Earthquakes & Government Responses

Karl Marx may have failed in creating communism, but he succeeded in turning the world into Socialists. The 19th century onward has been dominated by this idea of socialism. People see socialism as often a good thing because they think that the government is there like Santa Claus to take care of them. But socialism is far more than simply handouts. It also entails invading personal choices and regulating everything. We have discovered that Republics have historically always degenerated into oligarchies, which was why Caesar crossed the Rubicon. Socialism also demands this idea of “equality,” and as such, they justify the confiscation of private assets and income, claiming they are doing God’s work and bring material equality to the world.

When the Roman Republic fell, it moved into a hybrid monarchy where the emperor pretended to still be elected each year. However, when we look at their responses to disasters, we see the difference between even Imperial Rome and socialism. There was a major earthquake that destroyed much of the city of Sades in Lydia (Turkey), which was really the first financial capital where coinage was born. Emperor Tiberius personally donated 10 million sesterces for relief, but he also suspended all taxes in the city for 5 years. Under no circumstances would any Socialist state ever waive all taxes.

The fake news of the day said Nero fiddled while Rome burned. That was propaganda. According to the historian Tacitus, upon hearing news of the Great Fire that burned Rome, Nero (53-68 AD) returned to Rome to organize a relief effort, which he paid for from his own funds. Nero’s contributions to the relief extended to personally taking part in the search for and rescue of victims of the blaze, spending days searching the debris without even his bodyguards. These are not actions of a man who would have deliberately torched the city. Even after the fire, Nero opened the royal palace to provide shelter for the homeless and arranged for food supplies to be delivered in order to prevent starvation among the survivors. He did not raise taxes on anyone else to pay for the victims.

The cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum were buried under meters of stone and lava, killing thousands of citizens in October 79 AD. Emperor Titus (79-81 AD) appointed two ex-consuls to organize and coordinate the relief effort while personally donating large amounts of money from the imperial treasury to aid the victims of the volcano. Additionally, he visited Pompeii once after the eruption and again the following year. Again, he did not raise taxes on anyone else to pay for the disaster.

Moreover, Titus probably rushed the opening of the Colosseum because of Pompeii. The rumor that the Jews spread was that God struck Pompeii because Titus and his father destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem. Therefore, the inaugural games were held several months after Pompeii in 80 AD perhaps to show that Rome would continue. Titus also struck the bronze sestertius to announce the opening. Under socialism, they always use a disaster as the excuse to raise taxes to pay for something but never reduce them. They introduced the Income Tax in 1913 to pay for World War I.

Reprinted with permission from Martin Armstrong.

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