The Ineffable Sadness of Coal Country

As Chris Cillizza reports, the 2013 Gallup-Healthways ranking of states by their sense of “Well Being” is out, and the big news was that the oil-drenched Dakotas leaped into the first (North) and second (South) places. There was a lot more stability near the bottom of the scale, with 9 of the 10 most miserable states (OK, LA, OH, AL, AR, TN, MS, KY and WV) staying there, and MO joining the unhappy crowd while IN barely escaped. The “miraculous” (sic!) Texas did climb from 27th to 21st, though it continued to rank below its great rival, the socialist dystopia of California (ranked 18th last year and 17th this year).

In an update, Cillizza notes that WV and KY have ranked, respectively, 50th and 49th in this index for four straight years (WV has ranked last for five straight years). So something’s really sad and bad in coal country.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.