There's this financial analysis organization....Advisor Perspectives....that did up this fancy piece of work on how much money....in a relative state.....makes you happy.
For Bama....the magic number that they came to....was $69,300 (for the entire household). For some oddball reason.....folks considered this number to be the point where you emerged from being unhappy, and went to being happy. In Tennessee, it was $67,265 (roughly $2k less). In Mississippi, it was $65,850. (roughly $4k less).
Naturally a Bama guy would look at this and start to ask stupid questions.
Where does happiness and unhappiness merge up and become this dollar amount? Could you be unhappy in Bama making $100,000? Could you be happy in Bama making $21,000 while working at Piggly Wiggly? Could you have two brand new Fords in your carport....completely paid-off, with a pontoon boat on the lake, and be unhappy? Could you go from from one stage of happiness with $75,000 one day, to a big stage of unhappiness the next day....if the hay barn burnt down or your $4,000 spring lawn job just dried up and died off?
Most folks from Bama just don't see happiness in the same fashion as Advisor Perspectives. You could have some gal who got repented at the Baptist Revival last week....sweating up a storm with the AC off in the church....newly divorced and almost bankrupt....working for minimum wage at Burger King, and just feeling like a million bucks in terms of happiness.
You could have some guy....graduate of Auburn and a 1988-89 member of the Auburn NCAA football team (reserve team)....in perfect health....pulling in $65,000 a year selling bogus upscale lawn furniture imported in from China....and just totally unhappy because his wife ran off with the county clerk's wife (lesbian thing), his dog got run over by the county garbage truck the same day, and his barber of twenty years is retiring.
It's odd things that makes a Bama resident happy or unhappy.
There's the problem of a dry-county versus a wet-county.
There's the issue of the maintenance status of your daily vehicle, and just how often it's going into the garage.
There's the content of the minister's Sunday sermon, whether it's awful harsh on some associates of yours.
There's the NCAA football issue....if Bama can actually go undefeated for the whole season or really screw up things by losing to Auburn in the Iron Bowl.
There's the summer heat issue....if the temperature average could just stay around 88-degrees for the bulk of the summer, and just go over 95-degrees for five days in August.
There's the issue of your five brief days of summer vacation....and if you will spend it in Aruba just drinking hard whiskey and rum for hours on end, or spend it on the streets of New Orleans mostly drunk on mystery beverages (remembering little of the trip), or spend it at Branson, Missouri just in quiet luxury and buffet breakfast/lunch/dinner spots.
There's the issue of your mower, and if it'll last one more season.
There's the issue of relatives coming to visit....not for hours, but days or maybe even three weeks.
There's the issue of some meth-head having moved into the abandoned property across from your woods....and you keep hoping the cops find out about this without you having to identify yourself and get your name into some report on your neighbor.
There's the issue of some neighbor coming over daily to chat over 500-odd topics to waste forty-five minutes of your afternoon....that you don't have time to waste.
There's the issue of your leaking basement wall after a storm.
There's the issue of five tornado 'warnings' over the past month in your area of the county, and you think about the thirty seconds of time you've got to get into the basement.
There's the issue of your husband buying imaginary weapons for some game at $50 a whack, and you can't convince him that there's no true value for the $50 pretend-sword.
To say $69,000 is enough.....well.....it might as well be $690,000....or $6,900. Things just aren't that simple in life to say a magic number is happy.