November 09, 2012 at 15:15 PM EST
From the 4,000-Year-Old Mother of All Economies, a Dire Warning About the US Fiscal Cliff
Ur: a cautionary tale about economic collapse. No not “ur” as in text-message shorthand for “you are ” but Ur the Sumerian city-state southeast of Baghdad that had its heyday in the 21st century—the 21st century before Christ that is—and whose ruins betray the lingering folly of the world’s earliest economic system to have left detailed records. “Ur is the origin of modern political economy and it failed because of the irrationality of its governing system ” says ancient-economics analyst Steven Garfinkle professor of Sumerian history at Western Washington University in Bellingham Washington. “Bad behavior contributed to Ur’s downfall.” ...
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