An *incredibly* good article on economics - with a focus on the impact (short-term and long-term) of government decree - can be found here.
It opens with an interesting observation:
"...the wonder was not that the Roman Empire had fallen, but rather that it had lasted so long...."
For the purposes of this blog, application of the article to modern times is left as an exercise for the student. No doubt, different people will see different lessons to be learned, but I think the key point is in the last paragraph:
"...In other words, the Roman state was the enemy; the barbarians were the liberators..."
A most fascinating read. Enjoy.