Friday, September 3, 2010

3rd Century Rome and 21st Century America

Just in case you missed it; a blog from April reposted:

History does repeat itself. Sometimes more than we would like it to. Take for instance the third century A.D.(200's) Ralph Martin Novak, author of Christianity and the Roman Empire, provides a sobering statistic of 3rd century Rome which serves as a warning to our U.S. government.

He said, "It is estimated that whereas at the start of the third century A.D. the Roman emperors employed only about 300 to 350 full-time individuals in administering the Empire, by 300 A.D. this number had grown to some 30,000 or 35,000 people [italics added]. The expense of this vastly increased administrative and military structure was an enormous burden on the people of the Empire, and the burden only grew more oppressive over the course of the fourth century A.D....Rome's efforts to collect the taxes necessary to pay for defense and administration exacerbated the already deep social and economic divisions within the Roman empire."

To repeat: In just one hundred years the administration of Rome, bearing a lot of resemblance to the current state of the U.S. government, grew from 300-350 employees to 30,000 to 35,000 employees! By 300 A.D., Rome's central government was so big and overgrown, that it hindered economic growth and its ability to defend its citizens against their enemies.

It is important to remember that this rapid inflation of central government resulted after two centuries of moral decay. And more disturbing, it happened on the eve of Rome's collapse; that is, just before it fell to foreign powers.

Social and moral malaise always prepares the way for an unchecked and oppressive State. As Bishop Fulton Sheen once said, "If the soul is not saved, nothing is saved!" Not even the Republic.