Sunday, 9 June 2013

The Economic Crisis

A friend posted this on FaceBook.

"The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed, lest Rome will become bankrupt. People must again learn to work instead of living on public assistance."

Cicero, 55 BC. 

So, evidently we've learnt bugger all over the past 2,068 years!

I think he has that absolutely right.


  1. This quote was attributed to Socrates by Plato:

    "The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they allow disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children now are tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.”

  2. The Monk commented regarding Pliny on Fire Brigades; actually, it was his Emperor, Trajan, who decried such provision when Plli8ny requested it after a disastrous fire. Mention of it can be found in the second exchange of "Pliny and Trajan: Correspondence, c. 112 CE" which reads;

    “Pliny to Trajan:
    A desolating fire broke out in Nicomedia, and destroyed a number of private houses, and two public buildings -- the almshouse and the temple of Isis -- although a road ran between them. The fire was allowed to spread farther than it need, first owing to the violent wind; second, to the laziness of the citizens, it being generally agreed they stood idly by without moving, and simply watched the conflagration. Besides there was not a single public fire engine or bucket in the place, and not one solitary appliance for mastering a fire. However, these will be provided upon orders I have already given. But, Sire, I would have you consider whether you think a fire company of about 150 men ought not to be formed? I will take care that no one not a genuine fireman shall be admitted, and that the guild should not misapply the charter granted it. Again there would be no trouble in keeping an eye on so small a body.
    Trajan to Pliny:
    You have formed the idea of a possible fire company at Nicomedia on the model of various others already existing; but remember that the province of Bithynia, and especially city-states like Nicomedia, are the prey of factions. Give them the name we may, and however good be the reasons for organization, such associations will soon degenerate into dangerous secret societies. It is better policy to provide fire apparatus, and to encourage property holders to make use of them, and if need comes, press the crowd which collects into the same service.”

    The rest of the exchanges are well worth reading, however, having given the source, I will not replicate them here.

  3. Apologies, the hyperlink did not transfer from m y word processor into the comment. The site is at