MasterPo says: This blog is about topics and issues that are of importance to me. I am not one of the countless blogging lemmings that are tripping over each other scurrying down the hill and off the cliff of blogging oblivion trying to write the greatest blog on the latest topic de'jour. Your comments are welcome.

March 27, 2010

The Fall of Rome and the United States (or, Iceberg! Iceberg!)

MasterPo has written about this before but it needs to be said again.

Rome fell because too many people at the bottom taking from those at the top. Or, to put it in another way, the non-producers out ranked the producers.

At the height of their power Rome decreed that any Roman citizen (at least you had to be a Roman Citizen, not any shmoe who walked over the boarder!) who wanted to could quit their daily work and Rome herself would provide for all their basic needs of life (food, housing, clothing etc. – not sure if healthcare was part of that but let's presume so).

This was done for two reasons:

1) It was hoped that people who took this offer would then use all their new free time to explore the arts, philosophy and sciences thereby adding to the intellectual and cultural base of Rome.

2) It was a symbol to the world of Roman power and affluence that it could provide all the basic needs of people without every single person making a daily material contribution to Roman society.

Problem was: Citizens actually took Rome up on the offer!

And worse: Of those who did take the offer precious few who dedicated themselves to the intellectual and cultural pursuits Rome had hoped for. Instead they indulged in sports, travel, debauchery and generally living the Life of Reilly.

Who'da seen that coming?! (not!)

Then (as is happening now) the government tried very hard to hide the problem by proposing all sorts of national programs and incentives to get people to work, and by distractions of games and events (Bread and Circuses). But it was just holding back the tide with a broom.

Rome fell when the population became a mob because the Roman government could no longer provide food, shelter etc. for aaaaaaallllllll the people who were no longer contributing to the nation.

On a Yahoo Finance Tech Ticker article a user named Lucy posted this comment:

"lucy - Friday March 19, 2010 09:06AM EDT
50 years of welfare has started to bring down western civilization. We do not have the internal fortitude to reverse the process. What are we afraid of? It is a repeat of the Roman mob bringing down emperors. A civilization fails when it loses it s nerve. Obviously we have lost ours. People have the responsibility to fend for themselves. The big lie that the socialists put forth is that they will take care of everything. There isn't enough money in the world for that to happen. When are the sheep going to realize it?"

While MasterPo agrees that possibly some of the nanny-state programs might have a benefit, the cold hard reality is we as a nation and society simply can no longer afford the luxury of all these handouts based on the hope that someone somewhere will benefit. The reality is that people only benefit when they have to put in an effort for themselves.

Sink or swim time, as cold as it may sound.

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