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Are we Rome? Good question.

Stossel (TV series)
Stossel (TV series) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I caught most of a Stossel special last night that was taped when he was at "Freedom Fest' in Los Vegas titled "Are We Rome?"  I found it to be well documented and, as a result, somewhat disturbing.  He had a few learned guests on, including a historian, who illustrated through historical facts and accounts how much we parallel that ancient society in many of the things we are dong today.

Let's look at some of the points brought out that were happening in Rome before its fall:

1. Once done plundering neighboring nations, their government had to begin taxing its citizens to cover the costs of its undertakings, especially the occupation of the aforementioned countries.  As with taxes everywhere, they rose and rose until the tax burden became unbearable.

2.  Rome developed a welfare state.  Remember that, back in ancient times, there were no readily accessible electronic databases to keep track of who qualified, so many people jumped on the handout bandwagon. The government was quick to give away food and such to all who wanted it.  In the case of today, similar benefits are easy to obtain and there's plenty of fraud to go around, despite the existence of mechanisms supposedly designed to prevent it.

3.  The constitution of the day was ignored on several occasions at the will of the politicians who were supposed to uphold it.  Sound familiar?

4.  The government devalued its currency, once it couldn't squeeze any more out of its citizens.  So there you go, currency manipulation and devaluing are far from new concepts!

There is an old saying that "history repeats itself."  I hope that on the issue of Rome vs. America this does not apply.  However, I can not help but see the obvious direction we are heading in, considering the devaluing of the dollar, number of families and individuals receiving government benefits, multi-trillion dollar deficit, trashing of the constitution...  The list goes on.  Come on, America. Let's get it together and get back to work.
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