Economic recovery is going so poorly that the Rust Belt represents a beacon of hope, reports The New York Times. "In New York, areas around long-struggling upstate cities like Buffalo and Rochester are recovering faster by some measures than the New York City metropolitan area," writes Michael Cooper. "And the rate of recovery in Rust Belt areas around Youngstown and Akron, two Ohio cities that were hit hard, has outpaced that of former boomtowns like Colorado Springs and Tucson." Before the real estate bubble burst, the Sun Belt prospered while blue collar towns died slow depressing deaths. Things have changed, continues Cooper: "The once-booming South, which entered the recession with the lowest unemployment rate in the nation, is now struggling with some of the highest rates, recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show." And the rest of the country is slumping, too. While it might seem hopeful that Rust Belt cities are "recovering faster by some measures," these cities never had booms from which to bust. If Manhattan looks bad compared to Buffalo, things really, really bad.