# The Parallel of the Roman Empire and other Civilizations

Discussion in 'History' started by Bowser, Aug 15, 2016.

1. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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About as meaningless a statistic as was ever invented.

3. ### joepistoleDeacon BluesValued Senior Member

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Yeah, you never were one for little things like facts or reason.

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7. ### wellwisherBannedBanned

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The decline of Rome was connected to a decline in the old Roman cultural values. This was connected in part to multiculturalism; empire based, since the original pure Roman culture became more influenced by second and third world. The decline was also connected to the incompetence of the leadership, distracting the masses, with games, such as at the Coliseum; fighting to death. Caligula was a pervert emperor; modern liberal, who could win in many states.

The old ways, when Rome was expanding and prospering, was highly conservative to Roman cultural principles; merit based. When Rome became liberal, due to coronation without merit, so began the decline. This lead to political games and back stabbing, instead of merit.

In the US, liberal policies under Obama have led to more tax revenue then any time in US history, yet the national debt has doubled, with little to show due to all the incompetence and waste. It is no longer about the future, but looking good in the present. This is the first time in US history where the next generation does not see the future brighter than did their parents; mortgaged the future.

When Rome made Christianity the official religion of Rome, in the 4th century, Rome was looking for a return to a new form of Conservatism, since that was a bright spot in the diversity of the empire. Rome changed into the Holy Roman Empire and began a second life. The new empire was no longer liberal, which is why it lasted. That empire started to decline, in modern times, due to modern liberalism which began to make the rational, relative to the needs of personal detraction and aways from a collective future.

The US is at a crossroads; liberal decline or conservative rebirth. This is whether election will be due to political games and distractions or merit.

Last edited: Aug 17, 2016
8. ### sculptorValued Senior Member

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Also, climate:
Leave us not to forget the damage that cold and drought can inflict on civilizations.

Starting about 300ad when the black sea froze over there was about 300 years of cold, drought, and famine throughout Europe and the middle east, and parts of africa. These conditions led many of the survivors to become displaced from their homelands, with some heading south and west into rome, italy and spain.
These displaced peoples were often forced to fight every inch of the way, leading to almost constant warfare and widespread political disruption.

9. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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Measure it first. Compare it using reason and evidence. Then you can find out if it's shrinking in any way that makes any sense.
How would you know?

The highest legitimate, careful estimate of the cost of the military in the US that I've seen put it at somewhere around 60% of Federal expenditures. That would match, for example, the increase in the US debt attributable to the recent wars etc. It's not an easy number to calculate - much of the military expenditure is buried in with other stuff.

The lowest put it around 40%.

Last edited: Aug 19, 2016
10. ### joepistoleDeacon BluesValued Senior Member

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Oh, probably because I have read your posts for several years now.

And if years of reading your posts were not enough, let's look at your assertion below as further evidence.

Well you see, it's helpful if you understand what you post about. If you knew something about the topics you post about, you would know the difference between GDP and government spending. But you don't.

US defense spending is 3.3% of GDP and that's the important metric here. And the unfortunate fact for you is current US defense spending as a percent of GDP is much larger than it was for ancient Rome. It's estimated Rome spent 2.5% of its GDP on defense spending. It's a simple verifiable fact. http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/MS.MIL.XPND.GD.ZS

GDP measures the economic resources of a given economy. Rome spent less of its economic resources on defense than the US does and has spent on its military.

In the past, the US has spent much more on military spending. There is nothing complicated about it . There is nothing controversial about it. It doesn't matter what percent of the US budget is spent on defense spending. It's totally irrelevant. The allegation is Rome spent too much money on its military leading to the collapse of the Roman state. It's a bogus argument for the reasons previously given.

Rome fell i.e. fragmented because of failed leadership and corruption. It really is that simple. And for all the talk about Roman spending on social programs, it just didn't happen. Rome spent very little on social programs.

11. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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Since I do, why not reread the post several times - moving your lips if necessary - until you have figured out what I'm posting? Here are some hints:
No, it isn't. It's a stupidly useless metric, starting with the fact that "defense spending" as you are using it is a confused and meaningless number in this context, then note that GDP is not directly relevant, then notice the insurmountable problems with comparing GDP and "spending" on anything.
No, it doesn't.

12. ### joepistoleDeacon BluesValued Senior Member

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Rereading the post once or a million times doesn't change a thing. Bullshit is still bullshit. You quite clearly have no subject matter knowledge. If GDP isn't a measure of economic resources then just what is it? Unfortunately for you Iceaura there are things called dictionaries. http://www.investopedia.com/terms/g/gdp.asp

Hint's...? What hints?

Unfortunately for you GDP is a very relevant metric, and defense spending as a percent of GDP is a very relevant metric. Just because the metric makes you look stupid, it doesn't change its relevance or importance.

The fact is military spending as a percent of GDP is a very common metric e.g. the World Bank metric I previously referenced. It's the measure used by NATO to determine how much money each member state must spend on military spending every year. It's a measure of how much a country can pay for defense spending whether you realize it or not.

http://www.nato.int/nato_static_fl2014/assets/pdf/pdf_2016_07/20160704_160704-pr2016-116.pdf

And the unfortunate fact for you is the the US has long spent more as a percent of GDP than the estimated defense spending of the Roman Empire.

13. ### sculptorValued Senior Member

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Gross domestic product (GDP) is the monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country's borders in a specific time period.
GDP would include value of goods produced by and for the mic.
And, because the mic has the lions share of government spending, that rather skews the reasoning of using relation to gdp for military spending.

Military spending is still way to much. And, this is not money we have, this is money we borrow.
Through government fiscal irresponsibility, every US taxpayer is over $160,000.00 in debt. And bombing/attacking other nations who pose no threat to the USA is immoral, criminal, and just wrong. Ergo: I will not vote for the warmonger. Not now, not ever. Your vote can make a choice. Chose wisely. 14. ### iceauraValued Senior Member Messages: 26,908 Your pie chart is a dramatic underestimate of military costs. Note that every single "non-military" category in there (not just veteran's benefits, but housing, medical, education, energy and environment, science, social security, the whole thing) includes significant expenditures for military costs and obligations. Also that the non-discretionary spending likewise includes large sums (possibly a majority) devoted to military costs - most of the debt and financing, for example (don't forget the payback to the war money borrowed from the SS trust fund). If you want to get technical, and include such things as freeway and utility and hospital other societal expense added on for military reasons (inefficient routes, extra costs of maintenance or use, misallocation of capacity, border structures and inconveniences, don't forget the ports and river modifications), the numbers get big in a hurry. And you have never voted for a Republican Party politician (other than possibly Ron Paul) in your entire adult life. Obviously. As a man of principle. Either that, or you are - like the others in the sudden wave of born-again Republican pacifists - jump-starting your historical analysis and memory on January 20th, 2009, with a single and solitary episodic recall of one vote among the Iraq War Powers votes in 2002, and no recall whatsoever of how the US came to be where it is, militarily. Clinton, despite her belligerence in all things Israeli, has actually "mongered" no wars. She has responded with more belligerence (bombed people that should not have been bombed) than the average Democrat (but no Republican except Paul) claims to favor, in various circumstances attending ongoing US involvements "mongered" by others (especially regarding Israel), possibly, and that's as far as you get in the "warmongering" department. Under her brief and subsidiary direction - which was never closer than State Department - the US became militarily involved in not one single country it was not militarily involved in prior to her contribution. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1986_United_States_bombing_of_Libya Mind, I regard Clinton as an unfortunate and unhopeful candidate for President, in part because of her willingness to bomb people and talk tough when tough is amoral. But she's no worse than any Republican (again, barring Ron Paul) in that respect, and far more reliably moderate in her deployment of military force than Trump looks to be. It's an acronym for "Gross Domestic Product". Start there. Recall the difference between "product" and "resources". Get a dictionary. If you are still, btw, thinking that "capital" includes monetary savings only, and does not include (say) purchased equipment such as slaves or draft animals or farm machinery, you need to catch up there before going on to "resources". (And if you were, as is "common" in those others you mentioned, omitting US export sales of weapons and other military gear in your "defense" share of the US GDP, your confusion extends far beyond the economic basics). That's true. It's "common". If you use it to estimate the burden of the US military on the US (or the old Roman Empire) you will be immediately and permanently confused. Try, for example, estimating the burden on the Soviet Union of their Cold War military in that way (speaking of another country sunk by government mismanagement in the form of overemphasis on warmaking). Last edited: Aug 19, 2016 15. ### joepistoleDeacon BluesValued Senior Member Messages: 22,885 Well, you have some of your facts screwed up. But you have correctly stated what GDP is, but that doesn't change its usefulness or its relevance here. Defense spending included in the GDP numbers. The defense spending to GDP shows the portion of total economic activity devoted to military spending. That's why ratio is important. That's why it is used by economists, military planners, and government decision makers. And the fact is only about 3.3% of all American economic activity is devoted to military spending. That isn't much whether you want to believe it or not. US defense spending varies depending upon the perceived threat. When the US perceives a higher threat, defense spending increases. When decision makers pereceive a lesser threat military spending decreases. A few years ago US defense spending exceeded 5% of GDP. I think given global circumstances with Russia and China becoming increasingly aggressive and hostile toward neighboring nations, we can reasonably expect the US to increase defense spending in future years. Additionally, every US taxpayer is not$160,000.00 in debt. That's patently absurd. First you need to define what you mean by taxpayer. Most people in this country pay taxes of one sort or another. You buy something at the store and you will likely pay a tax. You buy a gallon of gasoline and you will pay a tax. So virtually everyone who is old enough to walk is a taxpayer. If you do the numbers, the per capita debt is about 34k dollars per person. But here is the thing, the US never needs to pay down any of its debt because like corporations the US government isn't confined or constrained by the human life cycle. So unlike individuals, governments and corporations need never pay down their debts. They can carry debt into eternity. Individuals can't because at some point they die. And in the case of the US government it always has the ability to pay off its debt, because it can create money. That's not something individuals or corporations can do.

All governments and corporations need to do is be able to service their debts, and the US government can clearly do that. Taxes are at historic lows, and the economy is at historic highs and growing. The debt service to GDP is a very modest 2.2% of GDP.

http://treasurydirect.gov/NP/debt/current
http://www.census.gov/popclock/
https://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/ir/ir_expense.htm
http://www.bea.gov/iTable/iTable.cf...i=1&904=2014&903=5&906=a&905=2016&910=x&911=0

As for attacking countries who are no threat to the US, just what countries would those be? Do you not recall 9/11? That's why the US invaded Afghanistan. Iraq, what can I say about Iraq? It was a boneheaded move by a boneheaded Republican POTUS who managed to not only the invasion but the occupation and reconstruction as well.

The US does have a legitimate interest in keeping the peace and in protecting itself from terrorism, and that is what the US is attempting to do. That's not a bad thing. It's too bad Baby Bush squandered trillions of dollars in Afghanistan and Iraq. That's basic management and Baby Bush failed miserably.

16. ### sculptorValued Senior Member

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We simply must face the obvious:
We suck at nation building.
...........................
9/11 = saudi arabia
not Libya, Syria, Grenada, San Marino, or Nauru.
.....................................................................................
So, what is it about the Saudis that gives them a free pass?

17. ### joepistoleDeacon BluesValued Senior Member

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"Gross domestic product (GDP) is the monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country's borders in a specific time period. Though GDP is usually calculated on an annual basis, it can be calculated on a quarterly basis as well. GDP includes all private and public consumption, government outlays, investments and exports minus imports that occur within a defined territory. Put simply, GDP is a broad measurement of a nation’s overall economic activity."

Read more: Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Definition | Investopedia http://www.investopedia.com/terms/g/gdp.asp#ixzz4Hpj76DFQ

This fiction you are trying to draw that somehow products are not economic resources is just nonsense. But it's typical Iceaura nonsense. The unfortunate fact for you Iceaura, as previously pointed out to you, military spending is an economic activity and a use of economic resources, and military spending as a percent of GDP is a valid and useful measure. That's why it is widely used by economists, defense planners, and key government decision makers as previously evidenced.

That's gobbledygook, but it is very typical of your continued disconnected "thinking". The issue here isn't slaves. It isn't exports and imports. It isn't draft animals. It isn't capital. It's defense spending as a percent of GDP.

I guess that's progress. You now admit defense spending as a percent of GDP is commonly used to measure the economic burden of defense spending on economies and by that admission you must now realize your original assertion was completely false.

Ok, you are back to the gobbledygook. That makes absolutely no sense. The fact remains, Roman military spending is estimated to be 2.5% of GDP. US military spending as a percent of GDP is 3.3%. Rome spent less of its GDP on its military than the US has spent on its military. It's just a fact. This myth that the Roman Empire fell because of excessive military spending and social programs is just that, a myth. It's not borne out by the evidence. It's not borne out by history. The Roman empire collapsed because of bad leadership. It really is that simple, and no one at any time is immune from bad leadership e.g. The Donald. We can put in place systems and processes to mitigate bad leadership. But in the end, there is not substitute for good leadership. As long as humans are humans we run the risk of bad leadership. It's a risk intrinsic to the breed.

Last edited: Aug 20, 2016
18. ### joepistoleDeacon BluesValued Senior Member

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Well, we didn't always suck at nation building. There was a time when we did a pretty good job of it e.g. Post WWII Europe, Japan, and S. Korea.

There is no excuse for Baby Bush and what he did. But other than that, we have been trying to nation build on the cheap. The fact is, if you want to do a good job, nation building costs money. And right now, Americans don't want to spend their money building other nations. They want to spend their money developing this country. Baby Bush excepted, that's why we have sucked at nation building.

19. ### sculptorValued Senior Member

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and
Obama/Clinton didn't do any better with Libya and Syria.
What we have is a continuation of failed concepts and a lot of dead people/collateral damage.

Can we stop?

20. ### joepistoleDeacon BluesValued Senior Member

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Well time will tell. I think Libya is a bit better in that it appears to have a weak but barely functional government. Syria doesn't have a functional government and we don't have many people we trust on the ground. It is a mess. I think the best we can do is wipe out ISIS and let the locals figure it out. Ultimately, what is needed there is a political solution, not a military solution.

21. ### sculptorValued Senior Member

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Why is ISIS our problem?

22. ### joepistoleDeacon BluesValued Senior Member

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Because they have launched terrorist attacks on allied nations and have inspired terrorist attacks in the US and want to launch terrorists attacks on Americans, especially in America. We should have learned from 9/11 we cannot isolate ourselves from the world.

23. ### sculptorValued Senior Member

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Then, what are the allied nations doing to solve or exacerbate the problem?