View Poll Results: The fall of Rome equals US today?

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  • Yes, absolutely

    12 25.00%
  • Some similarities, but not really

    21 43.75%
  • No, not at all

    14 29.17%
  • Other (please elaborate)

    1 2.08%
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Thread: The fall of Rome equals US today?

  1. #31
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    Re: The fall of Rome equals US today?

    Part 2

    Inflation
    The roman economy suffered from inflation (an increase in prices) beginning after the reign of Marcus Aurelius. Once the Romans stopped conquering new lands, the flow of gold into the Roman economy decreased. Yet much gold was being spent by the romans to pay for luxury items. This meant that there was less gold to use in coins. As the amount of gold used in coins decreased, the coins became less valuable. To make up for this loss in value, merchants raised the prices on the goods they sold. Many people stopped using coins and began to barter to get what they needed. Eventually, salaries had to be paid in food and clothing, and taxes were collected in fruits and vegetables.
    True. Adjusted for inflation, the average household makes less than it did 15 years ago.

    Urban decay
    Wealthy Romans lived in a domus, or house, with marble walls, floors with intricate colored tiles, and windows made of small panes of glass. Most Romans, however, were not rich, They lived in small smelly rooms in apartment houses with six or more stories called islands. Each island covered an entire block. At one time there were 44,000 apartment houses within the city walls of Rome. First-floor apartments were not occupied by the poor since these living quarters rented for about $00 a year. The more shaky wooden stairs a family had to climb, the cheaper the rent became. The upper apartments that the poor rented for $40 a year were hot, dirty, crowed, and dangerous. Anyone who could not pay the rent was forced to move out and live on the crime-infested streets. Because of this cities began to decay.
    Mostly true. Infrastructure, in the form of our power grid, highways and mass transit are falling apart, and there's little political momentum to overhaul any of this on a nation-wide scale.

    Inferior Technology
    Another factor that had contributed to decline and fall of the Roman empire was that during the last 400 years of the empire, the scientific achievements of the Romans were limited almost entirely to engineering and the organization of public services. They built marvelous roads, bridges, and aqueducts. They established the first system of medicine for the benefit of the poor. But since the Romans relied so much on human and animal labor, they failed to invent many new machines or find new technology to produce goods more efficiently. They could not provide enough goods for their growing population. They were no longer conquering other civilizations and adapting their technology, they were actually losing territory they could not longer maintain with their legions.
    Undetermined. What's funny about this is we have lots of technology. The disconnect, as anyone who has traveled to much of Europe, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea can tell you, is that you just don't always see a lot of it on the street.

    Military Spending
    Maintaining an army to defend the border of the Empire from barbarian attacks was a constant drain on the government. Military spending left few resources for other vital activities, such as providing public housing and maintaining quality roads and aqueducts. Frustrated Romans lost their desire to defend the Empire. The empire had to begin hiring soldiers recruited from the unemployed city mobs or worse from foreign counties. Such an army was not only unreliable, but very expensive. The emperors were forced to raise taxes frequently which in turn led again to increased inflation.
    Gee, I don't know. What do you think? Does anybody think we're spending a lot of money on our military?

    THE FINAL BLOWS
    For years, the well-disciplined Roman army held the barbarians of Germany back. Then in the third century A. D. the Roman soldiers were pulled back from the Rhine-Danube frontier to fight civil war in Italy. This left the Roman border open to attack. Gradually Germanic hunters and herders from the north began to overtake Roman lands in Greece and Gaul (later France). Then in 476 A. D. the Germanic general Odacer or Odovacar overthrew the last of the Roman Emperors, Augustulus Romulus. From then on the western part of the Empire was ruled by Germanic chieftain. Roads and bridges were left in disrepair and fields left untilled. Pirates and bandits made travel unsafe. Cities could not be maintained without goods from the farms, trade and business began to disappear. And Rome was no more in the West. The total fall of the Roman empire.
    True (sort of). I was tempted to make a joke about how the threat of Visigoths has mostly passed, but looking at the drug war spilling from Mexico and into our border, and how Sudan reminded everybody that piracy is still actually a thing, decreased military might on our part could allow these thing to slowly chew away at us.

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    Re: The fall of Rome equals US today?

    Can't really answer because I haven't significantly studied the Roman empire. I do think some of our efforts abroad in the 2000's could be similar to the overreach of an empire; though I thought the war on terror's issues were more a wonderful analog to our efforts to spend the soviets into oblivion in the cold war as opposed to anything to do with Rome.

    Claiming Obama is a "Usurper" however is foolish. 8 years of that crap with Bush and now we have to put up with it for Obama. Will doomcriers please go away? When a President actually makes a push to go beyond 8 years THEN I may start giving them Robert Baratheon's title. Before that, meh. I disagree with a lot of what he's doing too, but Usurper is ridiculous.

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    Re: The fall of Rome equals US today?

    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernDemocrat View Post
    Obama rate of issuing executive orders is one of the lowest of any president in a hundred years:
    SD, you're a smart guy so I don't know why you keep going to this ONE factor when it's been pointed out to you numerous times that peoples complaints are generally beyond simple "how many".

    If people were claiming specifically that Obama is doing too many EO's or suggestnig EO's inherently are beyond a Presidents authority, then you'd be correct in posting this link. However, that's not what people are claiming...but you're just attacking a strawman of your own creation by acting like their focus is on one thing.

    If I say a player is making poor decisions shooting the ball and he turns raound and goes "But coach! I only shot the ball 8 times and Johnson over there shot it 12! How dare you criticize me" that doesn't necessarily counter my point. Johnson's shots may've been high percentage while the other players wasn't. Johnson's may've been uncontested while the other players were while being double teamed. Johnson's may've been on set plays after ball movement, where as the other players were from him hogging the ball and putting up a shot.

    There could be all sorts of factors as to why I say he was making a poor decision shooting; but he just throws out one metric and declares a win.

    Unless you can show me an instance of the poster complaining about poor volume, this instance...as with previous instances where you've been called out about htis...is just you attempting to pidgeon hole an argument.

    A large part of the argument regarding Obama and executive actions is not the volume, but the type of actions being under gone. Additionally, the issue is not even singularly resolving around "Executive orders" but a mass of executive action undertaken...both through EO's and directives via Executive Administrations.

    When it comes to EO's, Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson laid the foundation for the three types that exist.

    Those issued persuant to an expressed or implied authorization of Congress. In these cases the POTUS's authority is maximum, with an EO being invalid only if what it does is outside the scope of the governments power.

    The next are those with a "Zone of Twilight"; instances where a President acts singularly based on his independent power and Congress has not spoken on the issue. Here, the validity of the EO is a bit more questionable and depends on the imperatives of the event and contemporary imponderables.

    Finally, there are those that are incompatable with the expressed or implied will of Congress. This is the flip side of the first instance and is where the POTUS's authority is at it's lowest. The EO would only be constitutional if it's something a court could disable the congress from being able to act on.

    Justice Jackson pointed out that instances falling in that last category are ones where the notion of checks and balances within our government becomes at stake.

    Focusing singularly upon the "amount" is a dishonest reading of peoples complaints, basically placing blinders on and deciding to argue the path of least resistance rather than take any effort to honestly understand their complaints.

    It is not simply the number but rather the method and style in which it's being done.

    The issues with regards to immigration is a wonderful example of this. Proponents of the President will note that he was simply focusing enforcement towards certain problems and away from others. A legitimate defense. However, also legitimate is the opponents of the President's point that many of the designations that the Obama administration made for determining enforcement closely match a law that was attempted to be passed by congress and failed. As such, you're have an issue of an Executive Order that is incompatable with the expressed will of Congress. It was a course of action specifically dealt with in Congress and was unable to come to pass. That causes a greater question regarding the legitimacy of that executive order beyond one that was done in line with what Congress stated.

    This is why it's foolish when people keep throwing out pure volume numbers as if every executive order or action is equal and the same.

    The changing of implimentation dates within the passage of Obamacare is another legitimate issue. For example, the law laid out SPECIFIC dates that certain factors had to occur. And while they did provide for exemptions, they highlighted that said exemption couldn't come into effect until 2017. When congress clearly includes a specific date, and clearly includes that an exemption can't be done until 2017, it's difficult to argue that expressed OR implied will of the congress was that changing to a date sometime between those two points was perfectly okay. Yet that has not stopped exemption after exemption being issued by the Administration regarding the employee mandate.

    These are the type of issues that people have when talking about his over reach of powers and not simply "how many". Continually posting up the same tired chart of "how many" is a poor debate tactic based upon intellectual dishonesty and an attempt to strawman that does a horrendous job of actually offering up substantitve counter arguments to the claims being made.

    You've had this pointed out to you by others before, and you even aknowledegd it, so why you continue to then fall back to the same tired argument is confusing to me.

  4. #34
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    Re: The fall of Rome equals US today?

    Quote Originally Posted by WCH View Post
    Let's see.

    Allowing influence from the outside. Check!

    Usurper in office. Check

    Decadence Check!

    Moral decay Check!

    Economic problems Check!

    Philosophical divisions Check!

    Looking pretty bad for us.
    There's a lot wrong in this post, but none more than the Usurper comment.

    Do you even know what an Usurper is? Obama is no such thing. I get that you don't like or respect him, that is your right, but this is just disingenuous and ignorant to a fault.
    Last edited by Van Basten; 02-26-14 at 11:11 AM.
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  5. #35
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    Re: The fall of Rome equals US today?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    SD, you're a smart guy so I don't know why you keep going to this ONE factor when it's been pointed out to you numerous times that peoples complaints are generally beyond simple "how many".

    If people were claiming specifically that Obama is doing too many EO's or suggestnig EO's inherently are beyond a Presidents authority, then you'd be correct in posting this link. However, that's not what people are claiming...but you're just attacking a strawman of your own creation by acting like their focus is on one thing.

    If I say a player is making poor decisions shooting the ball and he turns raound and goes "But coach! I only shot the ball 8 times and Johnson over there shot it 12! How dare you criticize me" that doesn't necessarily counter my point. Johnson's shots may've been high percentage while the other players wasn't. Johnson's may've been uncontested while the other players were while being double teamed. Johnson's may've been on set plays after ball movement, where as the other players were from him hogging the ball and putting up a shot.

    There could be all sorts of factors as to why I say he was making a poor decision shooting; but he just throws out one metric and declares a win.

    Unless you can show me an instance of the poster complaining about poor volume, this instance...as with previous instances where you've been called out about htis...is just you attempting to pidgeon hole an argument.

    A large part of the argument regarding Obama and executive actions is not the volume, but the type of actions being under gone. Additionally, the issue is not even singularly resolving around "Executive orders" but a mass of executive action undertaken...both through EO's and directives via Executive Administrations.

    When it comes to EO's, Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson laid the foundation for the three types that exist.

    Those issued persuant to an expressed or implied authorization of Congress. In these cases the POTUS's authority is maximum, with an EO being invalid only if what it does is outside the scope of the governments power.

    The next are those with a "Zone of Twilight"; instances where a President acts singularly based on his independent power and Congress has not spoken on the issue. Here, the validity of the EO is a bit more questionable and depends on the imperatives of the event and contemporary imponderables.

    Finally, there are those that are incompatable with the expressed or implied will of Congress. This is the flip side of the first instance and is where the POTUS's authority is at it's lowest. The EO would only be constitutional if it's something a court could disable the congress from being able to act on.

    Justice Jackson pointed out that instances falling in that last category are ones where the notion of checks and balances within our government becomes at stake.

    Focusing singularly upon the "amount" is a dishonest reading of peoples complaints, basically placing blinders on and deciding to argue the path of least resistance rather than take any effort to honestly understand their complaints.

    It is not simply the number but rather the method and style in which it's being done.

    The issues with regards to immigration is a wonderful example of this. Proponents of the President will note that he was simply focusing enforcement towards certain problems and away from others. A legitimate defense. However, also legitimate is the opponents of the President's point that many of the designations that the Obama administration made for determining enforcement closely match a law that was attempted to be passed by congress and failed. As such, you're have an issue of an Executive Order that is incompatable with the expressed will of Congress. It was a course of action specifically dealt with in Congress and was unable to come to pass. That causes a greater question regarding the legitimacy of that executive order beyond one that was done in line with what Congress stated.

    This is why it's foolish when people keep throwing out pure volume numbers as if every executive order or action is equal and the same.

    The changing of implimentation dates within the passage of Obamacare is another legitimate issue. For example, the law laid out SPECIFIC dates that certain factors had to occur. And while they did provide for exemptions, they highlighted that said exemption couldn't come into effect until 2017. When congress clearly includes a specific date, and clearly includes that an exemption can't be done until 2017, it's difficult to argue that expressed OR implied will of the congress was that changing to a date sometime between those two points was perfectly okay. Yet that has not stopped exemption after exemption being issued by the Administration regarding the employee mandate.

    These are the type of issues that people have when talking about his over reach of powers and not simply "how many". Continually posting up the same tired chart of "how many" is a poor debate tactic based upon intellectual dishonesty and an attempt to strawman that does a horrendous job of actually offering up substantitve counter arguments to the claims being made.

    You've had this pointed out to you by others before, and you even aknowledegd it, so why you continue to then fall back to the same tired argument is confusing to me.
    Actually the vast majority of the complaints about "Imperial Obama" I have seen on here are directly related to the fact that he has issued executive orders. When its pointed out that he issues far less than most presidents, the argument then falls back to basically "well I disagree with his, thus they are imperial". There are a lot of valid criticisms of the Obama Administration. Personally, I can't even see where those that would be fully sympathetic to his ideology could argue that has presidency has thus far been better than mediocre at best, but in terms of executive orders the guy has been a weeny compared to most presidents.

    Moreover, yours in the first argument I have even seen on here that actually went into why you see the Obama Administration's use of Executive Orders being different than previous administrations, so I am not sure where you get that I have acknowledged the validity of the arguments of others on this issue.
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  6. #36
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    Re: The fall of Rome equals US today?

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    The fall of Rome equals US today?

    You hear this a lot. People pointing out the poarallels between the US today and the fall of the Roman empire. Implying, of course, that we are on the downslope of our phase as a country.

    Do you believe this is true? If so, why? If not, why not?
    If you know anything about Roman history, you cant believe this is true.

    The 'fall of Rome" isnt even an established thing. Did the Roman empire cease to exist in 476? Or was it in 1453 when Constantinople fell? Or is your strict definition when Rome lost its capital status in 330? The Eastern Romans living in 1000 would be offended if you told them the Roman empire fell hundreds of years earlier, I assure you.

    The history of the US spans a tiny bit of the Romans - which can arguably have been said to last over 1500 years.

    The myth of moral decay and decadence was dispelled after Victorian times. One of the main reasons the Western empire 'fell' is that the empire became much too big to defend with the communication systems they had then - they couldnt handle two East and West empires - you cant run Spain and Turkey from a single location when you have Persian pressure on one end and barbarian pressure on the other. So they split. And the West was the weaker part, which was buried by the displaced barbarians from the North... although it also could be said that there was no real fall there either... Charlemagne, for example, considered himself to be taking over as the Roman emporer in 800.

    So no. its in no way even close.
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    Re: The fall of Rome equals US today?

    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernDemocrat View Post
    Moreover, yours in the first argument I have even seen on here that actually went into why you see the Obama Administration's use of Executive Orders being different than previous administrations, so I am not sure where you get that I have acknowledged the validity of the arguments of others on this issue.
    Dr. Chuckles brought it up with you in another thread. I remember it because I was going to make this kind of comment to you there, pointing out that dumbing down the issue regarding executive orders singularly to Volume without anyone DIRECTLY claiming that was the issue is problematic, but then saw he suggested something similar and you indicated it was a fair point but one you didn't desire to take the time to significantly research.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Chuckles View Post
    not that I am disagreeing that criticism is misplaced (it's not an issue I am overly concerned with), but wouldn't a better measure be the issues those executive orders concerned and how legally and socially controversial they were?
    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernDemocrat View Post
    I think thats a fair point. That would take a lot more research than what I am willing to put into this one though.

    Actually, a quick google search reveals his predecessor had some pretty controversial ones:

    The top Bush executive orders that Obama should scrap immediately.
    Granted, he spoke singularly of controversial from a societal stand point where as I'm pointing out the actual legal reasonings behind it, but both are highlighting that pure and simple "volume" hardly is the only component one could be assigning to things when they complain about "executive orders".

    I am in no way saying that people aren't complaining about Obama's use of Executive Orders.

    I'm suggesting that compalining about his use of Executive Orders could cover a whole host of things, not JUST volume. Acting like someone complaining about executive orders means they must be singularly speaking about volume is dishonestly painting their argument, unless you have supporting evidence from their statements to back up that volume is the singular thing that was concerning them.

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    Re: The fall of Rome equals US today?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    Dr. Chuckles brought it up with you in another thread. I remember it because I was going to make this kind of comment to you there, pointing out that dumbing down the issue regarding executive orders singularly to Volume without anyone DIRECTLY claiming that was the issue is problematic, but then saw he suggested something similar and you indicated it was a fair point but one you didn't desire to take the time to significantly research.





    Granted, he spoke singularly of controversial from a societal stand point where as I'm pointing out the actual legal reasonings behind it, but both are highlighting that pure and simple "volume" hardly is the only component one could be assigning to things when they complain about "executive orders".

    I am in no way saying that people aren't complaining about Obama's use of Executive Orders.

    I'm suggesting that compalining about his use of Executive Orders could cover a whole host of things, not JUST volume. Acting like someone complaining about executive orders means they must be singularly speaking about volume is dishonestly painting their argument, unless you have supporting evidence from their statements to back up that volume is the singular thing that was concerning them.
    Thanks for pointing that out. However, if you notice I pointed out that some of his predecessors (as with any president) use of executive orders were quite controversial. Moreover, when you consider how unproductive this congress has been, the comparatively light use of executive orders on the part of the Obama Administration is quite remarkable. Think about it. You have a president that came into office in the midst of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression and has faced the last few years one of the least productive congresses ever, yet has still issued less executive orders than the vast majority of presidents in the last 100 years. I just don't see criticism of the Obama Administrations use of executive orders as being a valid one unless one also criticized his predecessors use of executive orders at the time. Being that the people that criticize Obama over executive orders today were silent during the Bush years, it seems to me their criticisms are based either in ignorance, or just plain old hypocrisy.
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    Re: The fall of Rome equals US today?

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    The fall of Rome equals US today?


    You hear this a lot. People pointing out the poarallels between the US today and the fall of the Roman empire. Implying, of course, that we are on the downslope of our phase as a country.

    Do you believe this is true? If so, why? If not, why not?



    No, absolutely not.

    Rome fell, the USA has not fallen and right now it is the dominant power on this planet.

    I'm not saying that it will always be that way, but those are the facts right now.
    Last edited by shrubnose; 02-26-14 at 12:03 PM.

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    Re: The fall of Rome equals US today?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiddytree View Post
    I'm not an ancient specialist, but just to let you know, it tends to be rather foolish to follow reductionist thinking for history-especially attributing the rise and fall of empires to lead poisoning.
    An Empire is only as strong as its ruling class is it not? If that ruling class is weak or dying out then you start getting problems. You have seen that through out history, before and after the Romans. The Habsburgs spring to mind.. generations of incest caused infertility and insanity which ultimately lead to the demise of Empires. Hell even in the UK, the various thrown's were traded based on fertility of its ruling class.

    Like it or not the theory of lead poisoning is not only very logical, but can be backed up by historical records on how Roman elite ate and conducted themselves. It is no different that the first Emperor of China going mad due to Mercury poisoning because he ate mercury every day which is also an historical fact. That they now have found his tomb location and have discovered massive amounts of mercury leaking from the tomb, also proves the myth of the design of the tomb and his love of mercury.

    Fact is that the Roman Empire had leaders that did not live long, especially during the latter part of the empire, and had some crazy ass ones at that.. Nero and Caligula are only the famous ones, but they are hardly alone. The fact is that many of these leaders died without any heirs which lead to civil wars and so on. And the fact is that the water pipes in ancient Rome were made of lead and that lead was seen by Roman's as a miracle metal. It is not a myth but a fact. It is just a fact that has been overshadowed by other theories, often politically motivated, to explain why the Roman Empire died over several hundred years.

    Now the Roman Empire lasted for 1000 years, where as the US has only been around as a powerhouse for maybe 150 years if we stretch it a bit, but more like 80 years. It took the Roman Empire centuries to decline and dissolve, where as we cant say for the US yet.. other than the decline has started.
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