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One blogger to another, I have to give it to Carlos Slim. His blog did a great job compiling three study reports.

World Happiness

A UN (eh, shoe fits) outfit surveyed the happiest countries on Earth. Norway was number one. The U.S. is the 14th happiest country – not bad out of 155. The Central African Republic came in dead last. Original survey info. HERE.

Hard Living, USA

The Times created a cool interactive map of most U.S. counties and a rating system based on good to bad conditions. Those conditions: income, education, employment, disability, life expectancy, and obesity. Even in the better counties one will notice the obesity factor is a little high. And that’s “obesity” which is beyond merely overweight and out of shape.

Best (and Worst) Places to Grow Up (U.S.)

Finally, they have another actionable map based on possibility of upward mobility within the assorted counties (where data was available). And I love how they initially center it on the center of the known universe, NYC.

Anyway, one can measure the disparity of earning power over most of the country, by percentile groups. “50th” should approximate the middle class; “75th” the upper-middle, and; “99th” the very wealthy or well off. Location seems to mean something.

Fascinating stuff, all of it. I do wish someone would interpret the cigar shop/gun shop/pretty girls/fitness center/lack of government metrics a little better. Utopia is out there somewhere, even if somewhere is in a novel or something.

Food for thought if you’re thinking of moving, raising a family, retiring, etc. Or, think of this as an intellectual break from the squeaking shoe ball (which, I suppose, does combat obesity to a degree).