It’s the worst of tax bills, it’s the best of tax bills. According to polls, most Americans are not buying the Republican claims that the bill is the greatest thing since sliced bread. But how will we know?

Given the wildly conflicting claims, there is more need than ever for an index which will tell us the truth about whether the tax bill will, in the short- or long run be good or bad for the majority of Americans.

Not the DOW, obviously, that most prominent index. A good day on the DOW has about has much actual connection to the economic well being of the 99% as the Patriot’s Super Bowl victory. The DOW has been going up on average, with occasional downward blips, for the whole 45 years in which average income and other measures have either flatlined or gone down. It may in fact, contrary to “trickle-down” thinking, have an inverse relationship to general wellbeing.

What we need is a DOW for the rest of us—call it the Index of General Welfare (IGW or something catchier). It would include such indices as inflation-adjusted income, poverty level, minimum wage, unemployment, job satisfaction, home ownership.

The IGW would of course have to include healthcare, a huge expense for most people. An Obamacare replacement along the lines of those pushed by the GOP which would throw tens of millions off insurance would surely push the IGW down.

An IGW should be displayed prominently in newspapers and TV news shows, right next to the DOW, to keep before our eyes the reality of how well we’re doing.

Anybody out there with some actual knowledge who can put together an index?

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