Monday, February 11, 2008

Philadelphia: America's 5th Most Miserable City

Only fifth? That's pretty piss-poor. I figured my hometown would at least garner a top three position. Shame on all of you!

Misery is defined as a state of great unhappiness and emotional distress. The economic indicator most often used to measure misery is the Misery Index. The index, created by economist Arthur Okun, adds the unemployment rate to the inflation rate. It has been in the narrow 7-to-9 range for most of the past decade, but was over 20 during the late 1970s.

here also exists a Misery Score, which is the sum of corporate, personal, employer and sales taxes in different countries. France took the top spot (or perhaps bottom is more appropriate) with a score of 166.8, thanks to a top rate of 51% on personal incomes and 45% for employer Social Security. (H/T - Forbes)

No. 5 Philadelphia, Pa. Rank
Commute times 132
Income tax rates 102
Superfund sites 135
Unemployment 81
Violent crimes 134
Weather 64

Misery Measure 648

How miserable is Philly? The residents of the City of Brotherly Love once booed Santa Claus and pelted him with snowballs at an Eagles game. Maybe it's the long commutes, violent crime and plethora of toxic waste sites that has people grumpy. Philadelphia scored in the top 20 in all three areas.

Ranks are based on the 150 largest metro areas.

Okay, the booing Santa Claus thing is really getting old. It was exactly forty years ago! As for the other points, Forbes is dead-on (pun intended). Philadelphia is a cesspool filled with gun-toting thugs, corrupt politicians, union goons, and perennially terrible sports teams. Frankly, it sucks here.

(And by "here," I mean within the city limits. Tomorrow, the idiots in the local media will stick up for Philly's culture, people, etc, even though 98% of them live in the suburbs. Hypocrites!)

I know what you're thinking: "Well, Wyatt, if it sucks there, why do you stay?" That's easy: I'm a sadist. Well, that, and because Philadelphia doesn't let city employees live outside the city limits - unless you're a police commissioner named Sylvester Johnson, that is. So, until I strike it rich blogging - fat chance - or get a book deal - fatter chance - I am stuck here for the long haul.

Misery loves company.

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