Lessons from the Roman Empire?
I saw these graphs on the big picture about the level of food stamps.
It just makes me think of when I studied economics of the Roman Empire and the contribution of the burgeoning welfare system to it decline...
I found a few quotes:
In order to continue it's social/socialist programs in the capital city and empire, Rome would enable massive taxation to it's municipalities and territories (land whose residents would not be afforded the rights of a Roman Citizen), as well as impose trade restrictions ( a good example was Rome's price fixing of wheat in order to support it's burgeoning welfare system - Roman citizens were "entitled to the right" of "free" wheat, the "Annona") to keep artificial prices on certain commodities. This lead to massive inflation, which in turn put an added burden on the Roman state.
Rome would continue to conquer in order to obtain resources to fuel it's insatiable appetite.
Socialism is a grand idea on paper, until you put it to practice. Then it reveals itself as the parasite it is (it consumes everything to keep the ball rolling).
“What was the root cause of it all? The Romans had fallen prey to socialism. This cancerous system of mushrooming welfare, high taxes, trade restrictions, and inflation destroyed the Roman system of common law and demolished the currency and the economy. By 400 A.D. the troops were no longer well paid and some units went renegade.
“When the Romans withdrew, the local people were left with no law and no military defense unless they could hire one of these renegade Roman units. Commanders of the renegade units became local dictators.
“The roads fell in disrepair. Long distance trade and communication ceased. Supplies of raw materials from distant lands began to dry up. Mass production ended and towns started preying on each other. Each latifundium became a separate nation struggling to survive in isolation from the rest of the world. Each had its own castle and army. Taxes, taxes, and more taxes.
“In our school books we are taught that the Roman Empire fell because it had become militarily weak and was overrun by tribes of barbarians. This is a half-truth. In most areas, civilization had already been destroyed by socialism; the people were well down the road of barbarism themselves – long before the arrival of the foreign tribes.