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October 16, 2014 / compassioninpolitics

What is the economic cost of sinful behavior on our economy and communities

Economic Cost of Addiction on the US Economy:

Also, here are the stats/evidence/proof of sin you were looking for:

Illegal Drugs: $181 billion dollars per year
Alcohol: $185 billion dollars per year
Tobacco: $193 billion dollars per year
Total: $559 billion dollars per year


Also, the economic cost of crime:

• Sam Brand and Richard Price Study (link)
• The Cost of Crime to Society: New Crime-Specific Estimates for Policy and Program Evaluation (link)

In the United States, more than 23 million criminal offenses were committed in 2007, resulting in approximately $15 billion in economic losses to the victims and $179 billion in government expenditures on police protection, judicial and legal activities, and corrections (U.S. Department of Justice, 2004a, 2007a, 2008).

So sin is real, very real. Sin has real consequences.

I can also get out the cost of additions & broken families if you’d like….. (I probably will do so anyway)

Economic Cost of Broken Families on the US Economy:

The cost of broken families:

The linkages between family collapse and various forms of social failure were established decades ago. (A fine roundup of solid social science is The Case for Marriage, by Linda J. Waite and Maggie Gallagher.) Reams of sophisticated research have documented what everyday experience confirms: that family fragmentation damages enormous numbers of boys and girls. Not all children in tough family situations do poorly, but more than enough do. “It is very hard,” two sober scholars concluded in a 2010 Educational Testing Service report, “to imagine progress resuming in reducing the education attainment and achievement gap without turning these family trends around.” The very idea, they said, of a “substitute for the institution [of marriage] for raising children is almost unthinkable.”
Others have developed ways of measuring the most obvious economic and social effects of family fragmentation. Perhaps the most elementary is to calculate how much money government spends to keep single mothers and their children out of dire poverty. In 2008, Georgia College & State University economist Benjamin Scafidi calculated that family fragmentation cost U.S. taxpayers $112 billion annually. And Scafidi purposely left out some quite substantial costs:
– The study considered only female-headed households, although male-headed households represent about one-sixth of single-parent homes.
– Scafidi disregarded a number of major government programs, notably the Earned Income Tax Credit, insofar as “existing data” didn’t allow his team to “quantify them with confidence.”
– He disregarded the not-trivial sums public schools wind up spending on social problems tied to out-of-wedlock births and divorce.
– He did not attempt to monetize the human and social capital that stably married parents provide their children, though the increase in young people’s well-being reduces the likelihood of their requiring pricey governmental services when they repeat grades, burden the juvenile-justice and child-protective systems, and so on.
– Scafidi assumed no benign effects of marriage on fathers’ earning power, although it is well established that stable marriages tend to increase men’s earnings while decreasing the likelihood of their committing crimes and being incarcerated.
– Scafidi assumed that married households avail themselves of governmental services to which they are entitled at the same rate as single-mother households, though in fact lower-income married couples are only about half as likely as single mothers to take advantage of such benefits.
– Scafidi disregarded the Medicare expenses associated with unmarried adults and the elderly even though, as he noted, “high rates of divorce and failure to marry mean that many more Americans enter late middle-age (and beyond) without a spouse to help them manage chronic illnesses, or to help care for them if they become disabled.”

The author continues:

Like a good academic, Scafidi felt compelled to be methodologically cautious; perhaps overly so. But the rest of us are free to observe that the actual cost is considerably above $112 billion a year.

A second way of estimating costs is to figure out how much lower the poverty level would be if out-of-wedlock birth rates and divorce rates were lower. In 2009, Brookings scholars Ron Haskins and Isabel Sawhill wrote that if the “United States had the same proportion of children living in single-parent families as in 1970, all else equal, today’s poverty rate would be roughly one-quarter lower than it is.” Even more dramatically, Sawhill and another colleague earlier wrote that if family structure had not changed between 1960 and 1998, the poverty rate for black children in the latter year would have been 28.4 percent instead of 45.6 percent.

A third approach reflects the work of several econometricians on the connections between academic achievement and economic growth. In several invaluable studies, economist Eric Hanushek demonstrated the vital importance of a nation’s competence in mathematics and science for its economic success. The quality of learning in these two subjects​—​which is significantly depressed by family fragmentation​—​is best measured by standardized tests that have been administered internationally since the 1970s.

Source: Broken Families, Broken Economy

And an even better case perhaps can be made based on the emotional/mental effects of sinful behavior, which I’ll have to add later.

Finally, assuming that sin is a construct is seemingly a form of ethical or cultural relativism in drag. I’ve written on this quite a lot. David Wilkinson does a good job explaining this argument.

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