GOOD proposes their picks for cities that "strike a delicate balance of having a low cost of living, ways to make money, and a youth-friendly vibe." New York and San Francisco are obviously not featured.
GOOD breaks the cities down into 4 categories:
"easy on the wallet alternatives near huge cities" (Oakland, CA as an example);
"artsy, cheap, liberal oases" (Austin, and Omaha?)
"ultra-cheap industrial towns in need of TLC" (Newark, for example)
and "young cities with low unemployment rates" (Madison, WI)