Top Leaderboard, Site wide
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
July 23, 2017 Disclaimer: Please read.

Statements and opinions expressed in articles are those of the authors, not Truthdig. Truthdig takes no responsibility for such statements or opinions.

Kaboom Town

The Unwomanly Face of War
The Life of Caliph Washington

Truthdig Bazaar more items

Ear to the Ground
Email this item Print this item

Bush Oversees Unemployment and Misery

Posted on Sep 5, 2008
Misery Index

The so-called misery index is both a “deathgrind” band from Baltimore and a measure of troubling economic times.

George W. Bush and his father share more than a last name. Reports show that August’s unemployment rate increased past the level initially forecast, rising to 6.1 percent. But even more disturbing is the fact that the misery index—unemployment aggregated with inflation—also soared to its highest level since 1991, when George H.W. Bush was in office.


The U.S. lost more jobs than forecast in August and the unemployment rate climbed to a five-year high of 6.1 percent, a sign that the economic slowdown is worsening two months before Americans elect their next president.

Payrolls fell by 84,000 in August, and revisions added another 58,000 to job losses for the prior two months, the Labor Department said today in Washington. The increase in the jobless rate sent the misery index, which adds unemployment to inflation, to 11.7 percent, the highest level since 1991.

Treasuries gained as some traders bet the Federal Reserve’s next move will be to cut interest rates, rather than raise them, and stocks sank. Today’s figures increase the risk that President George W. Bush will become the first president since Richard Nixon to oversee two recessions, and may hurt fellow Republican John McCain’s campaign to succeed him.

Read more

New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

Join the conversation

Load Comments

By KDelphi, September 6, 2008 at 3:52 pm Link to this comment

The mistakes that Bush has made will linger long past the rest of our lifetimes. We may never fully recover.And, maybe we shouldnt. I dont think the rest of the world is “looking for uS leadership” anymore.

Report this

By hippy pam, September 6, 2008 at 3:44 pm Link to this comment

58-57-56-55-54-HEY…Mr. ex-pres. “BULLSH*T”....YOU ARE GOING DOWN THE SEWER FASTER AND FASTER…It won’t be long til you’ll be gone and we WON’T have to listen to your sh*t any more!!!!!!And you won’t be able to “f*ck stuff up” any more either!!!!!!

Report this

By KMarx, September 6, 2008 at 9:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


The GDP did not rise 3.3%. This is an artifact. The GDP is supposed to report only the value of all goods and services created in the US. Unfortunately this crooked government includes those goods and services that were offshored. Anything offshored is part of the other countries’ GDP, not ours! The government does its phony math to make things like GDP and Productivity seem better than they are! If you were up on things you would have read and seen this information in Business Week and on TV last year.

There are many people who were born into nice families that are unemployed, dispossessed or bankrupt through no fault of their own.

BTW: It’s Anchors Aweigh, not Anchors Away!

Report this

By KDelphi, September 6, 2008 at 8:48 am Link to this comment

Call it whatever you like. (I know the talking heads and Wall St. think that, if you just PRETEND an economic collapse is not happening, it might not! You know the wingnut theory—“If people THINK that economic times are hard, they will become frightenend and not buy crap, take their savings out of banks/stocks etc. and then, there WILL be a recession, thatnks to the goddamn liberal media who predicted it!.” The economic indicators dont say that at all! And, around here—well, just me, flor instance. (I’m really pretty poor)I cannot buy any clothes. I have cut back food to alot of starches (dont like meat much anyway)but do [produce—cant do it). I cannot turn the old a/c on, even though on days when my kidneys are not functioning so well, the dr. says I should have it on. I dont drive anywhere (except to dr. or necessary) in the car that my sister gave me.I dont pay for the internet—it is a gift also. I cut my hair at home, take cold showers, and never have a glass of wine at night (I used to), BUT, many are far worse off, and they are just doing without food, shelter, plumbing, electricity, and , many are just dying. This is the great “ownership society”—there is no commonwealth, and, everytine you walk out the door, you must spend money. Hell, inOhio, we’re so broke (from Gov. Bob Taft and Bov Ney) that they have to charge you to get into public parks now! The “ownership society”—hurry up and fricking die, for christ’s sake! But dont let me catch you trying—you’ll go to jail for trying to commit suicide. While Frist DeLay et al were SO concerned over that brain dead poor girl in Fla. (I DO feel bad for her, that so many ididotic people got involved in her death), they offer to a malnourished child in a blue state city—screw you!! The Terry’s family had money and were Zionists. The poor inner city child’s family were not.Those fertlized eggs that must be “respected and burned” rather than used for stem cell research. $1 billion to Georgia, but $3m to NO latest flood—they need $60 m. The public is being asked for donations. Nobody asked the public if they wanted to give $1b to Georgian for military aid (which, by the way, is illagel), which will only foment war with the Russians. On and on.

Report this

By Fadel Abdallah, September 5, 2008 at 9:29 pm Link to this comment

So, what’s new under the sun that sober observers didn’t know for a long time?!

However, unemployment and misery do pale in comparison with the tragic fact that with Bush we were all forced to have so much innocent blood on our hands!

Report this

By KDelphi, September 5, 2008 at 2:36 pm Link to this comment

I’m not sure wht your definitions are.(I know that ehre are govt ones, but hte vast diff. between different parts of hte country may make it nil) If your point is that the economic state was induced intentionaly. I would agree. Or at least the benign neglect of laissez-faire capitalism.

Report this

By NinoBaldino, September 5, 2008 at 2:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Back in 1828 the North with Danial Webster pushed for high tariffs..the South was ready to leave then they were always more England then New England…high tariffs mean lower taxes for we serfs and better competition for our highly taxed american workers products.NAFTA had destroyed all of that..slave labor goods have ruined our made in america products ,companies have moved over seas to make cars etc using more slave labor…and on and on it goes..thats what globalism is ...America becomes a third world nation..pardon me while I go and get my bike to go shopping..its raining,snowing etc outside but I want to be part of the green team..hooray…....we love you big brother…

Report this

By dale Headley, September 5, 2008 at 11:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Let’s get this straight: this is early in the downward plunge into economic chaos that is coming.  This is not a recession. It is not even a depression.  This is an economic catastrophe in the making; and nothing is likely to stop it as long as the nation is focused on making war on weak, helpless, countries for the sake of empire and military glory.  Every failed empire in history began its slide by putting all its resources into war.  We will be no different.

Report this

By KDelphi, September 5, 2008 at 10:11 am Link to this comment

Truly it is. I could have told you this, though, as the Rust Belt has been there for some time.I am NOT glad that the rest of the country, adn the upper middle classes are “catching up”. I dont wish misery on anyone. But it does seem to have to hit closer to the top before anyone gives a damn. I dont think most people dont care (Bush et al excluded)—they just do not realize! Not to be an opportunist, but , Obama was addressing some of these stats on tv today, in Pa. , I think (it was in the background)This is very wise. The people most affected by this depression , can only be snatched away by neo-cons if liberals offer them nothing.I kept listening and thinking,“Please be more specific”. Health care (single payer), unemployment, unions, social services (NOT “faith based charities”), etc. can win the votes of the working class. It has been done in the past. Obama is good to quote Bill Clinton in Penn.—that is just a fact.He would do better to quote ( and follow) FDR a little closer and Ronald Reagan, a whole LOT less.

Report this

By lodipete, September 5, 2008 at 10:09 am Link to this comment

But,but,sob,sob, GDP rose by 3.3%. Doesn’t that count for anything?Besides, according to Phil Gramm &my;other economic Gurus over at, there is no recession. If all those people are unemployed,disposessed or bankrupt, it’s because they made bad choices. They should have followed my example and been born to a nice family. well, as my fellow marines say, “Anchors Aweigh”(wish those boys could spell, it’s away, not aweigh).
                G Dubya Bush
  Don’t mess with Texis

Report this
Right Top, Site wide - Care2
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
Right Internal Skyscraper, Site wide

Like Truthdig on Facebook