Nowhere does Ancient Rome touch Modern America more closely than on a college campus. The only difference being college campuses have significantly fewer philosophers.

“What has been will be again”, promised King Solomon in Ecclesiastes 1:9. Though we like to think of ourselves in the 21st century as entirely alien to certain practices of that primitive population in Rome, including their festivals for the wine god Bacchus and gruesome gladiatorial games, one glance at the American college campus will prove the words of Solomon are veritably true.

“Panem et circenses”, bread and circuses, was the name of the game for Roman politicians, trying to appease a desperately poor and often irate population. It is also the name of the game for the “college experience”. The college experience that Biden is attempting to fund with $400 billion of your taxpayer dollars.

Though this move by the president is likely to be quelled by the Supreme Court, its widespread support by the American people should be disturbing.

For those of you who have not been privy to the “college experience”, let me give you an insider’s peak.

Bread and Circuses just about describes the scene. Whether it is the doting on dining hall food or the scramble for seats in the student section at the basketball game, the psychology of keeping people happy has not changed in two millennia. And when the people are unhappy, then and now, cities burn.

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Around the university apartments, “Thirsty Thursdays” are more anticipated than any class– a night of promiscuity, drugs, and drunken stumbling from frat house to frat house. Around 2 am, when the booming house music winds down, the morning crowd parades through the streets, raucously trying to find their way to bed. More than once, I have had the sorry experience of hearing incapacitated girls following strange men home.

Football games are much the same. Tailgating all day ends in few students remembering the actual game. Foul mouths and wandering eyes plague every row of the stadium.

The confusion and frenzy are not limited to sporting events or parties, though. Radical ideology orders each class to begin with introductory pronouns and a stolen land acknowledgment by the university. During lecture itself, many subjects are watered down to appease the delicate sensibilities of students.

This is the scene at the nation’s #1 public university.

Of course, this is not the experience of every or even most college students. But it is the “ideal”. When parents send their kids to school for the “college experience”, this is the picture in their minds. Not high-caliber classes for the soul and intense career training for the future.

This debauchery is idolized and if Biden had his way, government-subsidized.

As a college student myself, I still see the merit of higher education. Behind its culture of partying and political intolerance, there is knowledge taught by professors who are experts in their respective fields. My experience has opened the door to opportunities I would not have had access to before. Additionally, I have been challenged both spiritually and academically in the midst of a broken world. Yet, perhaps the most important lesson I have learned is a crash course in the way our culture thinks.

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In the most formative years of their life, adults are told to shirk responsibility, plunge into deep debt, and party unapologetically. They are taught that actions do not have consequences and that the government will wipe away every loan. Sen. Ben Sasse in his book “The Vanishing American Adult”, comments on the same phenomena, “We are living in an America of perpetual adolescence. Our kids simply don’t know what an adult is anymore – or how to become one.”

To reverse this tide of incompetence, the government should incentivize trajectories that will build up our nation, rather than cut it off at the knees.

For example, a bill proposed in Texas would give property tax breaks to families with four or more children. For families with ten or more children, the parents would be exempt from all property taxes. As a prerequisite to receiving this financial aid, the parents must be married when the child was born or adopted, and must remain married.

“Families are the building blocks of society,” State Representative Bryan Slaton, who proposed the bill, said in a statement on Twitter. “With HB 2889, Texas will start saying: ‘Get married, stay married, and be fruitful and multiply.’”

If the government intends to survive past the next generation, it is high time to change tactics.

The story of these two incentives illustrates for us the fork in the road staring into the face of American lawmakers.

The path of the first leads only to destruction, but the second, to a brighter hope in the future than we experience in the present. May America choose wisely.

Rather than incentivizing frivolity, may she incentivize stability.

Rather than propping up lifeless institutions, may she prop up the living foundations of the population.

Catie Robertson is an intern with the Convention of States Project, a project of Citizens for Self-Government.

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