Economics and Investing:

Michael Z. Williamson (SurvivalBlog’s Editor at Large) mentioned this chart: The U.S. Misery Index, showing unemployment and inflation. Note that the numbers for the last 16 years are artificially low, because the back room boys have been monkeying with the inflation statistics. (They have been made artificially low, by the advent of hedonic adjustments.)

Reader RJK wrote: “Jefferson County, Alabama will be bankrupt by July of 2011 and the bankruptcy will exceed that of Orange County, California.  The county is going bankrupt because the county commissioner engaged in [derivative] interest rate swaps that exceeded the level of debt. He and the investment advisors are now known by inmate numbers.”

Several readers sent this: Inflation, using the reporting methodologies in place before 1980, hit an annual rate of 9.6 percent in February, according to the Shadow Government Statistics newsletter.

Pierre M. spotted this: Budget tricks helped Obama save programs from cuts.

Items from The Economatrix:

Consumers Buy More Retail Goods in March

Job Openings Rise to Highest Point Since September ’08

IMF Warns US to Make “Down Payment” on Massive Deficit

Japan Downgrades Its Economy