http://www.internationalman.com/article ... mpires-end
The short version is: Pretty much no matter which civilization we're talking about or which period in history, all Empires fall the same way, following the same steps. It is the exception where an Empire is taken down from outside - conquered by a bigger, stronger adversary. They usually collapse on their own. Or grow so weak, a stiff wind will knock 'em over...
We're no different, nor are we immune from this process simply because we're Americans (yes, I know others read this who are not Americans, but they're not immune either. And with all the central banks tied to one another, if one goes down, all of us go down...)
I hope Mr. Casey and Mr. Thomas don't mind if I quote them here...
1. The reach of government leaders habitually exceeds their grasp.
2. Dramatic expansion (generally through warfare) is undertaken without a clear plan as to how that expansion is to be financed.
3. The population is overtaxed as the bills for expansion become due, without consideration as to whether the population can afford increased taxation.
4. Heavy taxation causes investment by the private sector to diminish, and the economy begins to decline.
5. Costs of goods rise, without wages keeping pace.
6. Tax revenue declines as the economy declines (due to excessive taxation). Taxes are increased again, in order to top up government revenues.
7. In spite of all the above, government leaders personally hoard as much as they can, further limiting the circulation of wealth in the business community.
8. Governments issue bonds and otherwise borrow to continue expansion, with no plan as to repayment.
9. Dramatic authoritarian control is instituted to assure that the public continues to comply with demands, even if those demands cannot be met by the public.
10. Economic and social collapse occurs, often marked by unrest and riots, the collapse of the economy, and the exit of those who are productive.
11. In this final period, the empire turns on itself, treating its people as the enemy.
What is interesting to note, is that once the process reaches and crosses Stage 8, there can be no reversal. Once a civilization or Empire crosses that Rubicon, there's no turning back. Which means we have two choices.
1. Quietly pack up our things and leave for somewhere else.
2. Stick around and try to survive what's coming.
Since I am only familiar with the recent goings-on here in the US, I can only speak on those. It would be interesting if others - especially our brethren in the EU - would speak up and say what they know. I've heard ominous rumblings from other places - things about negative interest rates, governments taking folk's savings "for safekeeping", depositors being considered "shareholders" in the bank and have a goodly portion of their monies just outright taken... and, since I'm one of those types who keeps their ear to the ground and eye to the keyhole, I tend to listen close when I hear such things...
Don't ask me where I read it - it's been a hard trail and many a mile since I read it - but I remember reading about how in the last days of Rome, before it was sacked by Alaric, that there was not one single operational farm within 100 miles of the Eternal City. Taxes were so high, no man could afford to farm the land, raise crops and make a living. Rome had crossed their own particular Rubicon - same as Gaius Julius Caesar did centuries before - and was a hollow, rotten shell by the time Alaric and his friends showed up.
Rome was sacked more than once, but the first one by Alaric began a long decline into the Dark Ages. Long by our standards, an eyeblink by histories'.. Knowledge was lost once those who knew it died off or were killed. Eventually, the population of Rome amounted to less than 10,000 people - the Colosseum turned into a garbage dump and raided for building materials...
We're no different. Nor exempt. The more I think about it, the more I believe that the Pax Americana will come to an end because we committed suicide. Folks might not want to believe it, but we crossed Stage 8 aways back. We're now in Stage 9 - our own Government tightening the screws, even pre-positioning assets under the 1033 Program (military grade hardware and armored vehicles - lots of them - given to police departments) in preparation for what's coming. They're brutes and quite evil, but they're not stupid. Once Economic Ragnarök hits, this country will fracture. It will be.. ugly.
The only thing I'm going to try to do is keep me and mine alive and save who and what I can, while I can. Once things shake out, if I'm alive, then I'll lend a hand. If not, well then it ain't my problem anymore...