The Parallel of the Roman Empire and other Civilizations

Discussion in 'History' started by Bowser, Aug 15, 2016.

  1. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    No, it isn't. It's critical.
    Not for estimating the burden of military costs on the US. It wouldn't be a good stat even if "defense spending" were a reasonable and accurate measure of the cost of the military, and GDP were a reasonable and accurate measure of the absolute size of the US economy.
    "Defense spending" as a percent of GDP is an almost completely meaningless statistic for estimating the burden of military costs on the US. So the fact that your estimate of 3.5% is obviously nonsense is irrelevant.
    So?
    The most significant "bad" of the leadership was overreliance on the military and overindulgence in its military , burdening the empire with military costs it could not handle. The return to conquest was a diminishing one, while the expenses of conquest were ever increasing.
    The "locals" left would be (will be) largely Iranian allies, friends of Hezbollah and Hamas. That probably cannot be avoided any more. Libya, meanwhile, is a bad scene for years to come - for which the US will now be blamed. And rightly so, from some pov.
     
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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    The fact that the US has made a habit of choosing between "isolation" and "bombing", other choices de-emphasized , is a problem.
     
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  5. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    Yeah, thanks for once again demonstrating that you have no use for facts or reason. Denying reality isn't going to help you. The fact is, per previous and repeated references, economists, military planners, and international monetary and fiscal authorities very clearly say you are wrong.

    You can deny the facts i.e. reality all day long as is your custom. But it won't change the facts nor will it change logic and reason.
     
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  7. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    Not only is that false, it isn't even the least bit relevant to the discussion.
     
  8. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Come to think of it, there was a third choice on the US menu: colonial style domination by US corporate interests, with the isolation/bombing alternative as motivating factor.

    That aligns the US with the Roman Empire even more closely - and highlights the reason the US is having so much trouble cutting back on the role of its military: the corporate interests would lose money.
     
  9. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    Again, the problem with your posts is they diverge from known facts. The fact is US military spending is 3.3% of GDP. That's not much. It has been much higher in the past. Over the course of the last few decades US defense spending as a percent of GDP has fallen by 50%. http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/MS.MIL.XPND.GD.ZS?locations=US

    Further, the discussion isn't about your delusions, conspiracies, and machinations. It's about the demise of the Roman Empire and any correlations with the US. The fact is Roman military spending and social spending didn't bring down the Roman Empire. It's estimated Rome spend only 2.5% of its GDP on its military. That's just slightly more than what NATO members countries are expected to spend on their military activities. And it's estimated Rome spent 80% of the empires tax revenues on its military. That leaves only 20% for social programs i.e. building infrastructure, feeding the poor, providing public entertainment and maintaining the emperor.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2016
  10. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    So we are to believe that the entire government and public works of the Roman empire - all those roads, aquaducts, ports, fortifications, far-flung armies, castles and palaces and coliseums and huge apartment complexes, the room and board of all those employees and soldiers (agriculture, forestry), equipping navies and breeding horses and the whole shootin' match, including deforesting entire landscapes to smelt iron and make steel,

    involved less than 3.2% of the economy. And yet they ran out of money to pay to pay their soldiers, and found their entire empire collapsing under the burden of maintaining their military. How did that happen?

    We turn to Wiki, the apparent source of your numbers, for enlightenment:
    Immediately we see a symptom: the military of the US is responsible for far more than 18% of the Federal budget. If a similar oversight was made in calculating the military burden on the Roman empire, we have part of the explanation at hand.
    And we notice more trouble:
    That is a mess, no? Apparently they were not even including fortifications, mercenaries and militia, pressed labor, and treaty payments to military enemies, in their "defense" accounting. Maybe they were thinking along the lines of those who omit the financing and medical and landscape costs of American wars. And the use of GDP has to be corrected by all kinds of factors, since the burden is imposed on available, "surplus" GDP, and much GDP is irrelevant in calculating an available surplus for military siphoning.

    So we see that neither "defense spending" or GDP are all that informative, naively accepted, in estimating the burden of the military on a given economy. And the ratio of the two compounds the problems with both.
     
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  11. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    Who is we kemosabe? I'm only seeing you.

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    Well, here is the problem with that, palaces, aqueducts, ports, apartment complexes, agriculture, etc. are not normally considered defense spending. Why don't you toss in kitchen sinks too?

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    As much as it pains you, the evidence is the Roman Empire spent about 2.5% of its GDP on its military which is substantially less than what the US has spent and continues to spend on its military.

    Well, that's not exactly true. They ran out of money because they decided to spend their money on other things. They decided to reduce military spending, to deliberately under fund their military, and as a result, the Roman army lost its effectiveness. Rome had plenty of money. But Roman leaders made deliberate decisions to under fund its military. They diverted money from the military to the church. Roman had the ability to fund its military. It chose not to do so, and the result was a military which was incapable of defending the empire.

    As I have repeatedly asserted and will do once more for your edification, Rome fell not because of military spending but because it lost the ability to effectively govern. There are great similarities between so called American conservatives and Roman rulers during the decline and fall of the Western Roman Empire.

    The problem, the reason for Roman decline wasn't military spending, but the lack of leadership and rampant coruption.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fall_...tical_ineffectiveness:_the_process_of_failure

    OK. You are back to the gobbledygook.

    Again, who is we kemosabe? I'm only seeing you.

    As has been repeatedly brought to your attention, whether you can or cannot understand the it, the military spending to GDP ratio is a very important metric in determining the military burden imposed on a country. That's why it is widely used by economists, defense strategists, planners and governments. It shows how much of an economy's economic resources are spent on defense i.e. funding its military. It's really not at all complicated.

    And the fact is the military defense burden was much less than that experienced by the United States. Just because you don't like it because it conflicts with your ideological beliefs, it doesn't change the facts or there relevance. This is just one of your many beliefs which are in direct opposition to known facts.

    The fact is the burden of military spending didn't bring down the Western Roman Empire. Social programs didn't bring down the Western Roman Empire. Corruption and the inability of Roman leaders to effectively govern led to the demise of the Western Roman Empire. It really is that simple.
     
  12. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    That's why I included the other 20%, in the 3.2 instead of 2.5, and called the total the "entire government and public works" instead of calling it "defense spending". That was to take care of your issue with social works, that I haven't bothered with but you emphasized repeatedly above.
    So you now disagree with the link estimate of 80% of government revenue devoted to "defense spending"? Or are you claiming that the increases in taxes mentioned in the link and referred to in many places were actually decreases in taxes? Or was it that the entire GDP of the Roman Empire shrank dramatically between 200 and 400 AD, but that doesn't count as an argument against naive comparison because the World Bank uses numbers?
    The people reading the link, with comprehension. Obviously not you.
    As the link demonstrates (and is obvious anyway, from earlier arguments and ordinary observation), without careful breakdown and analysis - such as the comparison of per capita productivity in the Roman vs American empires, done in the link, or a reasonable evaluation of "burden" that is not limited to the official US "Defense" budgetary appropriation as suggested above - it's completely meaningless.

    You can "use" it all you want, but if you are stupid about it you won't learn anything.
     
  13. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    LOL...well that certainly makes a lot of sense...NOT! That makes as much sense as Republicans counting employed people as unemployed.

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    Unfortunately for you Iceaura, numbers are numbers and they don't like and they don't support your beliefs.

    What have I written that would lead or even hint at that? Nothing....that's you making shit up again. The unfortunate fact you keep trying to runaway from this that Roman defense spending as a percent of GDP was substantially less than American defense spending. Roman defense spending didn't cause the collapse of the Western Roman Empire. Nor did "social spending" cause the collapse of the Western Roman Empire.

    Are you really that dense Iceaura or just that dishonest? What you are doing here is obfuscating. I think I was pretty clear. I suggest you go back and read what I posted, this time more slowly and perhaps you should read it aloud to yourself. It really isn't or shouldn't be that difficult.

    Even if that were true, it isn't relevant. That's either a lot of fuzzy thinking on your part of just plain old intellectual dishonesty.

    The unfortunate fact for you is Roman defense spending to GDP was estimated to be 2.5% of GDP. That's only slightly higher than the expectation for NATO member states, and significantly below current US defense spending e.g. 3.3% and US defense spending has been much higher in recent decades.

    You need to worry about your own inability to learn before you go talking about others. The unfortunate fact for you is that while you don't think defense spending to GDP is a good measure, the people who really know something about finance, defense, and economics do think it is a good metric for the previously explained reasons. That's why they use it.

    So if you are to believed, one must completely put reason aside, one must check one's brain at the door, and that's not going to happen. And then you have to ignore all the folks, the professionals, who do this kind of stuff for a living in order to believe the bullshit you are pushing. That ain't going to happen either.

    Once again and per previous reference and for your edification, the Western Roman Empire was not brought down because of too much defense spending or too much social spending for that matter. It was brought down by corrupt and inept leadership. As previously pointed out during periods of good leadership Rome prospered. During periods of bad leadership, it failed. It really is that simple. That corrupt and failed leadership led to a military that was underfunded, inept, and unable, and most importantly unwilling to defend the empire.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2016
  14. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Let's take it at Joe speed:

    You posted this, and I quoted it:
    "Well, that's not exactly true. They ran out of money because they decided to spend their money on other things. They decided to reduce military spending, to deliberately under fund their military, and as a result, the Roman army lost its effectiveness. Rome had plenty of money".

    You had also posted, previously, that the Romans spent 80% of their government revenue on the military - that was your argument against "social spending" collapsing their economy (it's the only thing you posted that made sense, btw).

    And you had posted that the Romans directly spent an amount equivalent to 2.5% of their GDP on the military - that was your naive and careless idea of how to estimate the burden of the military on the Roman empire, and there's no talking you out of it.

    So since "they" - the Roman government - supposedly cut way back on their military spending, leading to loss of effectiveness you said, how do we square that with the posted figure of 80% of Roman government revenues spent on the military, and the 2.5% of the GDP? You can see that we (the people reading your posts) have an arithmetic problem.

    It's not realistically possible, but one can consider some approximations: you don't believe the 80% figure included with all the other numbers you do believe; the Romans dramatically cut their tax rates over that time; the Roman economy shrank dramatically over that time; and so forth. I don't know which of the various possibilities you will end up subscribing to. I merely suggest some.
     
  15. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    LOL....I don't think you are capable of "Joe speed".

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    LOL...just because you don't understand something or don't want to understand something it doesn't make it difficult to understand for most people.

    Well, except as previously and repeatedly explained to you it's not a careless or naive idea. It's a fact, per previous references. As has been repeatedly explained to you and referenced, the military spending to GDP isn't naive nor careless. It's how the defense burden is measured by economists, defense analysts, and everyone else under the Sun except Iceaura. As previously and repeatedly pointed out to you it's a very commonly used measure. No matter what you think of it, the measure is widely used by economists, military planners, diplomats, et al. and that's not going to stop because Iceaura doesn't like it.

    Because they are two very different things. You keep erroneously conflating government spending with GDP. You keep equating government spending with GDP, and that's simply a gross error of fact. You have a great deal of difficulty wrapping your head around what GDP is and what government spending is, even though it has been repeatedly explained to you complete with references. I have repeatedly pointed this out to you, and you have repeatedly ignored it or you are incapable of understanding it - take your pick.

    Except you have no evidence for any of that, and as you have been repeatedly told, it's totally irrelevant. And no matter how many times you post this bullshit, that isn't going to change.

    The fact is neither defense spending or social spending caused the Western Empire to fall. The Western Roman Empire spent little of its resources on its military. It spent a large portion of its taxes on military expenditures. But it spent precious little of its economic resources on military expenditures i.e. 2.5% for defense and even less on social spending programs.

    Again, corruption and poor leadership were the reasons why the Western Roman Empire fell. It wasn't because of defense spending or social spending.
     
  16. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    I haven't done that anywhere, even once. You have (see below for the latest).

    Try to follow the argument, please. Your assertions, taken together, have created an arithmetical difficulty. How do you propose to handle it?
    I posted from Wiki, for example, that was careful to point out - even in a casual, basic, non-technical overview - that things like productivity per capita needed to be factored in, or your GDP percentage would be (quoting Wiki) "misleading".
    It's used, in various calculations. It's not the result of a careful calculation of the burden of a nation's military. It's one number among many, for a rough idea of a major factor. People reason with that number. Careful pros with no agenda don't simply take that essentially meaningless freaking number as the actual measure of the burden of a nation's military, because they are not that stupid.
    In that bolded phrase you have directly equated government spending with the economic resources you have equated with the GDP. You have the government spending a fraction of the GDP, and you have resources and production identified as the same thing.

    Hello?
     
  17. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    When have you not done it? You have done it in virtually every post including this one. You have repeatedly conflated GDP with government spending.

    As previously and repeatedly explained to you the only arithmetical difficulty is between your ears. This gets back to your inability or unwillingness to understand the difference between GDP and government spending. They are two different things. Eighty percent of Roman government spending accounted for 2.5% of GDP. There is nothing mathematically inconsistent about that. As you have been repeatedly told GDP and government spending are two different things.

    If you had some rudimentary understanding on macroeconomics you would know that's a bogus argument. While it is true that a worker in ancient Rome was less productive, it doesn't change the fact military spending was but a small fraction of the Roman economy. That military spending ration is that portion of the Roman economy used to service the Roman military. It really is that simple, it has nothing at all to do with productivity. You are using terms as if you understood them and clearly you don't. But that's all too typical of you, no matter the subject.

    You are back to gobbledygook. The unfortunate fact for you is the military spending does do what you claim it doesn't. That's why it is widely used by economists, military planners, diplomats, and others. That's why it's a NATO requirement. Now you can stand up on a platform and deny reality as you are wont to do, but it won't change reality.

    Except I did no such thing. I have never conflated GDP with fiscal policy i.e. government spending. This gets back to your inability or unwillingness to understand what GDP is and what it isn't or to understand fiscal policy. Once again for your edification:

    "Gross domestic product (GDP) is the monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country's borders in a specific time period. Though GDPis usually calculated on an annual basis, it can be calculated on a quarterly basis as well." https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=gdp

    And whether you can understand it or not, those goods and services are resources. Rome could theoretically spend nearly 100% of its GDP on its military e.g. Sparta. But it didn't. It only spend 2.5% of GDP which is substantially less than what the US has spent and continues to spend. It's only slightly more than the number required of NATO member states. It's not a huge sum.

    And the fact remains, neither military spending or "social" spending brought down the Western Roman Empire. The spending just wasn't that significant. That's what the data says. That's a fact. As much as you dislike it, that is a fact.

    Poor leadership and corruption were the reasons the Western Roman Empire fell. Romans lost faith in their government and in their leaders. Military and social spending were not the reasons why the Western Roman Empire fell. Neither was a significant economic burden.

    Yeah, HELLO?

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  18. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    You can't quote a single time.
    1) It doesn't "account for" any GDP whatsoever. The 80% is an amount of money the same size as the monetary valuation of that fraction of the GDP.
    Of course not. The arithmetical (not mathematical) problems were introduced by you when you claimed that the later Roman government shorted its military despite having plenty, and spent the money on "other things".
    But it does change the estimate of the burden the military placed on the Roman empire, especially its economy.
    Which is what?
    I bolded the exact part of the quote, where you described the Roman government as spending its GDP. Here it is again: "The fact is neither defense spending or social spending caused the Western Empire to fall. The Western Roman Empire spent little of its resources on its military. It spent a large portion of its taxes on military expenditures. But it spent precious little of its economic resources on military expenditures i.e. 2.5% for defense and even less on social spending programs."

    You are saying "economic resources" when you mean GDP, but the 2.5% makes clear what you meant.
    Some are, some aren't. You can't spend an ice cream cone on the military.
    Most of Sparta's GDP was food, clothing and domestic goods, and shelter. Just like Rome's.
    Certainly not the way you add up "military spending", anyway. You don't even include the Roman roads and fortifications. But my concern was not your oddly narrow category of "military spending", but the actual burden of the military on the society - especially the economy - involved. That's why I didn't use the term "military spending" - so as not to confuse you further.
    That's a very common reason, historically, that nations overburden themselves with their military and collapse under the weight. It's the obvious and likely explanation for the United States piling up several trillions of extra debt by starting land wars in Asia Minor, for example - and whether the country will survive the burden of those wars and their many costs past, present, and future, remains to be seen.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2016
  19. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    Except I have, with almost every post. Your repeated refusal to acknowledge fact is dishonest. But that's not new for you, is it?

    Huh? Are your really that dense Iceaura? Eighty percent of Roman government spending is 80% of Roman government spending ...nothing more. Government spending is a part of GDP, it's a fraction of GDP. It doesn't change the fact that 2.5% of Rome's GDP was spent on its military. Nor does it change the fact that that amount isn't burdensome in a healthy government. There is nothing mathematically inconsistent there as you have repeatedly asserted. One must assume you are either blatantly dishonest or you just don't understand math or the terms you're using.

    Well now you are changing your story a bit. By the way, do you not know arithmetical and mathematical are synonyms? Further, this nothing mathematically inconsistent with historical fact. The fact is during the Rome failed to sufficiently fund its military. Rome didn't pay its bills. It didn't supply the military with the men and equipment it needed. That's a matter of historical fact. It's military wasn't sufficiently funded. That's historical fact. The lowered productivity you mentioned would suggest Rome should have spent far more than 2.5% of its GDP on its military.

    No, it doesn't change any estimates. What is says it the Roman military was likely underfunded. Modern military organizations are expected to pay at least 2% of their GDP on defense. Rome spend 2.5% of its GDP on defense. Because the Roman military was less efficient, less productive, it should have spent more on its military. That's what it says. Contrary to your assertion, it says Rome didn't fall because of excessively burdensome military spending.

    I suggest you go back and re-read. Take as much time as you need. The answer won't change.

    And again, you are conflating GDP with government spending. The two are different. Two and a half percent of its GDP was spent, or allocated if that makes you feel better, to military spending. Similarly the US spends 3.3% of its GDP on military spending. Government spending is a portion of GDP. Government spending and GDP are not the same thing. GDP is a much bigger pie. There is nothing mathematically inconsistent with the fact that while military spending was a small piece of a larger pie, it was a large piece of a smaller pie i.e. government spending. For some reason you have great difficulty with that very basic mathematical concept. This is grade school mathematics.

    Well, I add it up the way most people add it up. Whether you like it or not, it doesn't matter. If you took the Western Empire's total spending on everything, it wasn't enough to cause the collapse of the empire. As I have repeatedly stated, neither social spending or military spending was so burdensome as to cause the collapse of the empire. Today, US government spending accounts for nearly 38% percent of GDP. Rome's government spending as a percent of GDP was in the mid single digit range. That's not excessively burdensome by any measure.

    No, that's an extremist fantasy. It's one of many popular fantasies on the extreme right and the extreme left of the political spectrum and its borne of ignorance and misdirected passion combined with some degree of paranoia. There is never a good reason for profligate fiscal policy. There is never a good reason for botching foreign wars a la Bush 2.0. But that doesn't mean the country cannot afford it, and it certainly doesn't mean the country will collapse because of it. The US could pay off all of its debts over night. It could be debt free tomorrow if it wanted to be so and without raising a single penny in taxes or fees. Yes, there would be economic repercussions, and those repercussions could be dramatic. But, ceteris paribus, they would also be temporary. National debt isn't the death pill you and your fellow extremists think it is.

    PS:
    US debt is still modest by historical standards and in comparison with other developed countries. US debt service accounts for about 2%of GDP and about 6% of federal spending. That's very affordable by any reasonable measure.
     
  20. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    ? Military as productive - military expenditures as investments? Are you thinking of the Roman Empire as a pirate ship?

    Specifically military expenditures are costs, not investments, unless your military is conquering new pools of wealth and resource. They don't produce. They drain. They are in the "consumption" category of this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_spending That is even more significant in Roman empire times, before industrial machinery of transferable purpose.

    As with Sparta, China, Egypt, any of the empires of the time, most of the GDP of the day was subsistence - if appropriated for the military, the entire society suffered. There's a limit to the GDP that can be siphoned off into military costs without destroying the society one means to "defend", and Roman society was much closer to that limit than any modern industrial power.
    There is something arithmetically problematic with your claim that the later Roman Empire - as opposed to the earlier, non-collapsing, ten generation military-supporting Roman Empire - shorted its military and spent the money on "other things", while maintaining a constant percentage of GDP and tax revenue both. You have to square your books.

    It's mathematically fine, your reasoning, with the right numbers fed in to make the arithmetic come out - such as dramatic tax rate reductions and shrunken GDP overall, or a greatly expanding military demand relative to tax receipts and GDP - but that has consequences for your argument overall, and I look forward to watching you try to handle them.
    The presumption of irrational paranoia on the part of others once again screws you up.

    Rome could have met its governing obligations as well, and not collapsed under the burdens imposed by its military ventures and policies - which were far larger than its "spending", especially "spending" that fails to include fortifications and military treaty obligations and the like. But it didn't.

    Of course the US is not forced to cripple itself and risk its economic and social integrity via shortsighted dependency on military power with all the attendant costs and burdens - such as (among others) ballooning debt. That doesn't mean it will stop doing that, short of the point of irrecoverable harm.

    The "modesty" and "affordability" depends on how much of that GDP is convertible into government revenue, to retire the debt, and what effects such a conversion would have.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2016
  21. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    Yeah, Iceaura productivity also applies to military organizations. It's one of the many economic terms you use but don't understand. You are conflating terms you don’t understand yet again. There is a difference between productivity and profit or investment. Profit isn’t productivity nor is it investment. That’s why there is a separate word for each.

    Productivity is a measure of production. It’s a measure of efficiency. That has nothing to do with investment or profit. Whether you like it or not or realize it or not. Productivity also applies to the military. And the fact is the modern soldier is much more productive than an ancient solider ever was or could hope to be.

    He can build roads, buildings, walls, etc. faster than any Roman solider could possibly hope to. He can detect and destroy the enemy far faster and far better than any Roman solider could possible do. A modern solider can destroy his enemy from miles away. That is something a Roman solider couldn’t do.

    And all that has nothing to do with pirate ships.

    http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/innovation/jciss/syst.htm

    http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/technical_reports/2005/RAND_TR193.pdf

    It’s great you can cite a Wiki reference, but is there a point buried in there somewhere? It’s really not relevant.

    Well, you are mixing apples and oranges again. Sparta wasn’t China nor was it Egypt. They all had distinctly different cultures and institutions. Yes, the amount of money which can be spent on defense is constrained by available resources and a country’s ability to borrow resources. But that’s now what we are talking about here, is it?

    What we are talking about is Roman military expenditures. At 2.5% of GDP and contrary to your assertion, that isn’t burdensome enough to bring about the destruction of the Western Roman Empire. That’s one of the facts you keep trying to evade.

    And your inability to understand basic math is your problem. Now of you can make a case for assertion, now is the time to do it. But you can’t, hence all this obfuscation. As has been repeatedly explained to you, Rome spent 2.5% of its GDP on its military and military spending accounted for 80% of government spending. Roman government spending was much smaller than its GDP. You keep conflating GDP with government spending. If you cannot understand that, then you need to sue your grade school teacher for malpractice.

    That’s more gobbledygook.

    Earth to Iceaura...

    Why would the debt every need to be retired? It need never be retired. Unlike people countries are not confined by human life spans. A country’s debt need never be paid down i.e. retired…oops. If a country like the US did nothing but pay the interest on its debt, the value of that debt would shrink over time due to inflation. And as I previously wrote:

    “US debt is still modest by historical standards and in comparison with other developed countries. US debt service accounts for about 2%of GDP and about 6% of federal spending. That's very affordable by any reasonable measure.”

    All a country needs to do service its debt.

    And this is the part you left out. As I previously wrote:

    “The US could pay off all of its debts overnight. It could be debt free tomorrow if it wanted to be so and without raising a single penny in taxes or fees.“

    Unlike individuals, governments like the US can print money i.e. create money. As previously explained, there are consequences for excessive expansion of the money supply. But governments like the US are not constrained by revenues. You keep applying kitchen table economics to national economics and the two are completely different animals.
     
  22. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    It was your dumbass criterion for comparison , you tell me why you made it. I just pointed out that you screwed it up.
    Bizarre.

    None of those things have more than a roundabout and indirect relationship to the "efficiency" or "productivity" of a nation's military - nor do they give any indication whatsoever of the burden that military imposes. What they seem to indicate is a complete lack of consideration for why the Romans had a military in the first place, or why the US has one.

    Basically, a case of Orwell's Inversion: the confusion of input with output. But even more deeply lost. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Systemantics
    What I have been talking about is the burden of the Roman military on its society and economy. As with the US, that isn't measured by "military expenditures" alone, under the best of circumstances, and certainly not by your silly 2.5% of GDP figure (that didn't even include military fortifications in the "expenditures" , let alone an analysis of the GDP involved).

    Which is all neither here nor there - until it starts to look as though it's the basis for some kind of false reassurance regarding the military burden currently being carried by the United States. At that point warning bells should go off.
     
  23. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    Oh, well then perhaps you can point out my alleged "dumbass criterion for comparison"? No you can't. Because you are making shit up again. You screwed up as you are wont to do.

    So you think the fact that modern soldier can do more than an ancient Roman soldier is bizarre? OK. But it's a fact. As previously explained modern soldiers are much more productive than ancient Roman soldiers were owing to new technologies.

    And you really think any of that makes any kind of sense? You love broad grandiose assertion, but evidence and reason, not so much. The unfortunate fact for you is the modern military is much more productive, much more efficient than the Roman military ever was.

    And what does that have to do with the price of tea in China? Nothing...absolutely nothing.....

    Yeah in between your obfuscations, you have been sporadically talking about the military burden on the Western Roman Empire. The problem with your assertions is your numbers don't add up nor does your history for that matter as has been repeatedly evidenced. The unfortunate fact for you is that Roman only spend an estimated 2.5% of its GDP on it's national defense. That 2.5% of GDP accounted for 80% of government spending. Unfortunately for you comrade, government spending wasn't enough to bring about the demise of the Western Roman Empire. As previously pointed out to you, all NATO countries are expected to spend 2.5% of their GDP on military spending. The US spends 3.5% and has spent much more in the past. Also as previously pointed out to you, US government spending accounts for 38% of its GDP and many other developed states spend much more than that. The unfortunate fact for you comrade is your numbers don't add up. Roman government spending, much less military spending, wasn't burdensome and in no way responsible for the demise of the Western Roman Empire.

    Just because realty doesn't comport with your delusions, it doesn't make reality any less real.

    Well unfortunately for you, it is here and your beliefs don't add up and are not consistent with reality. As previously pointed out you keep confusing sovereign finances with kitchen table economics among other things.
     

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