MarketWatch says Des Moines is the country's #4 city for business
We're behind Washington, Omaha, and Boston, but #4 isn't bad. Judging based upon unemployment, job growth, population growth, personal income, and local GDP puts Des Moines in a good position. It should be noted that Minneapolis and Denver are the next two top scorers. Something good can be said for doing business in the Midwest, where business is done differently than in other places. Geography and local culture combine with other influences to make it different.
Lots of American cities are in huge financial trouble
As are some states -- notably Illinois -- and there's no promise that a Federal bailout is on the way.
Why it usually doesn't pay to switch checkout lines
Statistically speaking, there's almost always going to be a faster line nearby. But there is a way in which stores can be organized to create the fastest-possible service: Unitary checkout lines for everybody, with lots of checkers each ready to serve whomever is next. That results in the lowest average wait for anyone overall, since nobody gets stuck in a single bad line (say with a price check).
A blessed Advent calendar