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May 20, 2011     Post-Gazette
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May 20, 2011

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Page 2 POST-GAZETTE, MAY 20, 2011 Stil pe by Prof. Edmund Turiello ] 00q)stra of the more interesting aspects of our ancestry.., our lineage.., our roots. Nero Claudius Caesar Drusus Germanicus, em- peror of Rome from 54 to 68 A.D. earned in his short life (he died at the age of thirty one) a rich deserved reputation as one of the most cruel, depraved, and despotic emperors that ever ruled Rome. He degenerated from the good qualities of his ancestors while at the same time he reproduced the vices of each of them, as if transmitted to him by natu- ral inheritance. He was born at Antium, nine months after the death of Tiberius, on Decem- ber 15, 37 A.D. Many people at once made fearful predic- tions from his horoscope, and even his own father Domitius said "Only that which is abominable and harmful to the public could be born of Agrippina and myself." At the age of three he lost his father and be- came heir to a third of his estate, but was cheated out of a good portion of it. After Claudius became emperor, Nero not only recovered his full inheritance but also received another inherit- ance from his stepfather. When he was eleven year NERO old, Nero was adopted by Claudius, and later at his formal introduction to the people, Nero gave them gifts and also gave money to the soldiers. Nero was seventeen years old when the death" of Claudius was made public, and was hailed as emperor on the steps of the palace. He gave Claudius a magnifi- cent funeral, eulogized and deified him. He declared that he would rule according to the principles of Augustus and immediately abandoned all oppressive sources of revenue, reduced certain rewards paid to informers, gave money to the general public, granted an annual salary to senators of limited means, and gave free grain to the praetorian guard. Nero gave many spectacu- lar shows in the arena, and was the first in Rome to es- tablish a quinquennial con- test (every five years) in three parts: gymnastics, music and horseracing. This contest was given the name of "Neronia." Nero shaved his first beard during an intermission in one of these gymnastic contests while at the same time some young bulls were sac- rificed for the occasion. His shorn hairs were put in a golden box along with some expensive pearls and the whole affair was dedicated to a god. Whenever he was required to sit in judgment at court proceedings he was always reluctant to render any de- cision on any matter on the same day. Instead of con- tinuous pleadings by mem- bers of opposing sides he required each point to be presented separately and argued by the parties in turn before proceeding to the next one. He never dis- cussed matters with his advisors in a group but instead required separate written opinions, and it was from these opinions that he formed his decision. He enacted many building reforms which appeared to be in the best interest of the public. One such reform required houses and apart- ments to have fiat roofed porches in order to help in fighting fires. He set a limit to public expenditures (prob- ably under the mandate of (Continued on Page 12) Res Publica by David Tmm.buU Bring Back the Old American System! We've shipped our jobs overseas. We borrow money we can never pay back in order to buy the goods we can no longer make due .to deliberate and systematic de-industri- alization of America. However no one suffers too much as there is a network of generous government transfer pay- ments. Of course future generations will receive the bill for services now paid for with money borrowed from the Chinese. But that is no concern to our elected "leaders," they and their families are not the ones who will suffer. Such is the new American Way. Through the nineteenth and the early twentieth centu- ries the U.S. operated on a very different system. It was called the American System, to distinguish it from Adam Smith's British System and the various right-and left-wing statist systems advocated in continental Europe. With direct taxation of citizens proscribed by the Consti- tution, the government was financed largely by import duties. Tariffs on imported goods spurred development of domestic industries -- textile mills in Massachusetts, steel mill in West Virginia. Flourishing industries provided jobs. And a job is the best anti-poverty program ever known. With jobs you don't need a huge budget for social programs. That was the policy of great Republican Presidents such as Lincoln, McKinley, and Teddy Roosevelt. Sadly neglected today is nineteenth century American economist Henry C. Carey. Rejecting the elaborate and unworkable theories of European economists and philoso- phers, he embraced a practical, and wildly successful, American system of high tariffs and encouragement of domestic industry and education. He wrote: Why is protection needed? Why cannot trade with foreign nations be carried on without the intervention of customs- house officers? Why is it that that intervention should be needed to enable the loom and the anvil to take their natu- ral places by the side of the plough and the harrow?...Of the advantage of perfect freedom of trade, theoretically considered, there could be no doubt ... Nevertheless, every attempt at so doing that failed. (Continued on Page 10) a,