Forbes staffers just can't help themselves when it comes to kicking Merced around.
After declaring Merced America's third-most miserable city in February, the magazine published in June its list of the nation's best places for business and careers. Not surprisingly, Merced's dead last.
Merced comes in at No. 200, behind Atlantic City, NJ, and Flint, Mich., in a list of 200 cities ranked according to the cost of doing business, job growth, education and population. Like the 'Misery' index, Merced is joined by Modesto (No. 197) and Stockton (No. 196) at the bottom of the list. Even Detroit, whose well-documented decline has made the city a poster child for urban decay, fared better than Merced at No. 195 on the Forbes list.