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Slide 1 - By: Alex Azeez Ancient Rome: Unemployment
Slide 2 - One of the most major causes of Rome’s downfall was unemployment. Jobless citizens were forced into poverty, lacking income. It certainly played an important part in Rome demise. In the years of the Roman Empire, most farming was done on large estates called latifundias. These estates were owned by wealthy men who utilized slave labor. A farmer who had to pay workmen could not produce goods as cheaply. Many farmers could not compete with these low prices and lost or sold their farms. Slave labor may have been the biggest cause of unemployment. Slaves were put to work while receiving in return housing and food. They were paid nothing, benefitting the economy the same. In order to fix the unemployment crisis, Rome put into effect a system of minimum wage and pricing. Unfortunately, the attempt backfired. Instead of forcing employment, employers began cutting workers in attempt to lower their running costs. Businesses were paying more money to workers, yielding higher priced products. Because of higher prices, less sales were made. This causing workers to be cut in order for the companies to stay in business. The Problem as it was in Ancient Rome Picture of slaves tending to their master. Slaver was a major cause of unemployment
Slide 3 - Today the unemployment in America is a big issue. The actual amount or percentage may not be as extreme as it was in the Roman Empire, but politicians are paying major focus towards the problem. As of April 2010, the national unemployment rate is 9.9%. This equates to about 15.3 million people out of work. This is the highest rate since 1983, and 2009 was the third highest annual rate since the census was first conducted. Of those unemployed, nearly half (45.9%) are in the ranks of the long-term unemployed- 26 weeks of joblessness or more. Young workers, those aged 16 through 19 experience an unemployment rate of one out of every four. Keep in mind tat to be considered unemployed, people must, obviously, not currently work for a business and actively be searching for a job. To combat this situation, the U.S. has put into order different agencies to help unemployed people find work. In addition, tax payer money has been used to pay jobless Americans in effort to help them support their family/ themselves until they find work. The Problem as it is Today
Slide 4 - The ancient Roman’s crisis of unemployment is difficult to solve, but not insurmountably so. My first and foremost suggestion is simple. Outlaw slavery. Slavery occupies jobs and does not benefit the economy as no money is being awarded for labor. It may solve the problem of homelessness, assuming one exists, but the suffering economy will receive nothing. In the U.S., we outlawed slavery after a terrible, brutal war. The similarity of the conditions is arguable (ours being more forceful, theirs being more decision-based), but the effects should be equally applicable. True, I was not alive during this pivotal point in our country's history, but I live in the time period following it and, so far, everything is going fine, by comparison. Another recommendation I might make is that steps be made to bring farms, and their respective farmers back. Most notably, taxes imposed upon farms be less severe as they may have very well put Rome into this slaves-on-latifundias situation. If farmers return, and slavery is terminated, latifundias and farms alike can hire workers. The next suggestion I make involves minimum wage. All I can say is that there needs to be a balance. Too high of a minimum wage (mw) leads to companies’ prices for their products sky-rocketing which doesn’t help anybody in the end. Too low of an mw leads to a financially poor, but an employed workforce. In the present state of the empire, I’d recommend that Rome takes things one problem at a time. Afterwards they can deal with the poverty (possibly by doing away with the overpayment made to corrupt government officials who do nothing but party while the common man lives in dire poverty). Finally, Rome has many problems such as urban decay, filth in the cities, and crime, many of these problems could be dealt with by employing the jobless. It may or may not act as permanent employment, but it could very well be if a police force was established throughout the empire, or a garbage collecting agency of sorts. Both of these have worked in the U.S. and are just examples of the possibilities. In the U.S. we have companies that are intended entirely to clean up peoples garbage and bury it. It would also fix the unemployment rate. I f Rome would’ve known about these suggestions, maybe the empire would have survived longer. My Suggestion Map of Unemployment By State Darker=Higher unemployment rate, and vice versa
Slide 5 - . "Basic Facts on Unemployment." . N.p., 06 0. Web. 3 Feb 2012. Colvin, G.. unemployment facts we. N.p., 2011. Web. 3 Feb 2012. .Frank E. Smitha, . "Fall of the Roman Empire." Partnerships for sustainable development, 2009. Web. 31 Jan 2012. Goodman, P.. "The New York Times." . N.p., 02/2. Web. 9 Feb 2012. Leonhardt, D.. "Unemployment." The new york times. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Feb 2012. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Feb 2012. "Reasons why the Roman Empire Fell." The roman empire. Copyright Roman © 2008, n.d. Web. 2 Feb 2012. Strieber, N.. "The 10 Best Jobs of 2011." Carrercast. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Feb 2012. Bibliography