State ranks high when it comes to personal morality

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Nebraskans aren’t prudes by any stretch of the imagination, but when it comes to attracting new businesses, we are quick to emphasize our puritanical work ethic and stability.

That doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement — say, the size of Cherry County — but compared to other states, we rank 42, toward the bottom, when it comes to the seven deadly sins.

WalletHub compared 50 states across seven key dimensions — anger and hatred, jealousy, excesses and vices, greed, lust, vanity and laziness — using 38 relevant metrics, which were then weighted into the final score.

Nebraskans were 43rd in laziness, judging by the number of adults not exercising, average weekly hours worked, TV watches, volunteering and other measures.

We’re 40th in lust, measured by teen birth rate and online pornography.

We’re 39th least likely to be jealous, according to theft and fraud, 37th in anger and hatred judging by things like violent crimes, hate groups, abuse and hostile internet comments.

Nebraskans ranked 36th in vanity, judging by the number of beauty salons per capita and plastic surgery.

We’re 35th in excesses and vices judging from obesity, fast food, drinking, smoking and coffee.

One weakness for Nebraskans is greed, judging by charitable donations as a share of income, and population with gambling disorders. We’re 16th in that.

Not surprisingly, Florida, California, Nevada and Texas topped the list, in that order.

WalletHub’s study is far from the final word on Nebraska’s moral condition, and its methodology and conclusions are certainly open to question and criticism.

But if Nebraska wants to maintain its status as a bright spot when it comes to personal morality and the advantages it offers to society, we need to continue to instill the right virtues in our children.

See the results here: http://bit.ly/2CAq7F1

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