Number crunchers offer perspective on our community

Thursday, July 9, 2020

The men and women who used slide rules and building-sized tube computers to send Apollo 11 to the moon 51 years ago this month would be in awe to see the digital power that everyone from preschoolers to senior citizens carries in their pocket or purse.

They might not be so impressed with how we put it to use, watching cat videos or arguing in ignorance about every topic imaginable on social media.

Our daily email always contains the fruits of some customized number-crunching, sent out in hopes we will share it with readers, who will then visit their sites to help build up clicks to show to their advertisers.

Like news, such information is worth about what you pay for it, namely not much, and it shouldn’t be consumed without a blood pressure-boosting helping of salt.

Never the less, we’ll share some today.

The mattress-and-pillow website Sleepopolis reports that McCook residents have been getting 12.4 hours more sleep per month because they are working from home because of the coronavirus lockdown. We do know many who actually have been working from home more than usual, but pass the salt.

We’re not sure what criteria were used, but Gretna was ranked as the best place for sleep in Nebraska, South Sioux City the worst and McCook No. 26.

Not only are we getting more sleep, we’re drinking less, or at least drinking cheaper.

DrugAbuse.com surveyed 3,000 workers to find out how much they are saving by not attending after-work drinks during the lockdown.

Overall, they found American workers have saved $480 each since lockdowns began, the equivalent of over 90 beers. Nebraskans, on the other hand, have saved $430 a month, according to the survey.

When it comes to not working at all, Nebraska has some work to do in attracting retirees, according to SixtyAndMe.com

It’s perhaps not surprising the site found Nebraska the second-most boring place to retire.

We didn’t do well when it comes to chances to make new friends or start a new relationship, go on vacation, watch sports, start a business or volunteer.

Again with the salt.

We ranked pretty well when it comes to people over 65 who live alone and our cost of living.

“It isn’t the state to retire to if you’re wanting lots of state discounts, free college, to write a novel, to watch sports, to go walking, to start a small business, or protect your pension pot from taxes,” according to SixtyAndMe.com

We’d have to argue with the site’s methodology and conclusions, but there’s no doubt much can be done to reduce taxes on retirees and make the Cornhusker state more attractive.

It can be helpful for outsiders to look at our community, and number-crunching is a useful tool if it helps put things in perspective.

But it’s up to us, the people who live here, to take responsibility for our own lives and work to make our community a better place to live.

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