Eden Prairie or Columbia/Ellicott City? You be the judge

Yesterday I wrote about Money Magazine’s list of its best small cities to live. Eden Prairie, Minn., edged out Ellicott City/Columbia for first place thanks to attributes like “gently rolling hills,” “plenty of outer beauty” and other idyllic, Midwestern traits of the type long chronicled by writers like Garrison Keillor. But consider: 1. The magazine says one of the headlining reasons the Minnesota town wins is because it has “a dynamite economy.”  But then it turns around and says not only does Ellicott City/Columbia have a jobless rate “just as enviable as Eden Prairie’s,” but it is an “economic powerhouse.”  I’m not sure how dynamite compares quantitatively with a powerhouse, but by Money Magazine’s standards, the difference is apparently a measly .1 percent.  Come on.  Negligible at best.