Personalize your own misery index

Economists have a mythical figure called the misery index. It is the total of the unemployment rate added to the inflation rate. This summer in the U.S. it’s running about 13.0. The lower the better. In both the 90’s and ‘0’s it’s been as low as 7. To calculate indexes like this, the conclusion can [...]

Debt plan would tamp down COLA

Military retirees, Social Security recipients and others drawing federal payments were tempted to grumble at Congress or the White House when the past two Januarys brought no cost-of-living adjustment. The real culprits were a deeply distressed economy, which drove prices down, and a logical process, set up 40 years ago, to track inflation and adjust [...]

Past year shows backslide in fight for freedoms

Editorial If there was a stock-market-like ticker that tracked the trajectory of freedom in 2006 — let’s just call it the “Freedom Index” — it would have been an off year. At home and abroad, personal political liberty, free markets, limited government and other quintessentially American values suffered setbacks, with a few notable exceptions. Here’s [...]