"Even back then, government knew best and imposed price controls which then as always caused black marketeers to provide for people's wants and needs. One difference between then and now is that the Romans could not print money. They could debase it, but not print it as virtually all modern states do. They also had no efficient way of spying on the populace or freezing assets which is now routine. This enables us to postpone, but not avert the day of collapse. As everybody seems to be fond of saying, it allows us to "kick the can down the road," but at some point we will find that the road is a dead end."