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Ancient Rome and the Big Mac Index

Inflation’s effect on us today..

In today’s society,  inflation has been causing a rise in the prices of goods and services since the beginning of unified currency.  It can be a direct effect of the concept of supply and demand and is often something that has plagued consumers for as very long time.  In feudal Japan, noble samurai defeated in battle would take their swords and kill themselves because they believed that they had dishonored their lords and didn’t want to face the ridicule and embarrassment they would receive from returning to their village. This has absolutely nothing to do with Inflation in the economy but I just thought it was a useful fact to know.  All over the world, Inflation can be seen in many places today as most currency is worth much less than it was 50 years ago. Money will naturally lose value over time, as more of it is printed and people demand more for less. According to Investopedia, Inflation is defined as a sustained increase in the general level of price among various goods and services, and is measured as an annual percentage change.



Inflation in Ancient Rome..

In ancient Rome, inflation was one of the many other variables that caused the empire’s downfall. After the empire stopped conquering new lands, the flow of new gold into the roman economy drastically decreased. The romans were using too much gold for luxury items. The production of the coin slowed down drastically, and they were becoming rarer and rarer. Merchants raised their prices to accommodate for the lack of new gold in the economy. Eventually gold coins became so rare that only the rich were able to get any. Many people stopped using coins and just decided to barter their belongings to get what they wanted. People started being paid in food and clothing, and taxes were collected with fruits and vegetables. Along with the rising unemployment rate, corruption in the wealthy, and heavy military spending, many of the lower classes such as farmers ended up being poorer than they already were. Inflation definitely played a very large part in rome’s downfall, probably one of the biggest factors.


Inflation in our society..

Let’s use an example: 40 years ago,  According to McDonald’s official inflation chart, coined the Big Mac index, the price of a Big Mac from McDonald’s was 75 cents, this was acceptable at the time, as the Big Mac wasn’t as well known as it is today, labor was cheaper, money wasn’t as easily obtainable, and there simply wasn’t as many bills printed back then. Although Inflation isn’t necessarily a bad thing in small doses, When the effect becomes to extreme (more that 2-3% a year) it can become a sign that an economy is failing. of course the Big Mac isn’t reflective of all of America’s economy, but it is a good example to show how much inflation actually effects us. A Big Mac today will cost you 3.99, that’s around 5 times more expensive than it was in the 1970s.  There’s many reasons why this happened change happened, among inflation of money being put in the economy, and the use of better materials in the hamburgers, as there wasn’t a ridiculous amount of morbidly obese Americans 40 years ago, so health wasn’t as much of a concern.. In conclusion, the Inflation rate can help an economy when it is contained, but when out of control it can cause its downfall, and that just happened to be the case for ancient Rome.



By Uzoma Nwanneka,

Patrick Conteh, Kelly Carter

How Roman Slaves Put The Romans Out Of Work

Roman  Slaves    by: Leanne, Kayla, Sadie 

Life as a slave was very hard. They were treated terribly by the romans.

Romans, specially the wealthy ones depended greatly on their slaves for maintaining an opulent lifestyle. These slaves did most of the work for his or her masters and worked diligently to supply them comfort. Slaves in Rome were used for house servant, labour, and gladiator fighting. Educated slaves were even utilized as physicians, teachers and poets. Educated and skillful slaves carried a hefty price tag. Slaves made up a substantial a part of the Roman population. In 1st century BC, 30 to 40 percent of Italy’s population comprised of slaves.

Slaves were perceived as foreign, untrustworthy, and lazy. Rough conditions, slaves had to fight as gladiators and get killed. They often had to work in extremely dangerous mines.

The lifespan of most slaves varied depending on his/her owner and position.Slave escapes weren’t uncommon however typically unsuccessful.


Rome offered a technique for social advancement for a select variety of slaves. They granted them citizenship 1 slave for every 3 free people or about 2 million slaves. The victory in the 2nd punic war rise of wealth improved and gave the the ability to own slaves. Depending on their master, they could buy freedom using money earned.


However, the master could avoid agreement and take the money for their own. Slaves were the lowest of all classes in this society.


Even a freed criminal could have more rights. A slave had no rights at all and absolutely no legal status or any individuality. The children born to freed slaves were however, considered free with full rights of a roman citizen.


Many roman people were owned by other people, or by the roman government, as slaves. Because the romans didn’t really have hourly wage, or salaried work.


As we know men and women who didn’t own their land or a business on their own were often enslaved. The jobs slaves did were jobs witch today in the US are done by free people working for wages. Like today, some of those jobs were awful, and some of them were pretty good.


Many of these men and women, worked in the fields especially in southern france and spain,on big farms owned by rich men and women.


Slaves were usually prisoners captured in war, but some people had been kidnapped in Italy.


Slaves in Rome had a very problematic time for things like freedom and rights. Most times slaves don’t fight for things  like freedom and rights because they are uneducated to the many privileges they can get and they don’t have the money to get out slavery to fight for it. Some slaves worked for money, food, water and other things but some didn’t get any money If you were a slave and rebelled you would have consequences for rebelling and would have to work more or would be killed as well as if you were to run away.

Slaves were sold at a slave-market. They were put on show, naked, with a notice around their necks. anyone who had enough money could buy them. Once sold they were the property of their new owner and had to work for no money. Sometimes a rich man would have as many as 400 slaves.

Some slave owners beat their slaves and slaves that ran away could be killed. Slaves could not argue with their masters, they had to do exactly as they were told or else they would be punished. If a slave killed his master then all the other slaves in the household would be killed.


Both men and women were sold as slaves and young boys were the most expensive slaves to buy. Some slaves were well educated, especially those from Greece, and they would be used to teach the children of the house.


Women slaves would be used as hairdressers, dressmakers, cooks and servants for rich women. Other slaves worked in small workshops making leather or silver goods or pots and pans.


the slaves who had the hardest jobs were those who were put to work in the mines. They had to spend long hours underground in hot, cramped conditions. The mines were also unsafe and often slaves were killed in accidents. Farmers used slaves to do the hardest work on their farms like digging and ploughing.

Although they, and other slaves, would be killed if they ran away, many did try to escape. However, this was very difficult because they had no one to help them and many of them did not speak Latin.

Slavery was practiced in Rome for many years, even as it absolutely was in Europe. thus standard was the establishment of slavery in Rome that, the same as the U.S., in some cities, slaves outnumbered citizens!


Because slavery was a part of Rome’s history for long and therefore the numbers of slaves so great, it had been inevitable that slaves would get up and revolt against their masters for higher living conditions. There have been 3 main rebellions throughout the republic.  


Overall, slavery was cruel and unjust and we think these roman slaves didn’t deserve the harsh life they had to live.

How rich people are lazy

How Rich people are lazy:

Money in America is very abundant.

Some people have more money than others. It is very easy to become greedy here in the USA.

When people get to rich they can become lazy and bored. They complain they don’t have anything and they don’t have any stuff. While, other people out there in the world need homes, clothes, and food.

People in Rome are also rich. Some of them are greedy but not all of them are. Most of them are poor and don’t have a home or any were to live. The kings are extremely greedy and they are so rich they don’t know what to do. They get very bored and they get very mean and controlling.

Most of the time the kings were either sitting doing nothing or being mean to others. They were so lazy that their population started to go down and things started to not be the same as they were. The kings were being selfish to people around them.

They need to start to think about their people more then there self.

So in conclusion the rich coulter is not only in the present but it also was in the past. Rich people should help out more sense they have more ability to do anything.

Emily, Rebecca, and Devany


McGeough, Kevin M. “Roman Moneylending.” World History: Ancient and Medieval Eras, ABC-CLIO, 2004,

The Comparison Of The Rich Of Rome To The Rich Of America

During the time of Ancient Rome’s fall there has been an increase is tax and inflation which made it harder for the poor/plebeians to live there. The rich/patricians were able to avoid the large tax by moving to the countryside as the tax and inflation was still growing fast for the plebians. As this goes on, the patricians refuse to help or invest in the smaller businesses so no new businesses happen and so they don’t have enough money to pay for what’s needed and then it eventually lead to a huge crash. While america isn’t in an economic crash, there are wealthy american that do use these tactics just to make their lives easier.

First, the rich moving to away to avoid tax in america isn’t unheard of and about 12,000 millionaires do change their state each year just to avoid their tax. For example, if  a state increases its top tax rates by 10 percent, studies have shown that this leads to a one percent decline in that state’s millionaires. Also, some studies on this topic have been keeping a close eyes on two states with a large tax rate like New York and Illinois and two states with no personal income tax like Texas and Florida to look at the migration patterns for millionaires and see anything interesting. The study have found that the states with the large tax rate (New York and Illinois) do have a net out-migration of millionaires and Texas having a net in-migration of millionaires. Surprisingly for Florida, all of the three states that been listed has had an incredibly large quantity millionaires that have migrated to Florida.

Secondly, the rich refusing to help the poor in america is something that has been and still discussed among many. There are many people in the world who strongly believe that the rich just generally don’t care about poor and only care about stastaning their wealth in society. They think the reasons is because they think the rich don’t want to be bothered, they feel overwhelmed by choices, they don’t want to be hassled, and they are to nervous about going broke. While some of these claims could be valid arguments in their own right, it still doesn’t talk about how not helping the poor hurts america and how that helped rome to eventually fall.

The rich not caring about the struggling poor is not just morally wrong, but hurts the country as a whole and lowers the wealth of the its government. Comparing the fall of rome’s from its economic problems to another economic catastrophe, The Great Depression. During that time, to help get america out of the slump they thought that if people had money or jobs, then they could use that money to pay for goods and get the economy flowing again. While rome’s unemployment rate isn’t the topic of discussion at the moment, but it definitely would been beneficial for the country if the rich patricians started to share their money at the time with the poor plebians. America isn’t in a huge economical  problem anymore, but wealthy individuals could still give support though donations for communities living in poverty to give them a sustainable life do they can help the economy. But also because it’s the right thing to do, to give the people who work harder the us just to live the choice to have an easier life.

And lastly, the comparison of america and the country of rome’s distribution of income of the rich higher class group of people instead of split evenly among them and the poor. Although it’s practically impossible on being able to find an exact distribution of the income for ancient rome, many schools and researchers have found a good estimate on what they believed the distribution was at the time. And the studies have show that the top one percent of roman society controlled 16 percent of the wealth. While that already may seem high for just a one percent of its society it’s only about half of what america today’s one percent control with a 38 percent in wealth., you could even say that rome’s income distribution was even more fair than america today.

In conclusion, the fact that the rich roman did nothing to help with many problem caused by them and didn’t think to support their country in a time of need is strangely similar to present day american economical issues. From the rich moving to avoid an increase in tax, the rich not caring enough about the poor lower class, and to the large difference of the unfair distribution of the income are all traits that wealthy americans either have done or how it affects everyone else. Now this agreement does not apply to all wealthy individuals let alone the majority, but it does apply to more than I speculated before going into the research and hopes that at least on of these issues gets better during my lifetime.


Work Cited


Zaremba, Cheyenne. “Reflections Of Rome: Economic Similarities Between USA Wealth Distribution And The Fall Of The Roman Empire.” The Odyssey Online, Roberts Wesleyan College, 8 Aug. 2016,

Stern, Ken. “Why the Rich Don’t Give to Charity.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 26 Jan. 2018,

CityLab, Richard Florida, and Richard Florida University of Toronto’s Martin Prosperity Institute. “Do Taxes Really Cause the Rich to Move?” CityLab, University of Toronto’s Martin Prosperity Institute, 29 June 2016,