It should come as no surprise that US think tank, The Cato Institutes’ World Misery report, would highlight such “bad apples” as Iran, Russia, Brazil and South Africa in its list of the most miserable places in the world.
Never letting a Russia or BRICS bashing go to waste, this latest flashy propaganda Infograph lures readers into believing that the countries cracking the top ten list are simple uninhabitable waste lands.
Some countries like Palestine and Ukraine are indeed in a state of free fall, because of western neo-liberal “excpetionalism”.
Many western client states are conspicuously missing from the Misery List. I for one am surprised to not see Greece in the tope ten, given its 26% unemployment rate and 7 year economic depression.
The United States should also hold a firm spot in the top ten, after all, you would be hard pressed to find a people more depressed than Americans. What screams depression more, than a country’s addiction to anti-depressants.
Via the US CDC…
More people died from drug overdoses in 2014 than in any year on record. The majority of drug overdose deaths (more than six out of ten) involve an opioid.1 And since 1999, the rate of overdose deaths involving opioids (including prescription opioid pain relievers and heroin) nearly quadrupled.2 From 2000 to 2014 nearly half a million people died from drug overdoses. 78 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.
The problem with The Cato Institute’s report is that is uses a model based on western economics, and refuses to take different economic structure in account. Zerohedge provides some context regarding the report…
Every year, the Cato Institute publishes a list of the world’s most “miserable countries” by using a simple economic formula to calculate the scores. Described as a Misery Index, the tally for each country can be found by adding the unemployment rate, inflation, and lending rate together, and then subtracting the change in real GDP per capita.
According to the think tank, countries with misery scores over 20 are “ripe for reform”. If that’s true, then socialist Venezuela is way overdue.
One Zerohedge commenter breaks down the flaws in the report in this manner…
The misery index formula is based on the assumption that high interest rates are a direct measure of living standards and that the relationship between the two is an inverse relationship. So Russia’s interest rate of 11% drives the Russian misery index higher which mean worse living standard.
Negative interest rates in Europe is actually subtracting from the misery index in the respected countries thereby making the supposedly calculated living standards higher in Europe. So stealing from the man on the street through negative rates is something that supposedly increases the standard of living.
It looks like that formula was created by Ben Bernanke or Janet Yellen.
Another Zerohedge reader comments…
The odd thing is the US should be on top of this list followed closely by Japan yet they are not shows that this project is seriously flawed.
Palestine’s misery is quite known and the reasons are also known and clear .
Brazil , south Africa and Russia are 70% of the bric nations and to include them indicate that Obama’s hand in this stupid project is obvious and shed a light on the political nature of this fake assessment.
Millions of Americans lost their jobs, homes and any kind of savings few years ago and still did not recover, 95 million Americans are not even included of the labor force that’s 50% of the labor force of this nation, I doubt Russia has such a misery index.