In response to:

Why Do Societies Give Up?

Kenneth L. Wrote: Feb 14, 2013 12:12 PM
Wealth accumulation and income are different things. The gini coefficient studies show that the supposed widening income gap is mainly due to households becoming increasingly two-income and multi-income. The study is done using IRS data, and then cherry-picked to produce the result desired. Do the same analysis using individual income and there is no widening gap. So Mother Jones notwithstanding, Jack, I don't think you have successfully rebutted rosayn3's assertion.

Why do once-successful societies ossify and decline?

Hundreds of reasons have been adduced for the fall of Rome and the end of the Old Regime in 18th-century France. Reasons run from inflation and excessive spending to resource depletion and enemy invasion, as historians attempt to understand the sudden collapse of the Mycenaeans, the Aztecs and, apparently, the modern Greeks. In literature from Catullus to Edward Gibbon, wealth and leisure -- and who gets the most of both -- more often than poverty and exhaustion implode civilization.

One recurring theme seems consistent in Athenian literature on the eve of the city's takeover...