plot of the Misery Index (unemployment + inflation) for 1948 through the end of 2008 makes it clear that this is all folly (click on plot to access image file):

The current Misery Index is substantially lower than it was during the recessions of the 70’s and early 80’s.
Now, if you argue that the Misery Index doesn’t tell the full story due to the currently low inflation rates, you can also look at the historical unemployment trends:

You can see the recent spike in unemployment. But it is clear that this is not a unique event, and that we are still lower than the peaks of the 70’s and 80’s. Also, notice that there is an unemployment spike, almost like clockwork, every 4-6 years. The only exceptions to this are in the late 60’s (Vietnam), the mid-80’s (Reagan’s tax cuts), and the mid-90’s (tech boom).
I haven’t put the plot together, but one could easily do the same thing with GDP growth and show the same conclusion.
I am an engineer, not an economist. But an engineer’s view of this data clearly indicates NOTHING remarkable about the current situation. Certainly nothing worthy of being called a “crisis”. All of this is based on government data that is easily obtained and reported in the MSM regularly. Any reporter without an agenda could easily look at this data and look at Obama’s rhetoric more skeptically. So clearly, not that it’s any surprise to anyone here at Redstate, the media agenda is overriding any essence of truth.