Are we that different from Rome?

After watching the first season of Rome, that came on HBO, it dawned on me politics haven’t changed much in a thousand years. Rome, the series, was suppose to show the Roman empire for what it really was. If you look at a movie like Gladiator then you would notice that it is a more perfect view of Rome.

This is not a completely thought but I thought I would write it down and get some ideas out there. First, the United States like Rome for a very long time lived under the idea that the Republic is powerful and the senators ruled. If you would look at the United States, you would see that the President’s power has grown continually over the years. Our country is young and I am not saying that the President will take power and make the Congress unimportant but it shouldn’t be something we ignore. History is doomed to repeat itself if not studied well. Even when we look back in history and say who was the most important person in Roman history, most people would say Julius Caesar. The man who was assassinated as he was turning Rome into a dictatorship. They were unsucessful at preventing it but none-the-less, most people do not know who killed Caesar and more importantly do not know the people who first installed the Republic.

Next, we portray Rome to be fully of corruption and bribes but is it that different than pork spending and earmarks? Instead of doing it behind doors, we do ours in plain daylight and we are so good that everyone can know the exact amount of money you wasted and you will still be re-elected.

Finally, when we talk about monetary policy we notice that Rome fell into inflationary pressures as most modern governments do. As we know government prints the money and the more they print the more inflation goes up. In Roman times, they weren’t on a fiat standard because the gold you owned was in the coin. Instead they would chip off the corners of the coins. They were actually more restrained in this field than we did.

So I beg the question once again, are we that different from Rome? Most people know the Cato Institute but do you know why it is called that?

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Published in: on July 30, 2008 at 5:59 pm  Leave a Comment  
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