Saturday, February 07, 2009

So if I'm reading the tea leaves of these Gallup polls correctly, it would seem than since I live in Georgia, religion must be very important to me and I have low consumer confidence, although not as low as the rest of the country, even though I'm in an average job market (it's interesting to note that the job market improves as one heads west from Georgia - better in Alabama and best in the petro-states of Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas).

But if I had successfully sold my house last summer and moved to Oregon, religion would not have been as important to me and I would have had even less consumer confidence, probably because I would have been living in a poor job market. The job market would have been better to the north in Washington and worse to the south in California, although consumer confidence is the same up and down the West Coast.

However, if I had never left Massachusetts, I would not have been any more religious than I would have been if I had moved to Oregon, but my consumer confidence would have been even lower, even though I was in the same crappy job market as Oregon.

So I guess that all other things considered, I'm doing well: spirituality active and in an average job market although with a more, but not most, negative consumer confidence. That kind of puts everything into perspective for me.

Another way to look at these results is that if you value religion, the best job markets and consumer confidence can be found in Utah if you're Mormon, the Dakotas if you're Protestant, and the western Bible Belt (Mississippi, Louisiana and Oklahoma) if you're Evangelical. If religion isn't your thing and you prefer to live around others who feel that way, then I'm sorry to tell you that you're stuck with the poor-to-worst job markets of New England, the Pacific Northwest, and Nevada, and their associated lack of consumer confidence.

Which of course brings up the question, if New Englanders, Northwesterners and Nevadans started to meditate and grow spiritually, would their job markets and consumer confidence catch up with those of the religious parts of the country?

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