Chicago Yet Again Makes Forbes’ ‘Most Miserable Cities’ List

CHICAGO (CBS) — It just wouldn’t be February without Forbes Magazine yet again slapping Chicago with the distinction of a place on the Most Miserable Cities list.

This year, Chicago is coming in at No. 6 on the list, for essentially the same reasons Forbes places the city on the list year after year after year.

“The Windy City is a cultural and financial center, but its residents must endure gridlock traffic, high property taxes and brutal winters. Commute times to work average 31 minutes, eighth worst in the U.S.,” Forbes says.

To make the point in its online slideshow, Forbes includes a Getty Images archival image of a long line of cars stalled and buried in the snow on Lake Shore Drive, just after the 21.2-inch blizzard socked the city on Feb. 1-2 of last year. Never mind, of course, that there isn’t a single flake of snow on the ground in Chicago right now.

Of course, it could be worse. While the purported misery in Chicago was illustrated with a weather picture, most of the other cities were represented in the Forbes photo slideshow with scenes of dejected people standing in line for job fairs, foreclosed houses, or people being arrested or hauled to court in handcuffs.

And of course, there were other cities where Forbes thinks the situation is far worse. Ranking more miserable than Chicago, from fifth place to first, were:

• No. 5: Sacramento, Calif., where the main woe seems to be that the Kings – the lone pro-sports team in the city – are poised to move south to Anaheim.

• No. 4: West Palm Beach, Fla., where home prices are down 60 percent, and where Jose Rodriguez, the mayor of nearby Boynton Beach, was recently suspended from office for allegedly using his position to stop a child abuse probe involving his wife’s daughter.

• No. 3: Flint, Mich., where 775 abandoned homes were torn down between October 2010 and October 2011, and the State of Michigan had to appoint an emergency manager to take over budget and operations last year.

• No. 2: Detroit, where schools have been closing and police officers have been laid off in an effort to avoid bankruptcy, and home3s are down to a median price of a mere $38,000.

• No. 1: Miami, where 47 percent of homeowners are underwater on their mortgages, and 364,000 properties have gone into foreclosure since 2008.

Rounding out the top 10 on the list after Chicago are Fort Lauderdale, Fla., at No. 7; Toledo, Ohio, at No. 8; Rockford, Ill., and No. 9; and Warren, Mich., at No. 10, In case you’re wondering, Chicago’s northwesterly neighbor Rockford made the list for having the fifth highest property tax rates in the country in 2010.

But some other cities that make the list perennially seem to be faring better. Stockton, Calif., came in at No. 11 due to stabilizing housing prices, after ranking as the most miserable city of all last year. Cleveland came in at No. 12, after being named the worst of all in 2010.

Last year, Chicago came in at No. 7. The rationale for last year’s list revolved around the sales tax – which by then had been lowered from 10.25 percent to 9.75 percent following a campaign promise by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle – and the Cubs, who were “miserable” for having a $140 million payroll and more than a century without a World Series victory. The comparatively recent victories by other Chicago teams, such as the White Sox’ World Series victory a mere six years earlier, were overlooked.

Chicago came in at No. 10 in 2010, when Forbes rubbed in the fact that the city lost its bid for the 2016 Olympics in the first round despite a plea from President Barack Obama.

Chicago fared most poorly of all in 2009, coming in at No. 3. Forbes cited “lousy weather,” long commutes, high unemployment, the sales tax, and high rates of public corruption as reason enough to conclude that only Stockton, Calif.; and Memphis were more miserable.

In 2008, as this year, Chicago came in at No. 6 on the list.

When Chicago made the list in 2009, Chicagoans told CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine they didn’t feel miserable at all. But Forbes Associate Editor Kurt Badenhausen explained the Most Miserable Cities lists weren’t compiled by polling the residents, but by “looking at the factors they have to deal with on a daily basis.”

While few likely take best and worst city lists very seriously, such lists have had the power to make some cities’ residents quite angry in years past. Just ask the residents of the perennial “miserable city” of Flint.

In 1987, Money Magazine ranked Flint the worst place to live in America, placing that city at rock bottom among 300 municipalities nationwide. In a scene famously shown in Michael Moore’s documentary “Roger and Me,” Flint residents responded by burning Money Magazine at a public rally.

  • CFLC

    What Chicago Needs to correct the problem is more red light cameras. Add in Nato/G8 and we could be #1 on the most unpopular list. Move over Detroit.

    • Tom

      Haha tell me about it. Chicago gets such bad press in the rest of the country too. It is unbelievable what corruption can do to a beautiful city. I just chalk it up to more signs of the apocalypse and keep buying survival gear for my collection. Oh well.

      • Jerry

        Tom you’re a fukn moron if you think this armpit of America is beautiful go die and go to hell Forbes is right on

    • Afro

      Ron makes Romney look stupid foreign aid

  • reality

    Democratic Socialism…oh the utopia.

    • haydesigner

      Because ALL of the problems they list are dictionary definitions of Democratic Socialism. :::rolls eyes at the pervasive Fox News-bred ignorance:::

  • david

    Cant control traffic and weather but defering 1/3 of property taxes to city hall insiders isnt helping. Stop this practice and lower property taxes to reflect actual values since the housing crash.

  • Leroy Goldberg

    How can we not be the “most miserable city?” With the Likes of Lyndia, NWA and all the rest of the ‘South Side Population’ is it any wonder?

    • THEE Yard Ape

      @Leroy – eatlier I “axed” how they could forget to mention the most vicious species of simians?? It was the 1st comment, but, I suppose this only p!ssed off some negro or negro sympathizing liberal POS !!!!

      • I pity you

        Nice… be proud of your racism!Don’t ever let anyone say how stupid and ignorant you look when you actually have the stupidity to say things like this aloud, or in a freaking public forum!

  • malcom

    The democratic peoples republic of CHI CONGO.

  • Gary

    Hey Rahm-a-dum-dum. When is the news conference? We want to hear you spin this one, little dancer, oops, I meant little dunce. Speaking of STUPID, don’t you think speed bumps would have been better than the red lights?????? Oh, Can’t wait until you get caught.

  • Jim Hamilton

    Chicago is turning into one huge cesspool of criminals, soon we should put a fence around it and take away their right to vote.

    DECATUR, Ill. (CBS) — A downstate lawmaker would like to kick Chicago and Cook County out of the Illinois.
    CBS 2 Political Producer Ed Marshall says state Rep. Bill Mitchell (R-Decatur) finds that Cook County dominates all politics and legislation in Springfield, and he thinks it is time for the state to cut its largest population center adrift for the “betterment” of the rest of Illinois.
    He says Cook County should be allowed to exist apart from the state like the District of Columbia, with its own government.

  • juju

    Gar spelled backwards is rag. Which is what David is on. We can you 2 liberal pedophiles back to garbage bag where you were found. If you have Chicago, go back to Warsaw. 88.

    • David

      @juju, What the hell are you babbling on about? Your comment makes no sense, you stupid negress. Smoking those crack rocks will only make you more stupid. Get some help while you still can!

  • franklin808

    This is wrong. Obviously hicktown Rockford is worse than Chicago. Chicago is the best place in Illinois.

  • juju

    David – are you fat? lonely? no friends? message board only way to communicate. You are on your way to becoming the next American Pedophile. Don’t forget to sleep with mother. Sick liberal monkey face.

  • coco

    you’re right, chicago is cesspool of crime and criminality. public officials are always touting that the crime rate is diminishing, but believe me all, i live here and crime, especially gang crime is out of control. despite living here for 40 years, i have never seen crime this out of control.

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    get cheap monster beats solo to get new coupon

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