Constantine the Great ended the practice of crucifixion in Rome (so no companies would have advertised Good Friday Blowouts). But Cullen Murphy sees a growing privatization as a relevant parallel between America and Rome, worrying that private solutions are less accountable and equitable. (Although I know some would say exactly the opposite). Murphy admonishes in the ending pages, "Stop treating government as a necessary evil, and rely on it proudly for the big things it can do well."
Are We Rome? The Fall of an Empire and the Fate of America
by Cullen Murphy