Four Utah cities — Orem, Sandy, Lehi and North Salt Lake — made Money Magazine’s new list of the top 100 places to live in the United States, although none made it into the top 10. The list is interesting for a couple of reasons. First, it is somewhat, as the magazine puts it, contrarian. The editors decided to focus solely on cities with populations between 10,000 … Continue reading»

Utah fails to win happiness ranking; what a downer!


  Utah has finished second in a WalletHub survey of the happiest states in America, behind Minnesota. Kind of depressing, isn’t it? And if you think finishing second is a reason to be happy, consider that Utah is second in a nation that finished 14th in this year’s World Happiness Report. Yeah, that’s right. Do the math. Let that sink in and see if a happy meal still … Continue reading»

Are local police departments really small armies?


  Four years ago, Chris Burbank met with the Deseret News editorial board. At the time, he was police chief in Salt Lake City, and he was complaining about how police departments nationwide were becoming too militarized. Back then, the military routinely gave surplus equipment to local police departments. Burbank said this made many local police look like invading armies when responding to problems, rather than as publicly … Continue reading»

Why are folks in Idaho such big tippers?


People in the wealthiest places in America leave the chintziest tips, while people in modest places leave the most. Time Magazine just published the results of a study from the payment company Square, which examined credit and debit card transactions at sellers nationwide. Tippers in Hawaii were the cheapest of all, followed by the District of Columbia, Massachusetts and California. These are places with among the highest incomes … Continue reading»

Basic economic principles still work, even in Seattle


In 1987, the New York Times editorial board, of all people, said the best minimum wage would be $0. “The idea of using a minimum wage to overcome poverty is old, honorable – and fundamentally flawed,” it said. “It’s time to put this hoary debate behind us, and find a better way to improve the lives of people who work very hard for very little.” While it would … Continue reading»

If you live in Utah, you are less stressed than you would be in 46 other states. Your mileage may vary, of course, depending on how many assignments you may have with a volunteer organization, such as a church, or how many little ones you may be chasing around the house while trying to do other things. It also, apparently, depends on how you feel about politics in … Continue reading»


  Take a close look at Puerto Rico. Is this the future of the United States? The island commonwealth, a U.S. territory, is bankrupt. It has borrowed and borrowed to pay its debts until it can’t borrow any more. Now, a judge will have to sort things out while life on the island gets worse and worse. Unemployment is about 12 percent, as of last fall. Government pensions … Continue reading»


Give credit where it is due. President Trump raised eyebrows this week when he said the Australians have better health care than the United States. He followed that up with this tweet: Of course the Australians have better healthcare than we do –everybody does. ObamaCare is dead! But our healthcare will soon be great. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 5, 2017 It all depends, of course, on … Continue reading»