Economic Cost Of Sin Ranked By State, 2018″€™s Most Sinful States: Krish Dhanam will be with us to react to one of the studies that recently came out! This study is a little bit different than what we normally do. Today we are discussing how the sinful actions of the individuals inside a state affect the community, the state, and the budgets for both the state and the federal government. Tune in now to learn more!

Air Date: 04/04/2018

Guest: Krish Dhanam

On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.

Faith And The Culture

Rick:

You”€™ve found your way to the intersection of faith and the culture.  Welcome to WallBuilders Live where we talk about the day”€™s hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture. We”€™re always doing that from a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective.

We’re here with David Barton, America’s premier historian and our founder here at WallBuilders. Also, Tim Barton, national speaker, pastor, and president of WallBuilders. And my name is Rick Green, I’m a former Texas state legislator.

You can find out more about us and the program at WallBuildersLive.com. That’s our radio website with a list of our stations and archives of the last couple of months of programs. And then you can also go to WallBuilders.com, our main website, where you can get all kinds of tools for your family, for your Sunday school class, for your homeschool co-op, or any other group you would like to educate about our founding principles. Lots of great tools for you right there at WallBuilders.com.

David, Tim, later in the program Krish Dhanam will be with us to react to one of the studies that recently came out and it’s actually a little bit different. Normally we’re looking at specific policies by the government and a study of how that impacted the culture. Here we’re looking at what do the actions of the individuals in a state, in terms of when we get into some of these more sinful activities, how does that affect the community, and the state, and the budgets, for both the state and the federal government?

How the Actions of Individuals Affect all Arenas?

David:

This is where the Bible has a great verse on this Romans 14 7 says that no one lives and dies unto himself. And this is where libertarians often miss it, “€œWell, what I do is my own business.”€ No, it’s not always that way because sometimes it has an economic impact on me, either good or bad, because of what you do to contribute to the country, or take from the country, or whatever else.

So, what happens is WalletHub, WalletHub has gone out and created this test whereby they say, “€œHere’s things that do cost the nation, that do cost states. We have 38 categories of individual behavior, private behavior, that does cost the states a certain amount of money.”€

What they do is they rank all 50 states on these 38 indicators. This is not a religious group at all. This is purely economically driven. I want to read how they set up the survey and kind of take you through it real quick because it’s pretty cool the way they do this.

Rick:

Which, by the way, David, I thought it was interesting that this economic group even used the word “€œsin activities”€, or–

David:

Sin.

Rick:

–“€œsinful”€. Go ahead.

David:

Yeah, they have a listing of what they call the most sinful states. Here’s what they say, “€œRed states and blue states may like to point to one another as the source of all that is wrong with the U.S. But the truth is that each of the 50 states has its own virtues and vices.

For example, Vermont has the worst drug use problem. And it certainly comes as no surprise that Nevada is the most gambling addicted. But the cost of state sins is something we have to share as a nation. Gambling alone costs the U.S. about 5 billion per year. That’s nothing compared to the amount of money we lose from smoking though – over 300 billion per year. Harmful behavior on the individual level can add up to a staggering economic cost on a national scale. Some states are more well behaved than others.”€

Comparing All 50 States on Immorality

David:

And in order to determine the states that give in most to their desires WalletHub compared 50 states across 38 indicators of immorality. I like the fact they actually used that word. “€œOur data set ranges from violent crimes per capita, to excessive drinking, to share of the population with gambling disorders.”€

Now, here’s what they have -seven categories they look at. These seven categories– here’s the seven categories they have, one category, and this all 50 states, we look at 1) anger and hatred. 2) jealousy, 3) excesses and vices, 4) greed, 5) lust, 6) vanity, and 7) laziness. Now listen to how they measure this.

For anger and hatred they look at violent crimes per capita, sex offenders per capita, hate crime incidents per capita, the share of physically abused or domestic abused individuals, the share of abused children, the percentage of mass shootings, and elder abuse. So, that tells you if there”€™s anger and hatred in the state. They look at those categories for all 50 states.

When it comes to jealousy they looked at thefts per capita, identity theft per capita, fraud per capita. So, that’s jealousy. You want something somebody else has got. For excesses and vices they look at the percentage of obese adults, the fast food establishments per capita, the excessive and binge drinking per capita, adult smokers per capita. And they go right on down the list.

For greed they look at casinos per capita, charitable donations as just share of income, in other words, do you give much or do you keep it all yourself. On lust they look at the teen birth rate, they look at how many Google searches there is for Triple X entertainment, or porn, or anything in that direction, they look at the average time spent on adult entertainment sites, that’s under the lust category.

For vanity, I love this for vanity, they look at beauty salons per capita, they look at the Google search rate for the top five plastic surgeries – which is breast augmentation, or liposuction, or eyelid surgery, or face lift. So, that’s vanity, these 5 plastic surgeries, the amount of these surgeries per capita. And then consumer expenditures per household on personal care products and services.

The Most Sinful State in the Nation

David:

In other words, I’m focused on me. For laziness, they look at share of adults who do not exercise, the average weekly hours you work, the volunteer rate, the high school graduation rate, the percentage of those in the state who don’t attend school, don’t work, and don’t have any degree. So, all of this is what they look at. And so with this category of all these things they look at, pretty interesting to see. The number one most sinful state in the nation on all of those rankings, any idea what it is?

Rick:

Okay, I don’t know if this is just obvious or not–

Tim:

I would guess California.

Rick:

It’s like instantly I think left goes. But maybe they’re right – Red State, Blue State, we automatically think it’s the other guy.

David:

Yeah, California’s number two on the list.

Rick:

Oh, they’re not even number one.

David:

No.

Tim:

New York.

Pretty Far Down the List

David:

No. New York is actually pretty far down the list. New York–

Tim:

Interesting.

David:

–let me get New York on this thing. New York, New York, New York–

Rick:

They didn’t even register, huh?

David:

New York is number 20 on the list.

Rick:

Wow – that’s surprising.

David:

Yeah.

Rick:

So, California is number two.

Rick:

How about Oregon?

David:

Oregon– they’re down the list as well.

Rick:

Wow.

David:

Let”€™s see, Oregon… I’m coming to Oregon right here. Oregon is number 31 on the list.

Rick:

No kidding. Okay, so, East Coast and New York’s 20, so what else on the East Coast, Tim? What would be– Massachusetts.

Liberal States Don”€™t Always Mean–

David:

Massachusetts is further down the list. See you’re choosing liberal states, but that doesn”€™t–

Rick:

I know, we”€™re biased–

Tim:

I was thinking Nevada might be somewhere on there.

David:

Massachusetts is number 33 on the list.

Rick:

Oh, Nevada. Good guess. Okay, because you”€™ve got gambling, you”€™ve got–

Tim:

Right.

Rick:

Alright, what about Nevada?

David:

Nevada’s number three on the list.

Rick:

Number three.

Tim:

Okay, well, I’ve gotten number two and three, Rick, so you get number one.

Rick:

I”€™m striking out big time.

David:

Florida. Florida is number one.

Rick:

No way.

Tim:

Interesting.

Rick:

Come on.

David:

Yep.

Rick:

It”€™s all those senior citizens.

Look at Texas!

David:

It may be. And number four on the list is Texas.

Tim:

Wow.

Rick:

Really.

David:

Yeah.

Tim:

Thanks Houston.

Rick:

Nope, can”€™t be. Throw the study out.

Tim:

Thanks San Antonio also.

David:

Think of the number of obese individuals, the number of food establishments, the–

Rick:

Yeah.

David:

We’ve got some stuff going on here in this state as many southern states will, that’s for sure.

Rick:

Very true, very true.

David:

So, it’s not who you would think, but that’s an interesting measurement they use on that. And they come up with all these 38 different rankings that– and every one of those rankings has an economic impact on the nation.

So, we’re back to Romans 14:7 that no one lives and dies to himself. What you do does impact others. And so we thought Krish Dhanam would be a great guy to talk about this even from a worldview perspective.

Rick:

Stay with us, folks. Krish Dhanam our special guest today. You”€™re listening to WallBuilders Live.

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Rick:

Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us. Our good friend, Krish Dhanam, back with us. KrishDhanam.com – you’ve got to go find out more about Krish. We became friends almost 25 years ago through our mutual mentor Zig Ziglar. He is one of the greatest international speakers on the planet. He just does incredible work. Unfortunately, for me every year at Patriot Academy he is always rated the most popular speaker by all the students. I haven’t beat him – not even once. It’s just such a blessing. Last year he spoke at Independence Hall during our Northeast Patriot Academy and what a powerful, powerful, thing that was. We love him and we’re thrilled to have him with us today. Krish Dhanam, thanks for coming on, brother.

An Immigrant Patriot

Krish Dhanam:

Thanks brother Rick. Always a pleasure to be with you and appreciate all the opportunities you give to me as an immigrant who tries to be a patriot.

Rick:

Hey, man, you do it a whole lot better than most of us that are actually born here. But even not only speaking here– before we jump into our topic for today. Welcome home, I know you’ve been on the road a lot lately. And of course you speak for Fortune 500 companies and in every state in America, but you also do a lot of international travel. I think you’ve spoken in more countries than, frankly, that I knew existed. But you really do, I mean, you just got back from the Philippines, and India, and several other places. And I think sometimes we forget, we’re so insulated, we forget we’ve got a great message to export as well in terms of freedom and biblical worldview. I bet you get as much reward as you speak out of the country sometimes as you do some of the places here.

Krish Dhanam:

Yeah, that’s a very interesting angle that you posited because when I’m overseas I run into this buzzsaw of opinion and perception of America and it’s a great privilege to be correct it with facts. And suddenly they look at me and say, “€œHey, we did not know that side of America.”€ It’s always a joy to go back to the founding fathers, and what little I know about history, and it pales in comparison to what you guys do, but the education I get through WallBuilders. And I”€™ll actually point them to the website and say, “€œHey, check out this website and you’ll see what America really is all about. Quit listening to the propaganda that comes on some of the television channels. And you’ll have a better view of what that country is all about.”€ So, that’s one of the great joys – defending America overseas.

Rick:

Yeah, I love it. I love it. Well, David and Tim both thought it would be great to get you on on this particular topic. We saw an article, and the website called WalletHub had done a study on, basically, the cost of sin, if you will, in states across the country. Kind of comparing– they even created an index. They said, “€œOkay, look, all of these vices have some level of cost to the culture. Even things like anger and hatred, but certainly vices like prostitution, and gambling, and drugs, and all this.

Anyway, they took all this and they ranked the states and said, “€œLook, this costs money because of what you”€™ve got to spend in government. So, I thought that was interesting. I want to get your thoughts on it – whether you want to speak theologically, or economically, or however you want to address this, so the people realize it’s not just a, “€œDo whatever you want, there’s no expense to it.”€ What your neighbor does does affect you in these kind of ways.

We Jettisoned Morality From the Public Square

Krish Dhanam:

Well, there’s obviously, the theological fall out is a very different thing. The reason we are now reevaluating the cost of sin is because we jettisoned morality from the public square. And when we took God out of the equation, moral law went with it and man”€™s law replaced it.

So, what we are right now trying to evaluate on our own is is it just– so, morality is being redefined. And because it’s being redefined we are physically paying the cost in our marriages, we”€™re physically paying the cost in our relationships.

I was just in the Philippines. They say the Philippines is the third highest consumer of pornography in the world. Which is ironic because it’s a predominantly Catholic country. So, how is that possible when you have that amount of religion and that amount of lies. And I think Peter Kreft put it brilliantly when he says, “€œModern virtuosity is actually hypocritical.”€ Because what we go around saying is my– our modern hypocrisy is *, which is my bad is not as bad as your bad, so my bad is good.

Rick:

True relativism, right.

Krish Dhanam:

And so what we”€™re seeing on our streets is is it innocuous to just go online and delve into some kind of curiosity if you don’t follow through. Well, it does pay a price on the marriage because that is a false reality that you”€™re now, frankly, * into a real reality. And as a result of that, people are struggling to keep up their appearances with what is visual, what is stimulating, and as a result of that we are paying the price. We’re seeing it at every level of society – in parent/children relationships,  husband and wife relationships.

So, I don’t know the study, I went and visited it, and I read some of the comparisons in terms states and rankings. But I am absolutely sure there is an economic price that is being paid just in terms of productivity of people engaged in this stupidity that they could be doing other things actually.

The Number One Thing Stolen in Companies Today

Rick:

And that’s one of the questions I wanted to ask you was on productivity. Because a lot of your training and speaking you do for, like I said, Fortune 500 companies–

Krish Dhanam:

Sure.

Rick:

–and small companies around the country, have you seen that over the last 20-25 years and even in the questions that you get from executives–

Krish Dhanam:

Right.

Rick:

–as our values have gone the way they have, it would seem like you would get a lack of productivity and work ethic.

Krish Dhanam:

In fact I attended a seminar one time where I was a speaker, so I sat in on one of the other sessions. And the question was, “€œWhat do you think is the number one thing stolen in companies today?”€ And we were surprised at the answer – it said it was time. Well, that seemed kind of fairly redundant. But he says, “€œNo, people are online trying to find information that their organizations give them the opportunity to search for and then settle on useless things and waste their time.”€ So, the number one thing stolen from organizations today is in time. And it’s because largely attributed to these digital excursions that people are taking when they could be doing actual work.

Rick:

Interesting.

What Are the Solutions?

Krish Dhanam:

So, that is a real. That’s already been manifested and it”€™s already been attributed. So, the other component of productivity is– Mr. Ziglar used to say, “€œMost people at home are always thinking of work and most people at work are always thinking of home and can’t get anything done either place because they’re traveling between the two.”€ And I think that is also a direct result of our desire to compete for things we can’t have and want things that we can’t buy – that kind of stuff.

Rick:

So, what do you what do you see as solutions. When you talk about these things to companies or at churches–

Krish Dhanam:

What do you do– how do you encourage them to step back and really think about these big issues of, frankly, morality and the fact that we do have a standard that we can go to?

Krish Dhanam:

Well, I think we have to go back to basics. And of course you and I approach a lot of what we do from a Judeo Christian framework. But regardless of that I think we need to get morality back into our family to a faith based excursion of some kind. We need to get away from this abstract relativism and get back to the absolutes that there is a good and the bad, a right and a wrong, a yes and a no, a black and a white.

And until we start corralling some of these boundaries, what we have done is because in the name of niceness, and in the name of goodness, in the name of decency, we kept expanding the boundaries. Today we can’t even put our arms around what we fundamentally believe in. And I think the church is one of the bigger culprits in this because they have now suddenly started following along in this line.

I was speaking to a youth group the other day and I said, “€œWhy do you guys have to create something new in which where the Gospel is offered?”€ And the kids said, “€œWell, we’re trying to make it relevant for our age.”€ I said, “€œIn which age was the Gospel not relevant?”€

Rick:

Yeah, that”€™s right.

The Dictionary Has Been Hijacked

Krish Dhanam:

The very word “€œrelevance”€ means application to me. Relevance– they’ve hijacked the dictionary. So, that’s one of the things I’d go back to and I would say if we want absolutes we have to tell people, “€œYou can’t hijack the dictionary every Monday and change the definition to suit your narrative that week. We’re paying the price right now. Nothing has a definition anymore.

Rick:

Yeah. No doubt about it. And you hit on that in one of your books, From Abstracts to Absolutes.

Krish Dhanam:

Yes.

Rick:

You’ve also got several books I want to mention to folks – The American Dream From an Indian Heart, Hard Headed Soft Hearted, and then you’re now doing a podcast. I’m assuming you’re going to be tackling a lot of these issues in the podcast.

Krish Dhanam:

Yeah, we actually began recording some of the episodes and hopefully in the very near future we’ll announce it. But the title of the podcast is called, The currency of Thought. and the byline is, The Price You Pay to Think and the Cost You Pay For Not. And part of my narrative right now is the price that a lot of us paid– you and I are speakers and speakers who went before us paid the price. But you and I now evaluate the cost of having chosen that path because some months are better than other months and you deal with that.

So, the whole concept of the price being paid and the cost being evaluated is what I want to tackle as a broader narrative saying anywhere a price is paid, down the road you better be sure that you’re going to be asked to evaluate the cost.

Everybody Will Pay a Price

Krish Dhanam:

And sin”€™s the same way – going back to the original question that we began with. Everybody will pay a price for the sin they commit and even publicly. Whether we’ll see a lot of the character falls being exposed or privately where they have to confess to themselves that they’re willing to live with it. But no one can escape that.

Rick

Well, and collect–when you put it– you start thinking about that as an individual, obviously, huge. But man, when you start putting it together and you do have a culture that has said, “€œDo anything and everything, whatever feels good to you.”€ and there is no cost in the end, you see, as these people have done with this study at WalletHub, you see the collective cost as a nation. And you wonder– I would say not only our carelessness, but these things have created this massive debt that we have in the government programs and we try to come in and solve and put a bandaid over these morality issues.

Krish Dhanam:

I looked at the number of people involved in the study and I think there were five people there – there may have been seven. And I looked at the number of years they may have had to do a study, and the amount of data, and I was thinking the cost of the study.

Rick:

Right.

Krish Dhanam:

Is in itself if you went back a hundred years most people would say, “€œHey, you know what? I’ve got about 30 million dollars lying around to do a research grant on where to spend.”€ And the guy says, “€œListen, you don’t need 30 million dollars to define hell. I’ll tell you what it is.”€ *– according to one of those philosophers, right.

Rick:

Right.

A Standard Bearer

Krish Dhanam:

But, yes, so this is– we are– going back to the concept of traveling around because people always look to the west. Regardless of which way the perception is, America has always considered the standard bearer for what would become public opinion whether we want to admit it or not.

The other day I put something out which was one of the Instagram posts and it said– it just had an American flag and it said, “€œIf you don’t do anything for the next 500 years the country that comes in second will wish it were you.”€ And so we don’t have to do anything for people to look to us. And as a result we have to be looking at what we’re doing week in week out.

Just this past week I was watching the kids protesting about stuff and I was– someone posted a sign of the signs that they’re holding – the signs had nothing to do with the protest. And one father was asked by his son, the son said, “€œCan I go protest?”€ and the father said, “€œYes, if you tell me what you’re protesting.”€ He says, “€œWell, I’m protesting these laws about guns.”€ And the father said, “€œDo you know what the existing laws are?”€ He says, “€œNo.”€ He says, “€œI’m not going to allow you to protest in ignorance. Protest is a right that was given to us.”€

Rick:

That’s right.

Krish Dhanam:

That was brilliant. Ignorance is not a medal – people should stop wearing it.

Rick:

That”€™s so true. I think they’re giving out that medal with most high school diplomas today.

Krish Dhanam:

Yeah, *

The Shallowness is Embarrassing

Rick:

You’re so right though. That is– it’s almost embarrassing the shallowness. You talk about protesting being a right. You think of the intellectual fervor with which MLK protested in the Civil Rights movement and the way he backed it up with philosophy and economics and everything else. And then you fast forward to today to these protests and the shallowness of we just want to– people over guns or whatever. It makes no sense and nobody– they’re not thinking it through and they aren’t even giving any real solutions to anything. And you go, “€œWow. Is this not an example of how far we’ve dumbed down the education system in our ability to even think.”€ Or as you say in your broadcast that the fact of even having thought and the price of thought.

Krish Dhanam:

I don’t know how much more time we have, but just one quick notion – I was interviewed on another podcast last week about the philosophy of business, but biblical ethics and marketplace ministry. So, the person was approaching it from a Christian worldview. And he asked me that question, he says, “€œHow come you don’t get pushback when you speak about morality that is Judeo Christian?”€ And I said, it’s very interesting, for example, one of the most quoted people was the aforementioned Dr. Martin Luther King. Outside the Gettysburg Address, his I have a dream speech were the two speeches I looked at thoroughly when I wanted to become speaker because it galvanized time and galvanized people for all time.

I said, but I peeled the onion one layer and suddenly realized that Dr. King was a third generation Baptist preacher. And so I went and picked up some of his other speeches like his Nobel Prize acceptance speech in which he says, “€œI refuse to accept the idea that man is mere flotsom and jetsom in the river of life, unable to influence the unfolding events which surround him.”€ – or something like that. I paraphrased, but he was talking about divinity. He says, “€œI do believe that the lion and the lamb will lie together.”€ That’s not abstract thinking, that comes out of the Bible.

Character Before Niceness

Krish Dhanam:

But I find it fascinating that the man who changed American history for the better with what he stood for, that part of his life is never mentioned in public dialogue. It’s always the civility of his argument, never the divinity of what his background was. And I find it fascinating as an immigrant, I just used both those narratives and they allowed me to help shaped my character better. One, we do need to be nice to people of all colors. Second, we need to have character before we begin that niceness. That’s what I got from both his statements.

Rick:

That’s good. So good, so good. And lot more, by the way, folks, you can get at KrishDhanam.com and also you ought to book Krish to come speak – you can do that there at his website as well. But, Krish, we always enjoy being able to visit with you, man, I appreciate all that you do. And I know you’re hitting the road again here in a few days, so God bless you in your travels and just keep up the influence – you”€™re a great blessing to us.

Krish Dhanam:

Thanks a lot, Rick. I look forward to seeing you down the road – hopefully in Austin if not before, alright.

Rick:

Thank you Krish Dhanam. That was Krish Dhanam with us. Go to that website, KrishDhanam.com. You can find out more about Krish there.

We’re back with David and Tim Barton, Alright, guys, so we got the states essentially ranked by what is the cost of our activities and even this secular website called it sinful activities. It’s how these things affect the rest of the people around us on our pocketbooks, on the cost of government, and just the negativity within the culture.

Don”€™t Be a Stage 1 Thinker

David:

Well, I like what Krish said, he called it a “€œfalse reality”€. In other words, it doesn’t seem to have a consequence – if we do something there’s no consequence to it. And so what it does is it affects our thinking of our own little world. We just kind of live in our own bubble and we don’t think about what consequences that may have for us or anyone else. And, Tim, you talked about this before, a kind of a stage two thinking is life without consequences.

Tim:

Well, yeah, it’s one of the arguments that Thomas Sowell has. Thomas Sowell made the argument related to economics where a lot of times in economics people want to enjoy the immediate benefit of something without thinking about really what it’s going to cost them. And when you look at what it costs you it just doesn’t pay off, right, it’s not worth it, you can’t afford it.

A lot of times, even from a moral perspective, we are stage 1 thinkers of I enjoy this, it feels good, I like it, without thinking about what it’s ultimately going to cost us, or our community, or our state, or our nation. And it’s a very flawed perspective without considering the cost before we jump into something. Even as Christians, Jesus said, “€œcount the cost before you become my disciples”€, right. Know what it means to step into this. And we just don’t do a great job as Christians, as Americans, and in our culture. And it’s something that certainly has to change as we have to consider what is this really going to cost us before we decide to engage in a certain behavior.

Economic Cost Of Sin Ranked By State, 2018″€™s Most Sinful States

David:

I like what Krish said, too, he asked youth groups about things. They said, “€œWell, we keep expanding the boundaries to try to make this more relevant.”€ No, that’s not what you need. What you need is more absolutes. When you get back to less relevant and more things that are right, and wrong, and established, and black and white, then you get back to a much healthier everything – including the nation.

So, even those states that they kind of think of themselves as conservative, they may be politically conservative, but that doesn’t mean they’re less sinful necessarily. And this is a great study to go see. We’ll have a link to it on the website today for WalletHub, so you can see this over at WalletHub. But it’s really interesting.

Rick:

Thanks for listening today, folks. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.