How Washington is Far Worse off Than Rome

While there have been many comparisons of how the US’ current descent from its solitary superpower status bears an uncanny resemblance to the crumbling Roman Empire, Jim Rickards, in an interview with King World News, explains how the US is actually in a far worse situation.

From Zero Hedge:

“…alas, the similarities are just far too many, starting with the debasement of the currencies, whereby Rome’s silver dinarius started out pure and eventually barely had a 5% content, and the ever increasing taxation of the population, and especially the most productive segment – the farmers, by the emperors, to the point where the downfall of empire was actually greeted by the bulk of the people as the barbarians were welcomed at the gate with open arms.

“The one key difference highlighted by Rickards: that Rome was not as indebted to the gills as is the US. Accordingly, the US is in fact in a far worse shape than Rome, as the ever increasing cost of funding the debt can only come from further currency debasement, which in turn merely stimulates greater taxation, and more printing of debt, accelerating the downward loop of social disintegration.

“Furthermore, Rickards points out that unlike the Romans, we are way beyond the point of diminishing marginal utility, and the amount of money that must be printed, borrowed, taxed and spent for marginal improvements in the way of life, from a sociological standpoint, is exponentially greater than those during Roman times. As such, once the collapse begins it will feed on itself until America is no more. Rickards believes that this particular moment may not be too far off…

“In this context, Rickards presumes, it is not at all surprising that both individual Americans and domestic corporations have set off on a massive deleveraging and cash conservation wave: the subliminal sense that something very bad is coming, is becoming more palpable with each passing day.”

As we’ve discussed in the past, when it comes to currency debasement the US hasn’t even been able to maintain the zinc standard, much less the gold or silver backing the US dollar once had. Taxes are destined to increase, debt will continue to balloon, and the printing press will whirl away day and night. How this will lead to “social disintegration” is less of a straight line but, as Ron Paul has already predicted, there could very well be riots in the streets.

As Tyler Durden concludes his post:

“If Jim Rickards is correct, however, the realization [of just how much of a destructive influence central banking truly is] will be America’s last, just before US society disintegrates.”

You can read more of the interview commentary in a Zero Hedge post on how Jim Rickards compares the collapse of the Roman Empire to the US. The actual interview is available here and here.


Rocky Vega,
The Daily Reckoning