US receives record-low score on income freedom report

by Seth Udinski

Seth Udinski, FISM News

The United States received its worst ranking to date on the Heritage Foundation’s recently published annual report on economic freedom.

The right-leaning think tank ranks the economic health of nations on an annual basis. In 2023, the American score sank to 70.6, which comes in as the lowest rating in the history of the nation.

The United States, which at one point was known as the global leader in freedom, currently sits at the bottom of the second tier, labeled “mostly free.” It ranks at number 25 in the world, behind the likes of the United Arab Emirates, Chile, and the Czech Republic.

Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts responded to the release, saying,

The world and America are at a crossroads. Too many countries have renounced basic economic principles leaving communities to suffer the consequences. They must choose either the narrow path of self-governance, human dignity, and ordered liberty, or the broad path of an economy run by the managerial elite with no room for dissent or responsibility. One path leads to prosperity, and the other leads to ruin.

The researchers revealed that the United States willy-nilly attitude toward spending and indifference toward decreasing debt – both issues that were exacerbated by the Biden administration – have driven the nation’s rating severely down.

The Heritage Foundation said,

The United States has one of the world’s most dynamic economies but has been undergoing policy challenges that undermine its long-term economic competitiveness. Since assuming office in 2021, President Joseph Biden has pursued and implemented policies that have expanded the size and scope of the federal government. Unchecked deficit spending and government debt have accelerated, and inflation undercuts economic livelihood.

Author’s Biblical Analysis

This report from the Heritage Foundation seems to scream what many Americans know in their hearts to be true, whether we admit it or not: The United States has a serious problem with debt and spending, across the political spectrum.

I have often wondered why there is not more accountability for those in charge. As of the writing of this report, the U.S. national debt sits at over $31.5 trillion.

Imagine for a moment if any of us were in charge of a business and we exhibited the spending habits of those in power in the United States. We would (and should) be fired, or at the very least stripped of any spending ability until we learned to get our utterly foolish economic impairments in check.

There is a great lesson for Christians here, and though it applies to finances in this case, it is a lesson for all of us in all spheres of life: Do not be foolish.

It is a simple lesson, yet one that so many of us seem to miss. We are so tempted towards foolishness: to spend what we do not have, to fulfill our every urge and desire, to fill our bodies with harmful things, or to speak whatever comes to our minds with no filter.

This is, sadly, one of the most disastrous results of the fall. Because we are infected with the horrid and mortal disease of sin, our minds have been corrupted to believe that what is wise is harmful, and what is foolish is good and rewarding. This is what theologians call the “noetic effects” of sin, which in laymen’s terms means that sin has poisoned our minds to make us stupid.

You can see, as Christians, we must daily battle our fleshly desires to foolishly do as we please. We must instead be wise.

How do we do this? It is simple. As young Solomon did at the beginning of his reign over Israel (1 Kings 3), we must ask the Lord for wisdom.

We must ask Him to give us the discernment to judge right and wrong. We must ask for the ability to know when to open our mouths and when to keep them shut. We must ask for the ability to seek virtuous things and avoid that which is harmful, not for any kind of pharisaical rule-keeping, but because wisdom brings blessing.

Believer, be encouraged: when you pray and ask the Lord for wisdom, that is one prayer that He always answers “Yes.” God is well within His rights to do as He pleases when it comes to answering our prayers, but He will not fail to provide wisdom to His children when they ask Him for it. It is simply not within His nature!

So, ask the Lord for wisdom, and be confident He will provide it for you.

And Solomon said: ‘You have shown great mercy to Your servant David my father, because he walked before You in truth, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with You; You have continued this great kindness for him, and You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. Now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king instead of my father David, but I am a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted. Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?’  – 1 Kings 3:6-9