What Have We Learned Over the Past 2065 Years?

“The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.”

Cicero, 55 BC

Filed under: Overheard


  1. …..and they chopped his head off for saying things like this.

    Comment by Pat Henning — 11.05.2010 @ 7:03 pm

  2. … that when we start tracking with Rome we’re heading for a big fall!

    Comment by Normal — 11.06.2010 @ 8:00 am

  3. Cicero was flip-flopper and changed his political positions with the winds. It’s noteworthy that Rome often had a problem of ships arriving full of goods and leaving largely empty, that is, signaling a large trade deficit. That Cicero does not mention trade is most telling. Latifundium comes to mind too.

    A trade deficit leads to higher unemployment. Higher unemployment leads to a higher deficit (and monetary action in modern times). In short, Cicero misses a key variable. Public debt is addressed by the key variable (trade), rather than the dependent variable (debt). Many other quotes by Cicero can similarly be refuted.

    Comment by Joseph Hitselberger — 1.20.2011 @ 8:33 pm

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