Skip to comments.Learn from the fall of Rome, US warned
Posted on 08/13/2007 5:35:11 PM PDT by Sir_Humphrey
click here to read article
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.
Ancient Topic!Just adding to the GGG catalog, not pinging.