John Stossel Asks, "Are We Rome?"


Credit: Storm Crypt / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

To appease angry voters, Roman emperors gave away or subsidized olive oil, salt, and pork. People lined up to get free stuff. Rome's government, much like ours, wasn't good at making sure subsidies flowed only to the poor. As inflation increased, Rome, much like the U.S. under President Nixon, imposed wage and price controls. When people objected, Emperor Diocletian denounced their "greed," saying, "Shared humanity urges us to set a limit." John Stossel asks, "Doesn't that sound like today's anti-capitalist politicians?"