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How the Misery Index Works

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Author's Note: How the Misery Index Works

I'm old enough to remember the 70s very well. What I remember is a lot of long feathered hair, big old rusty cars, hand-me-down bell-bottoms, super-wide collars and a general atmosphere of DIY scrappiness. But what I don't recall is any overall sense of misery. When the 80s came, suddenly the cars were smaller and shinier, everybody's hair was shorter, collars were narrow, pant-legs tapered and people bought stuff new instead of making it themselves. Were we better off? I'm not so sure.

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