Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Reagan Quote

As a free people, we are following very closely in many respects the pattern which lead to the downfall of the great Roman Empire. A group of well-known historians has summarized those conditions leading to the downfall of Rome in these words:
"...Rome had known a pioneer beginning not unlike our won pioneer heritage, and then entered into two centuries of greatness, reaching it's pinnacle in the second of those centuries, going into the decline and collapse in the third. Yet, the sins of decay were becoming apparent in the latter years of that second century."
"It is written that there were vast increases in the number of the idle rich, and the idle poor. The latter (the idle poor) were put on a permanent dole, a welfare system not unlike our won. As this system became permanent, the recipients of public largesse (welfare) increased in number. They organized into a political block with sizable power. They were not hesitant about making their demands known. Nor was the government hesitant about agreeing to their demands ... And with ever-increasing frequency. Would-be demands known. Nor was the government hesitant about agreeing to their demands ... And with ever-increasing frequency. Would-be emperors cated to them. The great, solid middle class--Rome's strength then as ours is today--was taxed more and more to support a bureaucracy that kept growing larger, and even more powerful. Surtaxes were imposed upon incomes to meet emergencies. The government engaged in deficity spending. The denarius, a silver coin similar to our half dollar, began to lose it's silvery hue. It took on a copper color as the government reduced the silver contend."
"Even then, Gresham's low was at work, because the real silver coin soon disappeared. It when into hiding."
"Military service was an obligation highly honored by the Romans. Indeed, a foreigner could win Roman citizenship simply by volunteering for service in the legions of Rome. But with increasing affluence and opulence, the young men of Rome began avoiding this service, finding excuses to remain in the soft and sordid life of the city. They took to using cosmetics and wearing feminine-like hairdos and garments, until it became difficult, the historians tell us, to tell the sexes apart."
"Among the teachers and scholars was a group called the Cynics whose number let their hair and beards grow, and who wore slovenly clothes, and professed indifference to worldly goods as they heaped scorn on what they called 'middle class values.'"
"The morals declined. It became unsafe to walk in the countryside or the city streets. Rioting was commonplace and sometimes whole sections of towns and cities were burned."
"And, all the time, the twin diseases of confiscatory taxation and creeping inflation were waiting to deliver the death blow."
"Then finally, all these forces overcame the energy and ambition of the middle class."
"Rome fell."

"We are now approaching the end of the second century."(address by Governor Ronald Reagan of California at Eisenhower College.)


At 8:50 PM, Anonymous Mona said...

And Star Wars saved the middle class!

At 11:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

only if you sit outside waiting for tickets.


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