By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Dick Yarbrough: All of our many 'sins' aside, Georgia has it all

I am told there are some of you out there are under the impression my columns are actually written by an orangutan. Not true. There are some things even an orangutan won’t do. 

Actually, I spend hours each week analyzing voluminous files of information, trying to glean a few nuggets of heretofore unknown facts and figures that you can share with your knitting club or at your weekly salsa lessons. (“Did you know that eating broccoli will turn your toes green? I know that for a fact because I read it in Dick Yarbrough’s column this week.”) Get an orangutan to do that.

And, of course, there are the observations from my legion of fans too good not to share with you, like, “You are a jerk, knee jerk, snail poop, bucket head,” or “Just because you can write that column doesn’t mean you should.”

I appreciate such constructive criticism, knowing it is intended to make me a better human being. An orangutan would stick a pomegranate up their nose.

I also get a lot of news releases from public relations firms from around the country, hoping to get a plug for their client or company in the paper. For example, I have been informed that there is a new “pee pad” made of grass for house-training your puppy. That is a much better alternative than the reader who wrote to inform me she put my column down on the floor, face-up, for her puppy’s target practice.

But the stopper this week came from the personal-finance website WalletHub, which has just released a report on 2018’s Most Sinful States. You might like to know the great state of Georgia comes in as the fifth most sinful. Finally, something we are good at. Eat your heart out, Mississippi.

In case you are wondering, WalletHub deems Vermont the least sinful state, but they also have Bernie Sanders, so these things tend to even out.

WalletHub says it compared the 50 states across seven key dimensions: 1) anger and hatred, 2) jealousy, 3) excesses and vices, 4) greed, 5) lust, 6) vanity and 7) laziness.

Within those dimensions, they used 38 relevant metrics. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the highest level of sinfulness. Even Junior E. Lee, general manager of the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company, located in Greater Garfield, Ga., and a pest control professional, was impressed with the depth and breadth of the study. Those of you who know Junior know he doesn’t impress easily.

Georgia was second in the nation in the categories of jealousy and lust, according to WalletHub’s analysis. Junior’s take on that is having lost the national championship to Alabama this past January, we are jealous and lust to kick Nick Saban’s behind next year. Makes sense to me.

But to our credit, Georgia only ranks 22nd in anger and hatred. Yeah, we are a little peeved at what happened, but we are willing to wait until next year. We don’t get mad here in Georgia. We get even. 

WalletHub says Tennessee is the angriest state in the nation and Florida is the most jealous. Junior opines that comes from them being located on our border. They see how good we have it here and wish they could join us. No way. The last thing we need here are moonshiners and transplanted Yankees wearing black socks and flip-flops.

It is hard for me as a proud native of the great state of Georgia to believe that we are as sinful as the WalletHub study says we are. I have to blame a lot of this on Malfunction Junction, aka, the city of Atlanta, where the sewers don’t work and neither do a number of its citizens. Get outside that blowhard place and I think we’ve got some awfully nice people walking around this state.

In fact, WalletHub ranks us 50th out of the 50 states in the greed category. That doesn’t surprise me. We have majestic mountains in the north, the Golden Isles in the south, pecan orchards in between, the greatest state song in the history of the world, “Georgia On My Mind,” and the oldest state-chartered university in the nation, located in Athens, the Classic City of the South. Plus, it doesn’t snow here 10 months a year and all our buildings aren’t rusted.

There is no need for us to be greedy. We have it all in Georgia. Maybe that’s our sin. 

Dick Yarbrough is a North Georgia resident whose column appears Saturdays and at Contact him by email; at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, GA 31139; via his website; or on Facebook.

Regional events