I have been reading a very interesting book published in 1987. The Collapse of Complex Societies by Joseph Tainter – pdf. It discusses the nature of complex societies and why they fail

The essentials are:

Four concepts discussed to this point can lead to an understanding of why complex societies collapse. These concepts are:
1. human societies are problem-solving organizations;
2. sociopolitical systems require energy for their maintenance;
3. increased complexity carries with it increased costs per capita; and
4. investment in sociopolitical complexity as a problem-solving response often reaches a point of declining marginal returns.

The essence is declining marginal returns. The society because of its dead weight can no longer turn a profit. And there is nothing more dead weight than a large government with a large welfare class.

“The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.” – Tacitus

The Romans tried what we would call socialism in their collapse phase. It didn’t work. In fact it made things worse. Ever higher taxes caused a drop in production. That led to rampant inflation. And further drops in production.

You can not fix the problems caused by government with more government. What is needed is less government. Can we do that? Maybe. Trump has insisted on removing two regulations for every new regulation proposed. So he gets the problem.

I highly recommend this book to understand our current situation. The good stuff starts in Chapter 4.