The Roman Empire’s patterns of fiscal and economic irresponsibility prior to its fall correlates to the present condition of the United States. Between severe inflation, higher taxes, reckless spending, and unrealistic market regulations that burdened business owners, the U.S. is doomed to the same fate as the Roman Empire, unless drastic changes and a return to the gold standard are made. .
The Roman government abandoned their gold standard of coinage. When Rome ceased to expand overseas, they had no more sources of wealth, which came from foreign sources of gold. In order to maintain their government’s money supply, the emperors started coining their money with more copper and lead for the sake of temporary-convenience for the Roman authorities. They were devaluing their currency at the expense of the people. Is this not what the United States’ Federal Reserve is doing? When Congress wants to spend money they don’t have, the Fed prints more through the destructive tactic of quantitative easing. These counterproductive and dangerous printings have greatly contributed to the 97% devaluation of the US dollar since 1913 ― which was the year Woodrow Wilson established the Federal Reserve. A fiat currency that the Fed created has inevitably led to inflation. Rome’s inflation was so severe that some resorted back to bartering, abandoning their government’s money system. A dishonest currency that is manipulated by governmental special interests eventually will ― and has ― destroyed all major civilizations.
The United States has an absurd taxation system. Whether it be the income tax, property tax, sales’ tax, estate tax, gift tax, telephone tax, payroll tax, or even the death tax, all Americans are subject to, and affected by the 74, 608 never-ending pages of the U.S. tax code. Rome was so desperate to tax their citizens that they actually lessened the requirements for citizenship to collect from more people. Excessive taxation on small businesses and hard-working citizens laid a burden on the Roman people. The income tax did not even exist until 1913 (not-so-coincidentally the year that the Federal Reserve was established). These patterns feed government corruption, and they not only damage the lives of everyday people, but also damage the “free” market economy.
In an effort to improve manufacturing, Emperor Diocletian raised the empire’s control on the market, wages, and prices. However it only led to more economic downfall, because of the impracticalities it put onto the people of Rome, particularly business owners. This is very similar to the U.S. minimum wage and the progressive movement, that fight to raise the minimum wage it to $15 an hour. This is unrealistic for businesses, because most cannot afford such high wages besides large corporations. It has already statistically led to more unemployment in states that have raised it on their own. The general statist practice of more governmental interventions into the market has always, and will always, be destructive to the prosperity of great nations and empires.
The United States is doomed to the same fate as Rome, due to its financial burdens that they put onto their people for their own special interests. Severe inflation, high taxes, and excessive market regulations contrary to laissez-faire ideology greatly contributed to the fall of Rome, and it is gradually doing the same to the Unites States. Unless we take actions to stop it ― revert to the gold standard of an honest currency, lessen taxes, encourage more fiscal responsibility, and abolish the usage of quantitative easing, the U.S. will continue on the path to its own destruction.