BusinessWeek asks, assuming that we keep sliding down into an official recession, where are the best places to live? They’ve pulled data from PolicyMap.com and the U.S. Census to make some educated guesses about local economies that will be least damaged by a large-scale downturn. They reason that no matter how the national economy fares, there will always be government jobs and a need for health care; higher education institutes provide a cushion for local economies, too.
Ah, Consumer Behavior. Forbes took a look at the CDC’s 2007 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey (BRFSS) and ranked 33 cities based on their resident’s answers to three survey questions:
Losing a job is bad enough, but your unemployment benefits can vary wildly depending on where you live. The L.A. Times compared unemployment benefits to the cost of living and picked the twenty best and worst cities to be unemployed.
Unless you’re willing to risk being stranded with 14 other passengers several stories underground in a cattle car elevator on a hot summer day, or plunging at extreme speeds down an escalator with a broken chain, you might want to steer clear of NYC’s subway system lifts. The New York Times has published the results of an extensive investigation that includes tales of daily breakdowns, comically undertrained mechanics, and about $1 billion spent over the past decade.
Did you know there was an index to measure misery?
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.
How do you get your landlord to require the upstairs neighbors to put down carpets? A lawyer who “has practiced in the landlord-tenant arena for more than two decades” has been answering these sorts of questions on the New York Times’ “City Room” blog. The advice he gives, while helpful and specific, is mostly based on what we imagine are NYC-specific problems and cites New York statutes, but it still might be helpful for renters elsewhere with similar problems.
Do you love big city livin’, but you’re tired of spending 65% of your monthly salary on a 45-year-old studio apartment with a bathroom that feels like it was transplanted from an RV? (Yeah, we’re talking about NYC.) BusinessWeek lists the results of a recent survey of rental prices in cities with populations larger than one million. The best deal is (drum roll): Oklahoma City, with an average rent of $520 a month!
We tallied the average costs of some key elements of a first date: alcohol (specifically, a 1.5 liter bottle of Livingston Cellars, Gallo Chablis or Chenin Blanc wine), food (a 11- to 12-inch pizza from Pizza Hut), entertainment (an evening movie ticket), grooming (a barbershop visit), suiting up (a dry-cleaning bill) and transportation (price per gallon of gasoline). All categories were weighted equally (though price differences in barbershop visits and dry cleaning tended to be greater than those in gas and pizza). Finally–call us old-fashioned–we assumed that the guy pays, hence the barbershop visit instead of a trip to the beauty salon.
Gallo and Pizza Hut? Awesome. We guess that saves money by ensuring that there will not be a second date.
Last year, the company introduced trans fat-free cranberry bliss bars nationwide “but we didn’t let people know that.”