U.S Economics and The Roman Empire

Thank you to Sara McDonald for her article on the state of U.S economics. Read and leave your comments below!

For another discussion on the topic of the United States vs. Rome, check out this book on the topic:
Empires of Trust: How Rome Built–and America Is Building–a New World


 

The Roman Empire’s patterns of fiscal and economic irresponsibility prior to its fall correlates to the present condition of the United States.  Between severe inflation, higher taxes, reckless spending, and unrealistic market regulations that burdened business owners, the U.S. is doomed to the same fate as the Roman Empire, unless drastic changes and a return to the gold standard are made.

 

The Roman government abandoned their gold standard of coinage.  When Rome ceased to expand overseas, they had no more sources of wealth, which came from foreign sources of gold.  In order to maintain their government’s money supply, the emperors started coining their money with more copper and lead for the sake of temporarily-convenience for the Roman authorities.  They were devaluing their currency at the expense of the people.  Is this not what the United States’ Federal Reserve is doing?  When Congress wants to spend money they don’t have, the Fed prints more through the destructive tactic of quantitative easing.  These counterproductive and dangerous printings have greatly contributed to the 97% devaluation of the US dollar since 1913 ― which was the year Woodrow Wilson established the Federal Reserve.  A fiat currency that the Fed created has inevitably led to inflation.  Rome’s inflation was so severe that some resorted back to bartering, abandoning their government’s money system.  A dishonest currency that is manipulated by governmental special interests eventually will ― and has ― destroyed all major civilizations.

 

The United States has an absurd taxation system.  Whether it be the income tax, property tax, sales’ tax, estate tax, gift tax, telephone tax, payroll tax, or even the death tax, all Americans are subject to and affected by the 74,608 seemingly never-ending pages of the U.S. tax code.  Rome was so desperate to tax their citizens that they actually lessened the requirements for citizenship to collect from more people.  Excessive taxation on small businesses and hard-working citizens laid a burden on the Roman people.  The income tax did not even exist until 1913 (not-so-coincidentally the year that the Federal Reserve was established).  These patterns feed government corruption, and they not only damage the lives of everyday people, but also damage the “free” market economy.

 

In an effort to improve manufacturing, Emperor Diocletian raised the empire’s control on the market, wages, and prices. However it only led to more economic downfall because of the impracticalities it put onto the people of Rome, particularly business owners.  This is very similar to the U.S. minimum wage and the progressive movement to raise it to $15 an hour. This is unrealistic for businesses because most cannot afford such high wages besides corporations.  It has already statistically led to more unemployment in states that have raised it on their own.  The general statist practice of more governmental interventions into the market has always, and will always, be destructive to the prosperity of great nations and empires.

 

The United States is indeed doomed to the same fate as Rome due to its financial burdens that they put onto their people for their own special interests.  Severe inflation, high taxes, and excessive market regulations contrary to laissez-faire ideology greatly contributed to the fall of Rome, and it is gradually doing the same to the Unites States.  Unless we take actions to stop it ― revert to the gold standard of an honest currency, lessen taxes, encourage more fiscal responsibility, and abolish the usage of quantitative easing, the U.S. will continue on the path to its own destruction.

 

“Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.” ― Winston Churchill


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9 comments

  1. This article has multiple false statements, I don’t know where to start. Severe inflation? Where is that? The fed is pushing for higher inflation. With economic growth comes inflation. You mention that taxes are too high, but you don’t back up your claim on how you came to that conclusion. At what rate are taxes too high? And gold as a currency doesn’t work. The reason is simple, there is a finite amount of gold with a continuously growing population and economies. Not to mention the benefits of having a currency that does not rely on a commodity. If the US used gold as a currency we would fall like the Roman Empire. A stronger currency isnt always a good thing. I see very little connection between today’s US economy and the Roman Empire’s economy.

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    • Firstly, you speak as if inflation is a beneficial economic factor to an economy, which is false: the Fed has devalued the U.S. dollar by 97% since 1913, and inflation has increased since 2,000% since then. Please elaborate on *how* higher prices and lesser values contribute to “economic growth”. I named each tax that Americans are subject to and, in all honesty, that should be enough to prove that taxation is too high. If the government can take half of your property, then yes, there is a problem. You asked at which rate is taxation too high, and I would argue that any income taxation is theft, as it robs someone of their property. Is the government above the law? The taxes simply contribute to and enable the wasteful spending of the government, along with the Federal Reserve that prints money for Congress’ temporary benefit.

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  2. There are some weak statements here. The incone tax was not thought up in 1913. It had been used before, just not as the major source of taxation. I don’t think a gold standard is what we should use, but a precious metals standard would be very effective.

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  3. I replied a few days ago but I suppose the comments didn’t go through.

    Stephen, the federal income tax was ratified to the Constitution in 1913. I was not referring to state taxes.

    To the other commenter, you claimed that taxes are not too high. I thought it was implied when I named
    examples of taxation and the IRS tax code. You asked what I consider too high, and I consider any federal income tax too high. I want it repealed and replaced with nothing. To keep the government small and in check, you need to cut its budget and its revenue, and also recognize that the Federal Reserve is another reason as to why Congress has such limitless boundaries.

    Regarding inflation, the Fed claims that they regulate it, but they are the reason for its creation. The original context of inflation is a decreased value in money, which then leads to an increase in pricings. The Fed’s quantitative easing program carelessly prints money for the convenience of the few at the cost of the many. They’ve decreased the value of the dollar by 97%; don’t you see something wrong with that?

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  4. I realize that you are against a controlling government. Economic growth means more dollars running through the economy, or chasing goods, pushing prices up. About taxes, it’s an opinion. You think they are too high, but you want all the benefits the government offers. Either the government leaves the economy completely alone, free to fail or crush the smaller majority, or it plays it’s role by making sure the economy is running in the countries best interest. But to do so, it needs money, that’s where taxes come in. You can’t get both.

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