April 15, 2004


The Carter years were a boom time. The economy tanked under Reagan. John Kerry has proof!

Of course, Kerry’s Misery Index (released a few days ago) is completely bogus. It's like he wants to lose.

Posted by Tim Blair at April 15, 2004 05:15 PM

Funny, how counter-intuitive. Just look at the graph without the methodology and it's easy to correlate high misery scores with Carter and Clinton. Um, but a high score is supposed to be GOOD... I think.

Posted by: equitus at April 15, 2004 at 05:38 PM

The more I hear about Kerry, the more he scares me. No..no..no...not scare...what's the word?


Posted by: Quentin George at April 15, 2004 at 08:37 PM

The article does not mention if Kerry conceived this insightful index while being courageously wounded three times in Vietnam.

Posted by: perfectsense at April 15, 2004 at 09:04 PM

What in the name of Hand-Wringin' Oprah is a "Misery Index" for fucksake?

Apparently the "Middle-class Misery Index Worsened 13 Points In the Last Three Years"

Mebbee I'm confused, but if an index of misery gets "worse", does this mean things are... improving?

Or is it a negative-double-negative, so that things are going to hell twice as fast as they were going to hell prviously? Is that what he means?

Like we are actually accelerating into misery?

Holy crap, just think how depressed we are supposed to be is depressing. I think...

Posted by: Endgame at April 15, 2004 at 10:12 PM

Yeah, but it's LEFTY counterintuitiveness, and as we all know they LOVE humanity amd are NEVER wrong - they're THERAPEUTIC lies....

Never mind that they CAUSED the misery!

Posted by: Joe at April 15, 2004 at 11:25 PM

Hey, maybe Kerry can go our Labor Party and get a copy of "Knowledge Nation" that wonderful spaghetti diagram that showed how important it was to give millions to actors for putting on crap plays whinging about how terrible our country is.

Posted by: Toryhere at April 15, 2004 at 11:43 PM

Actually, I'd think it best if Kerry were proclaimed Penguin King in Antarctica, and lived at the South Pole in an igloo.

Posted by: JeffS at April 16, 2004 at 12:51 AM

According to the misery index, the Carter years were the highpoint, errr, low point of misery. How stupid does he think people are? Not even the party loyalists would buy this and they're not the ones he's trying to woo here.

What about interest rates, life expectancy, or the number of friggin' channels you get on cable? Nooooo, only "bad" news makes the cut.

The Kerry campaign is making the same mistake made as every democratic campaign of the last thirty years (except maybe Clinton). That is, Americans don't like to be told how miserable they are or scolded that if they are not miserable, well dammit they should be or if you are not miserble, well dammit other people are and you should are partly repsonsbile. Tell them how great and strong and resourceful and engergetic they are and together we will make America better, not less "miserable." Dumbass.

Posted by: peter at April 16, 2004 at 12:59 AM

First rule of sales: KISS

Keep It Simple Stupid

John Kerry's Misery Index is perfectly gauged to show us plebes how oh-so-very-smart-and-clever he really, really is. It's not so perfectly gauged to, oh I don't know, SELL HIS CANDIDACY. Of course, it only makes sense since Kerry's never had to sell a thing in his life, except some paintings and Italian vacation homes.

Posted by: Tongue Boy at April 16, 2004 at 01:03 AM

The Misery Index. Ah yes, you can prove anything you want to if you start with the right indicators. Remember the MDP a few weeks ago ? The one that said 1976 was the best year in the UK ? Same thing. Don't understand html so instead of a direct link can I recommend my blog for a light fisking of the MDP ?

Posted by: Tim Worstall at April 16, 2004 at 01:39 AM

My god, I can remember the horrifying Carter years. The Malaise, the stupid look of the man as he scolded us for not being, or being, too sad or happy or whatever, the Iran-hostage horror, the whole utter crappiness of those crapulous years of crapitude.

Man, Reagan was like a huge tornado of fresh air, sending that clown back to Georgia. Too bad he wouldn't stay there.

Billy-Jeff had the right idea--make everyone in America think, hey, let's party, especially compared to Bob Dole, who seemed too grumpy to do anything positive--until he did those impotence ads with Britney...The horror.

Posted by: ushie at April 16, 2004 at 03:11 AM

Looking down the page a bit, I saw "Under George Bush the gas tax has gone up by $24 billion." Kerry seems to have trouble distinguishing a rise in taxes from a rise in prices.

Ugh, everything on this site is similarly misrepresented. Nevermind.

Posted by: Gel at April 16, 2004 at 03:52 AM

By "this site" I mean http://johnkerry.com, not http://timblair.spleenville.com/. Sorry for any confusion -- that was the site I was looking at whilst writing the post.

Posted by: Gel at April 16, 2004 at 03:53 AM


Thank God somebody else remembers the Carter years. My jaw drops whenever I hear someone over 40 talk about how "horrible" things are today, especially the economy and gas prices. No recollection of double-digit inflation/interest rates/unemployment, no recollection of gas lines, etc etc etc.

You forgot one thing, though - the Susan B. Anthony dollar, a.k.a. the "Carter quarter" - looked like a quarter, and by the time he was done, that's about what is was worth.

Posted by: Dave S. at April 16, 2004 at 04:27 AM

Kerry and Bush are spouting pretty much the same policies, so it doesn't make much difference which one of them is elected.

Posted by: Mark at April 16, 2004 at 05:27 AM

Yo, Mark, what planet are you from?

Their policies *may* be similar (which I question, but let that pass for now), but their leadership styles, records, and approaches to problem solving are way different. The only way you can really compare them is in results.

Bush is, hmmmmm, not perfect, but I'd rather have a reliable person with intelligence than a Class A loser like Kerry who changes his mind at the flip of a coin and twists facts (some would say "lie") simply to win.

This "Misery Index" is an example of that. Kerry doesn't like the figures issued by the government (and have been for years), so he creates a new metric that makes no sense? Just to swing the young people to him?

Think again, would you?

Posted by: JeffS at April 16, 2004 at 08:19 AM


That's the whole problem. Kerry goes from agreeing with Bush on a policy, to complete disagreement -- sometimes in under 24 hours.

With as many sides to what Kerry says, it'd be harder to find stuff that they do consistently disagree on.

Posted by: david at April 16, 2004 at 02:54 PM