When she learned that Forbes magazine last week named Sacramento fifth on its annual list of most miserable cities, Sacramento high school teacher Kari Bluff took to her blog to express her succinct reaction:
"Stuff it, Forbes," she wrote.
Or to put it another way: Misery? Really, Forbes? Way to pile insult on injury.
"We have enough of an issue with negativity in this country," Bluff, 31, who moved to Sacramento in 2008, said in an interview. "I tell my students, 'Don't gloss over the problems, but look at your priorities now and go from there.'
"We're on this list, but let's work to get off it."
Judging from the insulted tone of online comments, blog posts, Facebook updates and letters to the editor, the Forbes list has hit a nerve with local residents.
"I hate to say it, but misery has a direct correlation to money," said Tim Hinsche, a 64-year-old real estate broker who downsized to a one-bedroom Sacramento apartment after the short sale of his Folsom home.
"I don't think Sacramento has any other drawbacks than the struggling economy."
Granted, Sacramento has taken hit after hit with high unemployment, the foreclosure crisis, furlough days, salary reductions and service cuts resulting from strapped state and local budgets.
But what seems to especially gall Sacramentans is the fact that the Forbes misery index purports to rate not only the economy but also quality of life issues like weather, crime rates and commute times.
So how could Sacramento – home of the dry heat and the relatively quick commute – possibly rank No. 5, while the magazine considers perennial problem spots like Cleveland (No. 10) and Detroit (No. 15) less miserable?
And Bakersfield! Bakersfield, people! Bakersfield ranks 20th on the current list. Because while Forbes counts it against Sacramento that the city's lone pro sports team has done poorly this year, Bakersfield's major pro sports franchises would clearly be on a winning streak, if they existed.
To read the complete article, visit www.sacbee.com.