Why we are witnessing the fall of the American empire

Last week’s disappointing US jobs figures show that you can’t base an economy on leisure pursuits and services, writes Alice Schroeder

4th June, 2011

Rome in the first two centuries AD faced a yawning gulf between rich and poor.

The mighty empire built on tribute reached its geographic limits and its economy created few exportable goods.

Slaves acquired by conquest built most of its bridges, roads and aqueducts and took jobs in farming, mining and construction.

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