Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Best Cities in America? Hardly.

We are told that the folks over at Bloomberg Businessweek "spent months working with data" in their quest to identify the best cities in the United States. But the information they used (they called it "positive metrics") vs what extremely pertinent information they ignored altogether ended up making Businessweek's list of best cities almost laughable.

For instance, the group considered the presence of restaurants, bars and pro sports teams (even celebrity presence) of particular importance while inexplicably downgrading such traditional quality of life points as cost of living, climate, transportation, and crime. Tax rates and the freedom of citizens from government harassment didn't figure in their considerations at all.

The result was a bizarre list indeed, one which was unusual enough to make Yahoo's news headlines. But heaven forbid anyone considering a change of domicile to take the list seriously.

I mean, Washington, D.C. as one of the best 10 cities in the country? Yeah, just ignore those minor details like climate, a horrific crime rate, lousy schools, and the regular ensnarement of both traffic and overactive bureaucrats.

And its suburb Arlington, Virginia? It makes the list too because, after all, "The area is highly educated, with more than two-thirds of the population holding a college degree." Hmm. For some reason, Businessweek is very impressed with this factor. That was what helped put Scottsdale, Arizona (despite its proximity to Phoenix and its astronomical rate of foreclosures) and the cities of Irvine, San Diego and San Francisco, California (despite their bending under the weight of California's corrupt and inefficient Nanny State government) on the list.

Other cities that made the list that clearly wouldn't have if traditional, common sense factors had been evaluated were Pittsburgh, New York and Oakland.

Lincoln and Omaha, by the way, landed at #22 and #34, respectively.