The Myth of ‘Build Back Better’, by the Zman


Building back better generally means tearing down what you have and replacing it with something worse. From the Zman at

On the night of June 19, a fire broke out in some of the shops near the Circus Maximus in Rome. The fire quickly got out of control and burned for six days, before it was brought under control. Then another fire started and it burned for another three days, destroying two-thirds of Rome. The emperor Nero, after assessing the damage, addressed the people and said, “We will build back better.”

That’s not true, of course. Nero would not have been so ridiculous, for fear the people would revolt. Like our modern tyrants, though, he conveniently had elaborate plans ready just in case things suddenly needed rebuilding. He rebuilt much of the city in the Greek style and built a massive new palace for himself. One of the…

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