What's the misery index?

Economists love their data because somewhere in the numbers lies the answer to the ills of the country. They also love to frame data in a way people can relate to. Such is the case with the famous "misery index."

Bush to America in 2004: Vote for Me or You Will Surely Perish in a Bombing Attack

You hold arguably the most powerful elected position on the planet, yet most people hate you. Election time is coming up and you're growing concerned that you won't be reelected. Your wife now scoffs at your requests to call you Commander in Chief of the Bedroom. Your Secret Service detail makes no move to stop the increasing number of pedestrians who spit on you as they pass on the sidewalk.