RON HART: Signs of a crumbling empire

Published: Sunday, August 11, 2013 at 09:49 AM.

“Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. ”— John Adams


Like ancient Rome, the great American experiment with democracy is showing signs of demise. Historically, when the productive are out-voted by the parasites, it signals the decline of a country.

The Roman Empire crumbled when politicians pacified citizens with superficial forms of government hand-outs (bread) and shallow forms of distractions like vast stadiums where Christians were thrown to the lions (circuses). In modern times, Tim Tebow was sent to play in New York.

In 100 AD, satirist Decimus Juvenal in Satires X fittingly pointed out that society ends when voters are pacified by politicians with “bread and circuses.” Caesar doled out cushy government jobs, subsidized housing and bought the votes of the underclass with grain: the “bread” in "bread and circuses."

Today the “bread” comes in the form of food stamps, now cleverly renamed the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP). Food stamp enrollment has soared by 70 percent since 2008, from 28.2 million to a record 47.8 million recipients today. Even as unemployment peaked at 10 percent in 2009, SNAP kept growing. Oh, SNAP!

Obama even pays to advertise SNAP in Spanish in illegal immigrant areas. No wonder Mexico is now the most obese country. Mexicans are beating us at our own game. Illegals come here for the American dream, which is now defined as food stamps, housing, an Obama cell phone and a government union job.

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