July 4, 2011: The Cycle Of Dependency And The Atrophy Of Self-Reliance
“Rome offers us a plausible model for the devolution of the Savior State. While a sudden collapse similar to the Soviet Union is always possible, I suspect the U.S. Central State will devolve in parallel with the ancient Roman Empire: as the Empire’s costs exceeded the surplus generated by its remaining taxpayers, it issued flurries of edicts to the far-flung provinces, demanding more treasure and imposing ever more regulations.
The edicts from Rome were simply ignored. In Yeats’ phrase, the falcon no longer heard the falconer. Enforcement is expensive, and if the gains reaped by costly enforcement are marginal or negative, then soon the issuers of the edicts ignore them, too.
On this 4th of July, the idea that the Savior State could slip into irrelevancy is far-fetched indeed, as the Central State is currently at Peak Government: intrusive, invasive, all-controlling, even as it plays the role of benign Sugar Daddy issuing trillion-dollar bailouts to banks, trillion-dollar props to the stock market, food stamps and Section 8 to the poor, Medicare and Medicaid to the sickcare cartels, Social Security to tens of millions of retirees, unlimited funding to the National Security State and its Global Empire, and all the other programs funded with its $4 trillion budget ($3.8 trillion officially, but don’t forget the hundreds of billions in off-budget “supplemental appropriations”) and its $1.6 trillion annual deficit, fully 11% of the nation’s GDP.”
Via Zero Hedge