Providence 10th worst? You've got to be kidding

Over at Anchor, Marc seems to have been first with the news that Forbes is calling Providence the 10th most miserable city in the United States.

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.

There 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.

Back to Marc's post:

Here is the top Ten:

  1. Detroit, MI
  2. Stockton, CA
  3. Flint, MI
  4. New York, NY
  5. Philadelphia, PA
  6. Chicago, IL
  7. Los Angeles, CA
  8. Modesto, CA
  9. Charlotte, NC
  10. Providence, RI

This Forbes' compilation is utterly stupid. Yes, Rhode Island has dire challenges, and Providence suffers from terrible poverty, among other problems. Yet to call Providence, as well as New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Charlotte, among America's most miserable cities is ridiculous.

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