Renters are happier (and thinner) than homeowners

What if home ownership really isn't the American Dream? A research paper released by a real-estate professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School starts the debate. And with these delicious findings: Renters are not only happier than the average homeowner, but they're thinner, too.

Oh, sweet, sweet vindication. I'll take it any way it comes.

During the housing boom, I would often shake my head and wonder aloud how home prices could continue to grow, or why it was that they were taking any kid off the street, slapping him in a suit and calling him a mortgage broker. The orgy of greed and building just didn't seem sustainable. It was painfully obvious common sense: If every house in California sells for half a million and up, where are the millions of non-movie stars going to live?

For this, I was often called a bitter renter.