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February 5, 2012 / 74

We Are The United States of Rome! (new title)

In the CATO Institute paper on the fall of Rome, and the several centuries of economic conditions that presaged it, we can see both Roman history and current events coming together to provide a forecast of where we are headed.

It’s all there! Nixon’s imposition of wage and price controls, excess taxation, inflation and hyper-inflation, unequal taxation, etc etc etc! Although the paper itself is rather longish, the details provided are rewarding to the patient reader. And the final conclusion (below) pretty much sums up where the US and the EU are heading. Who needs a fortune teller when we have history to look at?

In conclusion, the fall of Rome was fundamentally due to economic deterioration resulting from excessive taxation, inflation, and over-regulation. Higher and higher taxes failed to raise additional revenues because wealthier taxpayers could evade such taxes while the middle class–and its taxpaying capacity–were exterminated. Although the final demise of the Roman Empire in the West (its Eastern half continued on as the Byzantine Empire) was an event of great historical importance, for most Romans it was a relief.

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