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Peace and Prosperity

America’s Big Move on the Bloomberg Misery Index


America is moving up the ranks of the Bloomberg Misery Index, an index in which being number one means being the worst. Last year, America came in 50th. This year, America jumped to 25th among 60 economies compared based on their estimated price growth and joblessness, both of which are seen as big economic contributors to misery.

In a Thursday Bloomberg article about the new index results for this year, Catarina Saraiva and Michelle Jamrisko write, “The U.S. is projected to see the worst reversal of fortune this year in a ranking of global economic misery, underscoring just how much havoc the [coronavirus] pandemic has wrought.”

Come again? Doesn’t this explanation miss the elephant in the room?

Sure, a virus that harms people can be expected to negatively affect the economy, and likely much more so when, as with coronavirus, many people in media and government fearmonger so an exaggerated sense of the danger from the virus develops.

But, a great contributor to economic misery in America this year is unmentioned in the article — the crackdowns on liberty, including the liberty to engage in commerce and travel, that have been undertaken in America by governments at the national, state, and local levels in the name of countering coronavirus. And these devastating crackdowns were imposed when the economy was already on shaky ground from many previous interferences in commerce.

It is hard to have a vibrant economy when governments for months on end shut down and throttle much of ordinary economic activity and free movement. Politicians — not just a virus — deserve blame for the increased economic misery in America.
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