Skip to comments.Learn from the fall of Rome, US warned
Posted on 08/13/2007 5:35:11 PM PDT by Sir_Humphrey
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Those boomers pais those same “bills” all of their lives.
Nobody gave them a free ride in the day when making a living was a Hell of a lot harder than it is now.
They paid their dues all of their lives.
Currently, the total fertility rate of the US is 2.09 children per female or just at replacement level. Add to that 1.1 million LEGAL immigrants a year and another 500,000 to 1 million illegal aliens annually and you arrive at an annual population growth of .89%, among the highest of all developed countries on earth.
Since 1970 we have added 100 million people and will add another 62 million in the next 23 years or the equivalent of the current population of the UK. By 2050, we will have a population of 420 million. One in four Americans will be Hispanic by 2050, which is quite a change from 1950 when Hispanics comprised 1% of the population.
Rome was underpopulated, relative to its empire; Spain at the time of its invasion by the Muslims was extremely underpopulated; and just about any place that has ever fallen has had a severe drop in population prior to its destruction.
The US is not going to experience any "severe drop in population" any time soon, i.e., during the 21st Century. Just the opposite. And the demographics of the country are changing rapidly with half of the children between the ages of 0-5 minorities. Demography is destiny. With the highest high school dropout rates being Hispanics and blacks and Hispanics having a birthrate is twice as high as that of the rest of the American population, there is reason for concern about the future.
We need immigrants: we have to make them Americans, though, and that is where we are failing. And thats our fault (permitting bilingual ed, separate language facilities for every group, special rights for Muslims, etc.).
Yes, we need immigrants. The question is how many and what criteria we use to bring them in. By 2050, non-Hispanic whites will be 50% of the population, down from the 89% in 1965 when the National Origins act of 1924 was replaced by Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, a Ted Kennedy sponsored bill. The challenge will be to retain our national identity, language and culture with such an unprecedented mass migration of millions of immigrants, most of whom come from Latin America. Can we assimilate such numbers or will we become Balkanized along linguistic and cultural lines? Unless we change our legal immigration policies and eliminate extended chain migration, anchor babies, the visa lottery program, and go to a merit based system of immigration that serves the interests of this country, we will be finished as a nation.
this guy is so incoherent
Calling for socialized medicine while decrying unsustainable entitlement programs makes the typical leftist logical sense.
I don't know how medical services were distributed but it's been found that they had amazingly modern tools and techniques more similar to our era than not. Specialists in anesthesia, surgery, dental science...along with tools and techniques similar to our modern standards separated by an 1800 year dark age...
The wonderful thing about the Romans is not questioning if what they had compares to we have - its wondering if what we have now compares to what they achieved with far less science, engineering and mathematics.
I didn't take this screen name on fool's folly.
Another clinton sleeper being called out for a hit. Iraq is going well so they cannot use that against them - have to come up with new problems...from someone everyone will see as a member of the administration.
I remember WW2.
>>>Can this really happen to us on our watch?
As Calpernia, I will speak as the resident expert on Rome.
It ain’t happenin’.
The Comptroller General said that the nation’s current course on immigration is unsustainable... and then didn’t say what he meant by that. Does he mean we need more illegal aliens, or fewer? He doesn’t say!
I hate that kind of inprecise thinking. The guy’s a doofus.
I thought this was going to be about the moral decline of America. Instead it’s a bunch of Liberal claptrap.
I think he is right, but about a hundred years to soon.
We are nearing the end of the democratic phase of our history (the Republic died long ago), and are waiting to see what happens next. The Roman Empire lasted hundreds of years in worse situations.
But the Romans died a similar way in the West. The legions were all foreign barbarians, who had little conception of what Rome was. Birth rates plummeted as morals did also (Constantine slowed things somewhat), and in the end, the Roman people were more concerned about where the next free meal was than with who was running the state. When the final fall happened, it was welcomed by most of the former Romans.
He forgot the part about starving the teachers.
He stated many truths in that article, state something you don’t agree with. IMHO, the moral depravity is the nail in the coffin, go against God and you’re finished.
I agree with him in that the level of governmental corruption is nearing Nero’s levels. Internal moral decay , AND THE SELLING OF ROMAN CITIZENSHIP -watering down of the Romans culture by foreigners ( sound familiar ) all lead to Rome’s decline. I see some parallels while not agreeing with parts of his article.
The challenge will be to retain our national identity,
Something the Romans had difficulty doing.
It’s hard to be specific because he’s speaking in broad generalities but the idea that the USA is about to go the way of the Roman Empire is nothing but hysterical hyperbole to influence the upcoming elections.
Imagine he’s been in the position all the years and he’s just now had an epiphany urgent enough to “turn up the volume?”
Give me a break.
I cannot disagree with this sentiment. Although I am a Boomer myself (yes, I admit it), my own generation has, by and large, acted selfishly here, as if the "huge party" you speak of were without any future cost.
Of course, anyone who knows me would not be likely to confuse me with one of those "country club Republicans."
But my comments were directed elsewhere, toward the politically correct, almost fetishistic love of multiculturalism that is now fashionable.
As to the author's central thesis--that the US resembles ancient Rome because of "declining moral values and political civility at home, an over-confident and over-extended military in foreign lands and fiscal irresponsibility by the central government"--I would say that the "over-confident and over-extended military in foreign lands" is the weakest part, as it seems to imply that our incursion into Iraq (and perhaps Afghanistan also) was a mistake. I disagree. But the rest of his equation strikes me as sound.
Whether or not this adds up to our being in a similar position to Rome, near the end of its glory days, is another question.
Meidicare is underfunded based on the structure of the program, i.e., unfunded liabilities based on promised benefits. That is the point.
"Social Security and Medicare have promised $37 trillion more in benefits to senior and disabled workers than the programs will be able to pay, according to a new report. The 2006 annual report of the trustees of the Social Security and Medicare trust funds concludes that both programs will require progressively larger transfers from general revenues to maintain the projected levels of spending."
"Medicare and Social Security will require growing amounts of federal income tax revenue. Today, 6.9 percent of federal income taxes go towards the two programs. Dr. Thomas Saving of Texas A & M University, a public trustee of the Medicare and Social Security trust funds, estimates that, in 2020, 26.6 percent of all federal income taxes will go to paying for Medicare and Social Security. By 2030, that number will increase to 49.7 percent."
"Of the two programs, Medicare presents the greatest challenge to Congress and taxpayers. The Hospital Insurance Trust fund is projected to be exhausted by 2018, a change from the previous date of 2020, and the cost of the Supplemental Medical Insurance program (SMI) is increasing faster than Medicare trustees had projected. According to the trustees, Medicares long-term debt, based on a 75-year actuarial projection, is now estimated to be $32.4 trillion. Of that amount $8 trillion is directly attributable to the Medicare prescription drug entitlement. The trustees did revise the size of the Medicare portion of the debt, which was estimated at $8.7 trillion in 2005, because the drug costs have risen more slowly than projected, as have the rates of enrollment. What is unknown is the extent to which employers, who now get federal subsidies for maintaining approved drug coverage for retirees, will continue to maintain that coverage or drop it with the passage of time. Accordingly, the cost of Medicares drug entitlement remains a huge uncertainty."
Representative Government? The last century of the Roman Republic was an example of oligarchy. The Senatorial class had taken the lion’s share of the wealth gained by Roman conquests and came to own all of Italy. Slaves displaced the people from the land and forced them into town. Veterans were bought off by land grants on the frontier, far from Rome. In Caesar, the Oligarchs reaped what they had sown. All Augustus did was to strip them of a power they had misused in the first place. All in all, the emperors, except for the break down under Nero, gave Romans two hundred years of government that were much better than they what theyt had during the last few generations of the Republic.
The Roman Republic was a lot like Mexico today : a rich country owned and operated by a few hundred families. The slaves were more like organic machines who were bought into Italy to work the big plantations and drive the free farmers off the land. As far as the imigrants are concerned, I do share your concern, but they are more like the Barbarians who during the 2nd Century began to infiltrate into the Empire. Marcus Aurelius spent much of his reign trying to keep them out. During the next hundred years , the pressure became greater and greater. Diocletians and then Constantine managed to hold back the tide, but finally, in the 5th Century, the dykes in the West collapsed.