Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.Spain Ignores Scotland Lesson as Catalan Independence Referendum Could Spark Civil War - Nadeem_Walayat
2.Used Car Buying From UK Dealer Top Tips, CarMotion.co.uk Real Customer Experience - N_Walayat
3.Spanish New Civil War Begins as Madrid Regime Storm Troopers Quell Catalan Independence Rebellion - Nadeem_Walayat
4.Virgin Media Broadband Down, Catastrophic UK Wide Failure! - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Are the US Markets setting up for an Early October Surprise? - Chris_Vermeulen
6.The Pension Storm Is Coming To Europe—It May Be The End Of Europe As We Know It -John_Mauldin
7.Stock Market Crash 2018; Will it Prove to be Another Buying Opportunity - Sol_Palha
8.The Profoundly Personal Impact Of The National Debt On Our Retirements - Dan_Amerman
9.Stock Market as Good as it Gets; Like 2000 With a Twist -Gary_Tanashian
10.1987 Stock Market Crash 30th Anniversary Greatest Investing Lesson Learned - Nadeem_Walayat
Last 7 days
Stock Investors Ignore What May Be The Biggest Policy Error In History - 20th Oct 17
Gold Up 74% Since Last Stock Market Peak 10 Years Ago - 20th Oct 17
Labour Sheffield City Council Employs Army of Spy's to Track Down Tree Campaigners / Felling's Watchers - 20th Oct 17
Stock Market Calm Before The Storm - 20th Oct 17
GOLD Price Creates Bullish Higher Low - 20th Oct 17
Here’s the US’s Biggest Vulnerability in NAFTA Negotiations - 20th Oct 17
The Greatest Investing Lesson Learned from the 1987 Stock Market Crash - 20th Oct 17
Stock Market Time to Go All-in. Short, That Is - 19th Oct 17
How Gold Bullion Protects From Conflict And War - 19th Oct 17
Stock Market Super Cycle Wave C May Have Started - 19th Oct 17
Negative Expectations, Will the Stock Market Correct? - 19th Oct 17
Knowing the Factors Affect your Car Insurance Premium - 19th Oct 17
Getting Your Feet Wet In Crypto Currencies - 19th Oct 17
10 Years Ago Today a Stocks Bear Market Started - 19th Oct 17
1987 Stock Market Crash 30th Anniversary Greatest Investing Lesson Learned - 19th Oct 17
Virgin Media Broadband Down, Catastrophic UK Wide Failure! - 19th Oct 17
The Passive Investing Bubble May Trigger A Massive Exodus from Stocks - 18th Oct 17
Gold Is In A Dangerous Spot - 18th Oct 17
History Says Global Debt Levels Will Lead to Another Crisis - 18th Oct 17
Deflation Basics Series: The Quantity Theory of Money - 18th Oct 17
Attractive European Countries for Foreign Investors - 18th Oct 17
Financial Transcription Services – What investors should know about them - 18th Oct 17
Brexit UK Vulnerable As Gold Bar Exports Distort UK Trade Figures - 18th Oct 17
Surge in UK Race Hate Crimes, Micro-Racism, Sheffield, Millhouses Park, Black on Asian - 18th Oct 17
Comfortably Numb: Surviving the Assault on Silver - 17th Oct 17
Are Amey Street Tree Felling's Devaluing Sheffield House Prices? - 17th Oct 17
12 Real-Life Techniques That Will Make You a Better Trader Now - 17th Oct 17
Warren Buffett Predicting Dow One Million - Being Bold Or Overly Cautious? - 17th Oct 17
Globalization is Poverty - 17th Oct 17
Boomers Are Not Saving Enough for Retirement, Neither Is the Government - 16th Oct 17
Stock Market Trading Dow Theory - 16th Oct 17
Stocks Slightly Higher as They Set New Record Highs - 16th Oct 17
Why is Big Data is so Important for Casino Player Acquisition and Retention - 16th Oct 17
How Investors Can Play The Bitcoin Boom - 16th Oct 17
Who Will Be the Next Fed Chief - And Why It Matters  - 16th Oct 17
Stock Market Only Minor Top Ahead - 16th Oct 17
Precious Metals Sector is on Major Buy Signal - 16th Oct 17
Really Bad Ideas - The Fed Should Have And Defend An Inflation Target - 16th Oct 17
The Bullish Chartology for Gold - 15th Oct 17
Wikileaks Mocking US Government Over Bitcoin Shows Why There Is No Stopping Bitcoin - 15th Oct 17
How to Wipe Out Puerto Rico's Debt Without Hurting Bondholders - 15th Oct 17
Gold And Silver – Think Prices Are Manipulated? Look In The Mirror! - 15th Oct 17

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

3 Videos + 8 Charts = Opportunities You Need to See - Free

Obama Arrogance, America, like Rome, Will Cross The Most Dangerous Line

Politics / US Politics Jul 22, 2013 - 10:54 AM GMT

By: Money_Morning

Politics

Keith Fitz-Gerald writes: Romulus Augustus, the last emperor of Rome, had a lot of time to think about what went wrong to cause the fall of the greatest empire in history. Here, for the first time, in this exclusive essay he tells the full story of the fall and gives Obama sage advice to our Chief Investment Strategist, Keith Fitz-Gerald on how to avoid the same fate in the US. Please forward this to interested friends or family members.

My name is Romulus Augustus. I was the last Roman Emperor. Though I only ruled a few years before giving up my throne on 4 September 476, I lived for at least another 25 years according to the tax records. I drew a pension until at least 507 according to Cassiodorus. And, in doing so, had plenty of time to think about what went wrong.


I have made the journey through time to offer my counsel and perspective lest your country repeat the same damning mistakes that ended centuries of Rome's greatness.

Let's begin at the top.

When I took the throne, the puppet masters held sway over the citizens. Theoretically, the citizens ruled Rome but sadly, true power was held by those who served as their representatives. The concentration of power is very real when it is the diffusion of power that best serves liberty.

Do not let your representatives take this for granted.

America, like Rome, will cross the most dangerous lines once voters figure out that they can entitle themselves. You will go from a nation of makers to a nation of takers.

We learned the hard way as our treasury became a proxy for a handout. Our citizenship changed radically and so did our elections. Towards the end, our political process was not about who would build a better future for the Empire, but who would be least likely to take away the handouts.

We tried giving the people free wheat as the progressive minds of our time thought that would change things. In reality, it made them worse.

Big operations and even bigger government led to large scale unemployment, particularly in our larger cities where people had nowhere else to go.

In the afterlife, I hear everybody from Henry the 8th to Julius Caesar debating the merits of leadership. Even Elvis weighs in which brings me to my next point...

Politicians who focus on surviving threats from each other lose sight of the nation they serve and their people.

We never got this right. You have the chance to do so. Today...now....before it's too late.

One of our biggest challenges was the large rival factions operating outside the political structure to create controversy and misleading attacks on rivals. They were little more than privately funded corporations acting in the guise of public interest. Eventually, they split the people so effectively that everybody lost...any nobody won.

Our government became "at" the people instead of "for" the people; corruption became a way of life amongst our leaders.

This was particularly true when it came to stimulating the economy in an attempt to correct the progressively bad policies these actions created.

At some point, you will have to take your losses. We tried to avoid the issue and, although it took centuries to unwind, the role of the state in presuming that it would operate more efficiently than the private markets ultimately led to economic fragmentation.

As conditions deteriorate, you would be wise to watch carefully for the concentration of power risks becoming absolute. Know that influence peddling is just as alive in your time as it was in mine.

And it is every bit as dangerous.

High taxes and public spending rob the economy.

We learned very painfully that when money is cheap, productivity falls as do margins, even though overall business activity expands for a time.

I only wished we had learned sooner.

Beginning with Marcus Aurelius, we suffered from merciless inflation. Some of this was simply due to the fact that we stopped conquering other lands and peoples. Mostly, however, it was due to the fact that without a constant inflow of new wealth from those lands, we could not keep up our spending.

The term "pyramid scheme" did not exist in our time but I believe it applies.

Our wealthy had plenty of gold to spend but the majority of our citizens watched helplessly and hopelessly as the amount of actual money in circulation dropped to the point where it became worthless.

We repeatedly devalued our currencies swapping one for the other as values dropped. We printed money in the short term oblivious to the damage we were doing in the longer term.

We also began reducing the actual metal content in our gold and silver coins so that the actual metal made up less than 25% of its weight. In some cases, we even used tin in an attempt to maintain the silver color of coins, but that didn't fool people for long.

To compensate, merchants raised prices to the point where nobody could afford to use real money. Inflation hit very hard. Barter became the method of the day.

As hard as it is for you to imagine, salaries were eventually paid in food and clothing. Taxes were collected in fruits and vegetables. Our troops were eventually paid with rationed supplies.

The middle class was obliterated as once free men transitioned into debtors' hell, existing hand to mouth under draconian taxes that robbed them of their future.

We learned the hard way that a strong currency creates hope. And hope, in turn, creates value.

The strongest years of our Empire were driven by the concept of a better future rather than merely by survival. Taxing our public enslaved them, creating what in the Middle Ages would come to be called serfdom.

Most of our banks, by the way, failed in the 3rd and 4th centuries. Unless you are prepared to endure the same crisis, I urge you to do whatever it takes to support your currency.

Do not let Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke or any of his central banking cabal to further devalue the money you need to function.

Hold your nation together and keep your people free.

When the cost of money is low, governments will waste it and businessmen will not invest.

Lending to the government does not count because it's an implied tax that robs the private sector of the wealth needed for innovation and growth.

Stimulus is simply not sustainable. Like the drugs we took to enhance our orgies in years past, the short term fix feels great. Our markets, enjoyed periods of strong performance following each new stimulative effort, too.

But know this....

Bread and circuses will not placate the masses for long. In ancient Rome, our emperors used to pay privately for circuses, gladiatorial contests and public food as a means of distracting our population from the hopelessness of their situation.

It worked quite well for a while. But eventually people figured out the bread was rotten and that the circuses really were a colossal waste of their money and did nothing for their future.

By the time we realized that radical fiscal reform was necessary to build a stronger Roman Empire and a more balanced economy, it was too late.

Once our elite no longer saw the necessity to serve the people, much less in our military, we broke down.

Our Empire failed because we did not appreciate the need for mutual obligation and appreciation.

One last thing. Don't be so arrogant to believe that it can't happen.

Your president, Barak Obama and all your elected leaders must understand that they have been voted into office by the people for the people.

They must not fail. This is their watch.

They would be wise to treat the people who put them in power with the respect their nation asks of them and the trust embodied in their office.

Source :http://moneymorning.com/2013/07/22/dont-be-so-arrogant-mr-president/

Money Morning/The Money Map Report

©2013 Monument Street Publishing. All Rights Reserved. Protected by copyright laws of the United States and international treaties. Any reproduction, copying, or redistribution (electronic or otherwise, including on the world wide web), of content from this website, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of Monument Street Publishing. 105 West Monument Street, Baltimore MD 21201, Email: customerservice@moneymorning.com

Disclaimer: Nothing published by Money Morning should be considered personalized investment advice. Although our employees may answer your general customer service questions, they are not licensed under securities laws to address your particular investment situation. No communication by our employees to you should be deemed as personalized investent advice. We expressly forbid our writers from having a financial interest in any security recommended to our readers. All of our employees and agents must wait 24 hours after on-line publication, or after the mailing of printed-only publication prior to following an initial recommendation. Any investments recommended by Money Morning should be made only after consulting with your investment advisor and only after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Money Morning Archive

© 2005-2017 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Catching a Falling Financial Knife