The Islamic Republic of Iran and countries linked to Tehran, Lebanon, Yemen and Syria, were classified as some of the world's most miserable nations due to economic mismanagement, corruption, violence, and war, according to a report by a prominent American economist at John Hopkins University in Maryland.
Israel fared well in the report with a ranking of 145 among the nearly 160 countries ranked. The wealthy central European country Switzerland is at the bottom of the misery table (157).
Steve H. Hanke, founder and co-director of the Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise at the Johns Hopkins University, noted in his article on the website of the National Review last week: ”The human condition lies on a vast spectrum between ‘miserable’ and ‘happy.’ In the economic sphere, misery tends to flow from high inflation, steep borrowing costs, and unemployment.”
He added that “the surefire way to mitigate that misery is through economic growth. Comparing countries’ metrics can tell us a lot about where in the world people are sad or happy.”
Hanke’s Annual Misery Index (HAMI) provides “answers,” wrote the economist.
Which countries were classified as miserable?
In Israel’s backyard, the Syrian Arab Republic was ranked as the world’s third most miserable country. Hanke said that “Syria, not surprisingly, is right up at the top of the list of most miserable countries. We should expect a country embroiled in civil war for over twelve years now to be lacking in happiness. The fact that Venezuela and Zimbabwe manage to score worse than Syria without civil wars speaks volumes about their economic mismanagement.”
Zimbabwe is the world’s most miserable country followed by Venezuela—a country that is allied with Iran’s regime. Lebanon was designated as the fourth most miserable country. The Iranian regime’s strategic partner, the Lebanese Hezbollah movement, is widely considered the de facto ruler of Lebanon.
The Iranian theocratic state was listed as the 19th most miserable nation. Banafsheh Zand, an Iranian-American expert on the Islamic Republic, told The Jerusalem Post that “in the case of this index, the lower the ranking, the lower level of welfare of the people of that country, which is an indication of ineptitude and likely corruption within their governments. The only way the Khomeinist regime can prevent this catastrophe from getting even worse is to cease and desist from its nuclear programs and its interference in the region.“
Khomeinism is a reference to the ideas and policies of the former dictator and founder of the Islamic Republic, Ruhollah Khomeini, who served as the country’s first supreme leader. The current Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran is Ali Khamenei.
Zand added that “as the Iranian people's 44-year-long experience shows, the regime whose own leader claimed that economics is for donkeys and economists consider human beings to be animals is not only inept but corrupt, violent and willfully out of touch with the reality of modern equitable governance.
"The Mullahs and their lackeys have no intention of improving things for anyone. In other words, get used to it because it’s the Shia Mafia management style. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, three of the Khomeinist regime proxies, namely, Yemen, Syria and Lebanon, are even worse off! Could this mean that wherever the Mullahs go, they usher in misery with them? The answer is, without a doubt.”
Simon Constable, a fellow for the Johns Hopkins Institute for applied economics, told the Post that Syria, Lebanon and Iran "have all had awful economic policies.” He noted that Iran’s policies “destroyed what wealth it could have had.”
He attributed Iran’s lousy ranking partly to sanctions, water mismanagement and the lack of property rights in the highly repressive country.
Constable stressed the importance of “property rights” for healthy economies and legal guarantees that a “government does not have the right to take it without due process. And that it is much less so in Syria and Iran. They might just take your life for no reason. “
He noted that "Israel has great property rights” like other wealthy countries. Constable said that “high inflation and high unemployment are signs that an economy is not working.”
Turkey was ranked the tenth most miserable country in the world.