Same old thing repeated.

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Navy1960, Dec 26, 2009.

  1. Navy1960
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    Navy1960 Senior Member

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    At first, the government could raise additional revenue from the sale of state property. Later, more unscrupulous emperors like Domitian (81-96 A.D.) would use trumped-up charges to confiscate the assets of the wealthy. They would also invent excuses to demand tribute from the provinces and the wealthy. Such tribute, called the aurum corinarium, was nominally voluntary and paid in gold to commemorate special occasions, such as the accession of a new emperor or a great military victory. Caracalla (198-217 A.D.) often reported such dubious "victories" as a way of raising revenue. Rostovtzeff (1957: 417) calls these levies "pure robbery."

    Although taxes on ordinary Romans were not raised, citizenship was greatly expanded in order to bring more people into the tax net. Taxes on the wealthy, however, were sharply increased, especially those on inheritances and manumissions (freeing of slaves).

    Occasionally, the tax burden would be moderated by a cancellation of back taxes or other measures. One such occasion occurred under the brief reign of Pertinax (193 A.D.), who replaced the rapacious Commodus (A.D. 176-192). As Edward Gibbon (1932: 88) tells us:

    Though every measure of injustice and extortion had been adopted, which could collect the property of the subject into the coffers of the prince; the rapaciousness of Commodus had been so very inadequate to his extravagance, that, upon his death, no more than eight thousand pounds were found in the exhausted treasury, to defray the current expenses of government, and to discharge the pressing demand of a liberal donative, which the new emperor had been obliged to promise to the Praetorian guards. Yet under these distressed circumstances, Pertinax had the generous firmness to remit all the oppressive taxes invented by Commodus, and to cancel all the unjust claims of the treasury; declaring in a decree to the senate, "that he was better satisfied to administer a poor republic with innocence, than to acquire riches by the ways of tyranny and dishonor."
    How Excessive Government Killed Ancient Rome

    Sound familier? History gives us a good clue as to what not to do, however these things are commonly ignored as we step forward into the same mistakes,.
     
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  2. MaggieMae
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    MaggieMae Reality bits

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    Of one thing everyone was sure: nothing would ever be the same again. Not the financial industry, not capitalism, not globalization.

    Oh Navy... such portent of doom and gloom. Read this and be happy:

    One year later, how much has the world really changed? Well, Wall Street is home to two fewer investment banks (three, if you count Merrill Lynch). Some regional banks have gone bust. There was some turmoil in Moldova and (entirely unrelated to the financial crisis) in Iran. Severe problems remain, like high unemployment in the West, and we face new problems caused by responses to the crisis—soaring debt and fears of inflation. But overall, things look nothing like they did in the 1930s. The predictions of economic and political collapse have not materialized at all.

    Full article:
    The Secrets of Stability | Print Article | Newsweek.com
     
  3. Mike458877
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    Mike458877 Conservative

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    Maggie, only the fool ignores the lessons of history!

    Mike
     
  4. uscitizen
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    uscitizen Senior Member

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    The lessons of history?

    Like Vietnam? The USSR in Afganistan? under regulated business?
     
  5. MaggieMae
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    MaggieMae Reality bits

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    Not that far back. Hopefully the capacity of our brains has evolved since then. Plus, the Roman Empire operated within a relatively small geopolitical realm with no knowledge of how the rest of the world was evolving. The USA wouldn't last a month if it declared that all nations had to succumb to its lead.
     
  6. Navy1960
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    Navy1960 Senior Member

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    First of all Maggie, I wasn't talking about the economic crisis so much as I was talking about years of policy that never has changed where the next Generation of Americans will not know a better life than the ones that came before them. A Generation of Americans that will increasingly become dependent on Govt. for it's needs rather than hard work, and the hard work they do in the vast majority of cases will be service related. It never ceases to amaze me that this nation has many examples of history in which to choose from in order not to repeat the same mistakes that have led to the downfall of many nations and empires , Ancient Rome was just one example, there are many many others. However Maggie it's not a matter of how far we have progressed since the time of Augustus, if you look at the parallels between Rome and our nation you see a roadmap of steady decline, in Romes case it took over a 1000 years in ours perhaps less if we keep upon the same path we are going, of borrowing money from future generations to mortgage this one.
     
  7. Xenophon
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    Xenophon Gone and forgotten

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    Stagnation and over-taxation did eventually wipe out the western Roman empire.

    In fact, every great power reaches a point where it just can't sustain itself and then it collapses in on itself.

    Our situation is unique in that we are busy doing to ourselves through a number of very foolish people who like to call themselves 'progresses' but are in fact akin to primatives who want to bring back the old tribal ways of sharing all, and killing off the sick or weak, the 'useless eaters' as Adolph used to say, while clamping down on individuality in favor of all actting and thinking as one.
     

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