God bless Donald Trump.  He guarantees I will never have a shortage of material to contemplate.  Consider, for instance this latest kerfuffle over what constitutes a “shithole” nation.  We know from the White House reports that at least Haiti and Nigeria make the list.  Or make the Donald’s list.  I’m betting anywhere Melania won’t travel is also on that collection of the outcast.  Which likely includes the country of her birth, Slovenia.

In Trump’s blunt rejection of immigrants from “shithole” nations he should have considered his third bride.  According to the CIA, her homeland rates 58th among 170 nations in average per capita gross domestic product.  It only managed to export $28 billion in goods during 2017, and unemployment runs at 16 percent.  As for Melania, well, she studied architecture in college for a year—then dropped out.  Not exactly a “merit-based” candidate for citizenry in the U.S. according to her husband’s comments.

Now she’s the President’s wife, but, perhaps, given her homeland and education, it easier to understand why we see and hear so little from the FOTUS—first lady of the United States.  She’s a product of a “shithole” nation.

But that’s not why I’m sitting here raising my blood pressure.

Let’s talk about job applicants.  American job applicants.

Let’s say I’m a large employer offering a stack of six-figure salaries in a major city up in the American Northwest.  Say, oh, Amazon, in Seattle.

With me so far?

First thing I want to do is rule out applicants from “shithole” states.

First to go:  Mississippi and West Virginia. They rank 49 and 50, respectively, on the list of “least educated states.”

Next on the list of “shithole” states for Amazon.  Those that spend the least on public education per student.  That would be Utah, Idaho and Arizona.  In ascending order.  Let me help you with this one, Utah—at the bottom—spends $1,893 a year for each pupil.  New York, in the first position, drops $6,256 each year on a student in the public schools.  If I’m hiring at Amazon New York wins, Utah is a “shithole” state.

Now let’s look at health.  The United Health Foundation says Massachusetts is the healthiest state, Mississippi and Louisiana are at the bottom of this sorting.  As an employer, well, suffice it to say I am not interested in paying for more medical care.  So, we know where the “shithole” states are at on this list.

How about per capita income?  A good indication of productivity and propensity to contribute to the shareholders’ pocketbook.  Maryland wins, Arkansas and Mississippi lose.   Starting to see a trend here?   Add Arkansas to the “shithole” states list…Mississippi was already firmly entrenched.

Here’s another good one for you.  Life expectancy.  Mississippi and Alabama lose, Hawaii wins.  Who the hell wants to hire employees with a tendency to drop dead at an early age?  Not Amazon.

Voting.  Yes, that willingness to participate in decision making.   Usually a good indicator of an employee with a motivation to innovate and offer profitable ideas.  Highest turnout: Minnesota and Wisconsin.  The bottom: Hawaii and West Virginia.  Apparently, that ploy to save coal jobs didn’t get the would-be miners to cast a ballot.  As for Hawaii, well brah, the beach beckons…another “shithole” state for the employment screeners at Amazon.  (West Virginia was already on the list… for being least educated.)

Finally, let’s look at home ownership.  If you’re an employer like Amazon, you want people to hang around.  Nothing bespeaks loyalty like purchasing a bit of property in the neighborhood.  The winners, West Virginia and Minnesota.  The losers, New York and California.  Two more “shithole” states.

I could go on, but the point is made.  If I’m sitting behind a desk at human relations within Amazon the following “shithole” states are not contributing to my labor pool: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Utah and West Virginia.

And I sure as shit would not hire someone from Slovenia.

Eric C. Anderson

13 January 2018