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Introducing the New International Misery Index

Our compatriot Steve Hanke, a Johns Hopkins University economist, has prepared an expansion of the old Misery Index of the 1970s (inflation plus unemployment).

Hanke’s Index includes measures like government debt and covers 157 countries and catalogs the disasters that bad economic policy brings to any nation that tries it.

He concludes that Zimbabwe, Venezuela, Syria, Lebanon, Sudan, Argentina, Yemen, Ukraine, Cuba, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Haiti, Angola, Tonga, and Ghana comprise the 15 most miserable countries in the world.

On the other hand, Switzerland has the best score in the world on Hanke’s index of good economic indicators. It enshrined an enforceable “debt brake” into its constitution 20 years ago, and central government debt has fallen to 19 percent since then, down from 30 percent.

Other nations with a low misery score during 2022 are Kuwait, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan, Niger, Thailand, Togo, and Malta.

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