Comparisons with Rome.
The FCC announced that they are set to regulate the Internet. Congress did not pass Net Neutrality, so the FCC will do it on their own.
Obama is not succeeding with his plan for the Bush tax cuts. He will most probably push for a Value Added Tax (VAT).
Europe is financially in trouble.
Ancient Rome – There are parallels with America today.
A poll taken recently showed that 26% of Americans did not know that we broke away from England. This is one indicator that we, as a society, are losing our collective memory of what it means to be an American.
Glenn showed a graphic from his book “Broke” http://www.amazon.com/Broke-Restore-Trust-Truth-Treasure/dp/1439187193/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1291307727&sr=8-1 . This curve showed the generic development, maturity and decline that civilizations go through.
Rome was first a republic and then evolved into an empire.
David Walker, a former Comptroller of the U.S., wrote that there were three critical factors leading to Rome’s fall. There are similarities to America today.
- A decline in moral values and political civility at home.
- Overconfident and overextended military abroad.
- Fiscal irresponsibility by the central government.
When a society puts the collective before the individual, it never ends well.
Gibbon’s “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” http://www.amazon.com/History-Decline-Fall-Roman-Empire/dp/1141970031/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1291307972&sr=1-1 states, in part, “It was artfully contrived by Augustus that, in the enjoyment of plenty, the Romans should lose the memory of freedom.”
133 BC - The Republic phase of Rome began to end when they confiscated land from those who owned “too much” and gave it to the poor. Rome’s Senate still existed, but it’s approval was not sought. They just did it.
Today, Congress is being avoided. Glenn ran an audio clip of a Democratic Senator who was caught on an open mike saying the vote on the Food Safety Bill was rigged.
123 BC – Food rationing begins
58 BC – Free wheat for the masses. (Today, in America, 40 million people are on food stamps.)
31 BC – Octavian established the political structure of the empire. He left the old structure in place, but they didn’t have any real meaning. (Today, in America, the Senate is rigged and the FCC will regulate the Internet.)
This information is contained in the first one third of “Broke”.
Glenn then showed clips of various spokesmen discussing capitalism being replaced by socialism. He reviewed three different economic models:
- Capitalism – A system wherein government protects your right to life and liberty so that you can pursue your happiness.
- Socialism – Private ownership directed or partnered with government.
- Communism – All owned by government.
Glenn then discussed China and how it is increasingly being held up as a model for all economies to emulate. China has been described as having state capitalism which, when examined, really means state socialism. In the “open society” world, there will be no nation states; there will be only a single, global state with state socialism.
The people of Rome went from being citizens of a Republic to subjects of an empire peacefully, without any violence.
He showed the clip of a member of the European Parliament decrying the EU position that Ireland should not have a vote on a new government until they met certain conditions.
Another quote from the “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”, “The minds of men were gradually reduced to the same level, the fire of genius was extinguished.” In the Tower of Babel, men were converted into similar “bricks”. Today in America, in the classroom, bright students are held down to that of the slowest student. It has been said that with today’s regulations, Bill Gates would not be able to start Microsoft.
Stuart Chase’s book, “The Road We Are Traveling” http://www.amazon.com/road-are-traveling-1914-1942-Americas/dp/B0007DE3Y4/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1291308959&sr=1-1 (Out of Print). Lists a number of directions he saw in 1942 as directions America was headed. They included:
- Strong centralized government.
- Executive branch growing at the expense of the judicial and legislative branches.
- Underwriting of public employment.
- Underwriting of social security.
- Underwriting of food, housing and medical care.
- Control of foreign trade.
- Control of natural resources.
- Control of energy.
- Control of transportation.
- Abandonment of the gold standard and the use of deficit spending techniques.
- Control of agricultural production. (Food Safety Bill)
- Control of labor organizations.
- Heavy taxation – Control without ownership.
- Young people in youth corps for the purpose of community service.
- State control of communications and propaganda.