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Social Security: A Monstrous Truth
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UknowsI



Joined: 16 Apr 2009

PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If people expect the pension to be paid by a diminishing workforce while expecting longer retirement lives and increased payments, then SS will come to a point where it is no longer sustainable. If the payments are realistic (in other words modest) and the retirement age is increased along with peoples life expectancy and politicians stop promising pensions higher than they can deliver, then SS will work just fine.

The problem is that we all know that it is impossible to increase the pension age without riots, the population is getting older and older and politicians will continue to promise things they can't deliver as long as it's long into the future. In other words democracies are doomed to spiral into unsustainable social security policies. Greece is a few steps ahead of the curve, but it's a very slippery slope which I believe is easy to fall into. One of Korea's largest competitive advantages is that it's in the very beginning of the development.

I consider myself left of the US political parties, and I believe in a high level of welfare, but I realise that it's almost impossible to stop the development towards too much welfare when that "right" level has been reached.
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ontheway



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Location: Somewhere under the rainbow...

PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unposter wrote:
A couple of other differences between Social Security and a Ponzi Scheme.

1) In social security, there is a real investment.

2) In social security, there is a defined benefit, backed up by the U.S. government, current squabbles behind, the most trustworthy creditor in the world.


3)
Unposter wrote:
Sadly, Social Seciurity would be on much stornger footing if Presidents, mostly George Bush Sr., had not raided it to pay other bills
.


The reason you are confused UNposter is that you are completely UNfamiliar with any aspect of accounting, finance or economics. You are UNeducated. Three strikes and you're actually incapable of having an intelligent position on any related issue - and this is the problem with all socialists, because none of them have any background in any of those three areas. People who understand those things end up supporting free markets.

1) Social security has no investment fund and makes no investments. They have a current cash account which takes in enough each year to pay the benefits. On an actuarial basis under GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) Social Security has been legally bankrupt since the mid 1950s.

Social Security should have a real trust fund and investments, if it were NOT a ponzi scheme. In reality, in the recent failure of the decades long run of the ponzi scheme run by Bernie Madoff there was a greater ratio of assets to liabilities than that in the social security accounts.

Social Security is tens of trillions of dollars short in its accounts precisely because it IS a ponzi scheme. It was known to be a ponzi from before its inception.

Social Security does maintain net assets in excess of current accounts payable which allows it to invest in government bonds. There are only a few months of assets in excess of current liabilities however. There is NOTHING to cover long-term liabilities and hasn't been since the mid 1950s.

2) Social Security has a politically defined benefit plan. That means it can legally be changed and no present or future potential beneficiary can pursue legal remedies.

This, in fact, does make social security a bit different. It means that although it is a ponzi scheme in financial terms, in legal terms the perpetrators have voted themselves a "Get out of Jail Free" card.

The Supreme Court has ruled that social security is a welfare plan and no one has any legal basis to make claims against assets if congress votes to reduce or abolish payments or if the plan fails, nor does it have to be fair in setting payment amounts.

So, we can see that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme run by a criminal gang in charge of the Police dept so they can never be punished.

3) This is a popular urban myth and a canard. In fact no one has ever "raided" the social security funds and taken assets from them to be used for other governmental purposes.

However, the government has routinely used the short term net asset position as a mask to hide budget deficits. In addition, the SS short term net assets of the fund are always invested in government bonds, which allows for other accounting gimicks to make the Federal government's finances look better than they actually are.

It the government were required to follow actual standard accounting principles (like all us businesses) they would have to show Social Security's fund as being short by tens of trillions of dollars. This is the actuarily determined net present value of future promised payments based on payments already made by the American workers less the current assets on hand. This is the figure that has been negative for over 55 years and would have put all the officers and Fed govt officials in jail for fraud if the laws applied to Bernie Madoff were applied to the US Congress, Senate, White House and related departments.

US Socialist Security is one of the biggest frauds and the biggest Ponzi scheme ever to see the light of day.

(Since the total real debt of the Federal Government under GAAP now exceeds $100 trillion -according to the Federal Reserve itself - it may be that the aggregate of the national health care plans is a bigger net fraud.)

Government officials who support social security are evil, fascist-socialist criminals.

People in the public at large who support social security are either fascist-socialists as well or uneducated dupes and fools.



(And BTW, UNposter, the US government is a net "debtor" to the tune now of over $100,000,000,000,000 - one hundred trillion dollars - that can never possibly be repaid without some form or combination of debasement and default.)
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World Traveler



Joined: 29 May 2009

PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not sure why you guys are so mad about Social Security.
Did you know your employer has to match your contributions?
And as of 2011 the worker pays 4.2% while the employer pays 6.2%.
And under Obama's new plan, the worker would pay only 3.1%, while the employer pays 6.2%.
You're not really being clever by moving abroad to opt out of paying into it.
That's like choosing to be an "independent contractor" instead an "employee" to avoid paying into the Korean pension scheme. Foolish!
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ontheway



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Location: Somewhere under the rainbow...

PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

World Traveler wrote:
Not sure why you guys are so mad about Social Security.
Did you know your employer has to match your contributions?
And as of 2011 the worker pays 4.2% while the employer pays 6.2%.
And under Obama's new plan, the worker would pay only 3.1%, while the employer pays 6.2%.
You're not really being clever by moving abroad to opt out of paying into it.
That's like choosing to be an "independent contractor" instead an "employee" to avoid paying into the Korean pension scheme. Foolish!



A young teacher in Korea from the US can work here a while and reclaim his or her contributions to the Korean pension fund along with the matching portion by the employer and then invest those funds (in non fiat currency denominated assets if you want the money to survive).

The same teacher in the US paying in to Socialist Insecurity will have to wait until age 68 (likely to be changed to later) to have a chance to get any of the funds, have a guaranteed rate of return less than the market, negative for some, and most likely see all of the contributions and the employer's portion disappear when the system collapses by 2030 or so.

It's very smart to opt out.
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Unposter



Joined: 04 Jun 2006

PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ontheway,

1. You contradict yourself when you say social security is not invested in anything and then later say except U.S. Treasuries.

2. I receive a statement from Social Security which tells me what I have put in and what I can expect to receive. You may want to call that a "politcally defined benefit" if you want but I don't. For people, I know, the checks keep coming.

3. I have no idea if the government is raiding social security or not but I have read articles and heard politicians's speaches. Obviously, you don't trust such sources. But, I don't trust your sources either. Welcome to the world of astroturfing and other forms of misinformation.

4. Your rhetoric is so angry and so full of biased adjective and imagery that it is hard to take your argument seriously. I am more than willing to discuss the issue with you but I would suggest talking to me or others in a more serious tone.

5. What is your concern with Social Security? You don't want to have an income after you retire? I don't know about you but I earn enough, and have planned accordingly, to get a pension, have savings and have social security. If you are not so lucky, I would think having social security to fall on would be a blessing.
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Big_Bird



Joined: 31 Jan 2003
Location: Sometimes here sometimes there...

PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ontheway wrote:

The reason you are confused UNposter is that you are completely UNfamiliar with any aspect of accounting, finance or economics. You are UNeducated. Three strikes and you're actually incapable of having an intelligent position on any related issue - and this is the problem with all socialists, because none of them have any background in any of those three areas. People who understand those things end up supporting free markets.


Wrong. I have studied A, F and E (one of my degrees is a Master in Business), and before that I had studied economics both formally (as part of my undergrad degree which was largely mathematics) and informally for sheer interest. Yet I remain a 'lefty.' Perhaps that means I'm either a cretin, or just nuts. Either way, I'm sure you'll have an opinion on it. I have several bright acquaintances who despite retaining a high GPA while studing economics, are very skeptical of unfettered freemarkets. Economics is not one monolithic line of thought. There are various schools under the umbrella of 'economics' though the most fashionable is the neoclassical economics.

I remember feeling quite dismayed when I first studied economics. I realised it was less of a science, and more of a cult. I was still naively thinking that university was about dispassionate academic pursuit. What should have been considered mere theory, was often portrayed as 'incontrovertable truth' when in fact there is still plenty of healthy debate within the field of economics, and so little empirical evidence to support much of the theory that is handed to students as if it were as tried and tested as Newton's Laws. The way some of the students and tutors carried on, you would think they were consumed with a religious fervour. And I've seen this again and again. Various strands of economics have their little cult followers, and I find an enthused Marxian economist every bit as tedious as a zealous market libertarian. Save us from them all!

I have no allegience to one of these schools/cults as being female (and not male) I do not have to beat my chest and pretend to know all the answers. Nobody really knows the answers, and unfortunately, mainstream economics is so stalled in its development, who knows if we will ever have them?

Economic theory is so fraught with inconsistencies and contradictions that many academics admit the whole thing needs dismantling and rebuilding from scratch. It's superficially elegant, but when you scratch a little further, its riddled with flaws. Most real mathematicians and scientists would likely be appalled if they took a course in undergrad econ.

One critiscism of mainstream economic theory is that is reliant on maths developed before the twentieth century, and while it proffers up plenty of elegant little theories to dazzle sweet little undergrads, it is too simplistic when applied to the real world. Mainstream economics has failed to grapple with new advances in mathematics so as to better equip its practioners to grapple with the complexity of real life.

To tell you the truth - economics is really just about politics. You choose your theories to fit your ethics or political/religious beliefs. That's the fact of the matter. Anyone who says otherwise is just lying to themselves.
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daskalos



Joined: 19 May 2006
Location: The Road to Ithaca

PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 5:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Big_Bird wrote:
(snip) 1. I have no allegience to one of these schools/cults as being female (and not male) I do not have to beat my chest and pretend to know all the answers.

(snip) 2. To tell you the truth - economics is really just about politics. You choose your theories to fit your ethics or political/religious beliefs. That's the fact of the matter. Anyone who says otherwise is just lying to themselves.


1. I love it when you generalize, because you do it so smartly, and I know you realize you're only making largely valid generalizations. That is, there are women who chest thump and men who don't, and some in both cases who do and don't depending the subject at hand.

2. And I love it when you tell the truth. Gosh, it was a long time ago when I took my first college course in Politics, but the first thing I heard on the first day of class that struck my ear was that politics is the art and practice of how resources are distributed. Which makes the "science" of economics a bit dodgy from the get-go, no?

Pugs and fishes,

Das
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Big_Bird



Joined: 31 Jan 2003
Location: Sometimes here sometimes there...

PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 5:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

daskalos wrote:
Big_Bird wrote:
(snip) 1. I have no allegience to one of these schools/cults as being female (and not male) I do not have to beat my chest and pretend to know all the answers.

(snip) 2. To tell you the truth - economics is really just about politics. You choose your theories to fit your ethics or political/religious beliefs. That's the fact of the matter. Anyone who says otherwise is just lying to themselves.


1. I love it when you generalize, because you do it so smartly, and I know you realize you're only making largely valid generalizations. That is, there are women who chest thump and men who don't, and some in both cases who do and don't depending the subject at hand.


Laughing You just made me laugh out loud! I did smile at my own hypocrisy a little as I typed it... And you are tempting me down the road of creating a thread on biological determinism ... Being one of these anomolous creatures fated to have a "hunter's mind" within a "gatherer's body" you can imagine how fascinated I am by the sheer nonsense of it. Every time I've taken one of those tests to see how male/female I am - I come out a man. I score more highly than the average man on the things that men are supposed to excel on, and not quite so well on some things that are supposed to be the preserve of women. It's only that I score highly on those recognition of facial expression tests that I get dragged away from being a proper red-blooded male - though I never make it back over the line to the women's sector. And given that I fancy lads, not lasses, I suppose that means I am really a gay man in women's body! Maybe that's why we get on so well?

Biological determinism is another load of bunkum that's not properly supported by the evidence - though any little study that does (however vaguely) point to it's validity is trumpeted in the media - especially the rightwing media. All those rightwing christian nutters who don't believe in evolution - but gleefully laud any supposed 'proof' that women have evolved to be touchy feely little gatherers, and men have evolved to do much more fun things than shop and flit about cleaning the house all day. Of course all that research that doesn't support it - or further, contradicts it, is ignored by the press and filed away on some dusty univeristy library shelf. Evolutionary psychology strikes me as being almost as political as economic theory. But if I start a thread on that - I'll never get finished!


Quote:
the first thing I heard on the first day of class that struck my ear was that politics is the art and practice of how resources are distributed. Which makes the "science" of economics a bit dodgy from the get-go, no?


Exactly!

I wish you would post here more often. It's always fun to see you stir the sh... Which is what this forum is really about, n'est-ce pas? Twisted Evil
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daskalos



Joined: 19 May 2006
Location: The Road to Ithaca

PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jagi, I think you're probably the smartest person on this board, despite our occasional disagreements (in which you exhibit a little not-smartness Smile ), so I do so love making you laugh out loud, intentionally or not.

I think it's distinctly possible that the reason we get on so well is that I am a gay man in a man's body, and you're a gay man in that other one. All in all, I think I have the better deal here - MUCH less cognitive dissonance.

Let me go on record as egging you on to your thread about bioligical determinism. Can I also get one against the idea that a bad childhood excuses or mitigates serial murder?

Actually, it's only human frailty and weak character that ever bring me back to this board, but I'm feeling rather weak and frail lately, so who knows? (Okay, really it's only boredom.)

Das

P.S. Send me some links to those tests you take to find out how girly/manly one is. Would love to know if I'm as big a sissy as people think I am.

P.P.S. Aren't the results of the face recognition tests really just a matter of EQ/Social Skills? And is all that really a matter of the male/female divide? If so, no wonder straight people are so troubled.
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Big_Bird



Joined: 31 Jan 2003
Location: Sometimes here sometimes there...

PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Embarassed YOu're making me blush. YOu know I'm such a retiring modest little thing..


I like your thread idea...it would make for some interesting discussion. And maybe you can goad me on just enough to start mine..the weekend is coming...hehe.

Yes, I'll look for those tests - I found one on the bbc website not so long ago. Men and Women were 100 units apart - with wimmin 50 from the dividing line, and blokes 50 in the other direction. On the spectrum I was 25 away from the average man, and 75 away from the average woman. I'd be interested to see how you turn out - perhaps it can be scientifically proved that you are just a big girl's blouse!?

I aced the facial expression test - but to tell you the truth, I felt that I was just guessing. Wink

I'm about to go to bed, so I'll get onto that maybe tomorrow night. If my kids permit it!

...and in the meantime...I'm waiting for some little smart alec to make a point about how Newton's Laws are blah blah blah...oh yes.
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ontheway



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Location: Somewhere under the rainbow...

PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unposter wrote:
Ontheway,

1. You contradict yourself when you say social security is not invested in anything and then later say except U.S. Treasuries...



1. No this is not a contradiction. You just exposed your lack of understanding. People and institutions who have temporary cash often park that money in an account of some kind but it is not considered to be an investment. Every one of the large, well know recent ponzi schemes (there have been dozens) had some assets but these schemes are not considered investments.

Real investment plans and real retirement plans have long-term assets that are come from the investor, they are held and invested until the time they are need to pay the investor.

Social Security has no invested assets. None of the money that you or I have paid in is being held for our future retirement. Zero dollars. None. There are no retirement assets. There are no investments.

Social security will pay out the money it collects from workers this month to other people during the months that follow. They hold on to nothing and invest nothing. They are only able to park these funds in income earning accounts for a short period - just like every good ponzi manager will do.
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ontheway



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Location: Somewhere under the rainbow...

PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unposter wrote:
Ontheway,

2. I receive a statement from Social Security which tells me what I have put in and what I can expect to receive. You may want to call that a "politcally defined benefit" if you want but I don't. For people, I know, the checks keep coming...



Bernie Madoff, and other good ponzi operators sent out statements as well. Your statement is part of the fraud. You are a dupe.

Yes you paid in the money. Yes they have political promises to keep. But, if you are less than 50 years old today you are likely to receive nothing.

Social Security is a bankrupt Ponzi scheme kept alive by the force of the Federal Government beyond the tolerance of the public that is free to choose. It has been legally bankrupt since the mid 1950s.


Quote:
3. I have no idea if the government is raiding social security or not but I have read articles and heard politicians's speaches. Obviously, you don't trust such sources. But, I don't trust your sources either. Welcome to the world of astroturfing and other forms of misinformation.



I realize that you have no idea. But I do.

My primary source is the Social Security administration itself. Their reports reveal their lack of assets, the legal bankrupt status, and their lack of assets and investments to cover their obligations.

These reports have been confirmed by the US Comptroller - the head accountant of the US government.

They have been confirmed by the Federal Reserve of the US.

The US Supreme Court has issued a written opinion the Social Security is a politically defined welfare plan that does not have to pay the "obligations" that you believe in.



... but, you choose to believe the common chatter of people in bars and the lies of politicians.
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ontheway



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Location: Somewhere under the rainbow...

PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unposter wrote:
Ontheway,


4. Your rhetoric is so angry and so full of biased adjective and imagery that it is hard to take your argument seriously. I am more than willing to discuss the issue with you but I would suggest talking to me or others in a more serious tone...



I am using a very serious tone. But I won't mince words. I'm giving you the facts.

Social Security is a fraud.
Social Security is a Ponzi scheme and meets all the criteria.
Social Security can never deliver on the promises it has made.

The politicians who created and supported and currently support Social Security were aware, are aware and have been fully informed that it is a bankrupt Ponzi scheme. When they tell you they can save it or fix it they are lying. They are evil fascist-socialists.

These are all facts.

For Social Security to survive as an institution, it will have to break its promises. There are no investments and no actual "trust funds" since it IS a Ponzi scheme. They can reduce benefits, and delay retirement - breaking the promises. They can raise taxes on current workers to try to cover some of their promises - but they will then have to break the promises made to the latest group entering the bottom of the pyramid.


Quote:
5. What is your concern with Social Security? You don't want to have an income after you retire? I don't know about you but I earn enough, and have planned accordingly, to get a pension, have savings and have social security. If you are not so lucky, I would think having social security to fall on would be a blessing.



I once, while working as an auditor, came upon a Ponzi scheme still in its early stages - it could have survived for years. I knew it was an illegal Ponzi within 5 minutes of looking over their operations. (Funny, I was always able to uncover embezzlement and other schemes within minutes that other auditors had missed for years.)

I was given the chance to get in on the ground floor and I could have made a huge return. I could even have invested under an alias with cash payments both in and out making my detection impossible. Neat. Of course I refused. Some months later the authorities somehow discovered this Ponzi scheme and shut it down.


I have never planned on taking Social Security money. I would refuse to take it under any circumstance. Any money paid to me would have to be stolen from another victim. I would be accepting stolen funds taken from an innocent victim of an evil fascist-socialist regime. That I could never do.
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ontheway



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Location: Somewhere under the rainbow...

PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Big_Bird wrote:
ontheway wrote:

The reason you are confused UNposter is that you are completely UNfamiliar with any aspect of accounting, finance or economics. You are UNeducated. Three strikes and you're actually incapable of having an intelligent position on any related issue - and this is the problem with all socialists, because none of them have any background in any of those three areas. People who understand those things end up supporting free markets.



I have studied A, F and E (one of my degrees is a Master in Business), and before that I had studied economics both formally (as part of my undergrad degree which was largely mathematics) and informally for sheer interest...

... There are various schools under the umbrella of 'economics' though the most fashionable is the neoclassical economics.

I remember feeling quite dismayed when I first studied economics...

Economic theory is so fraught with inconsistencies and contradictions that many academics admit the whole thing needs dismantling and rebuilding from scratch. It's superficially elegant, but when you scratch a little further, its riddled with flaws. Most real mathematicians and scientists would likely be appalled if they took a course in undergrad econ.



If you studied chemistry with a "chemist" who taught you alchemy instead, you would be equally dismayed an confused.

If you studied Earth science with a professor who insisted the world was flat, you would also be appalled.


In the study of Economics the whole thing has already been dismantled and rebuilt. While this is commonly referred to as the "Austrian School" in reality it is the only Economics. The others have all been thoroughly debunked and proven wrong.

However, the requirements of politics enter into all sciences. They will pervert science for political purposes whenever possible. Since the general public is so ignorant in all areas of life, they are easy to dupe, so the politicians go ahead and lie and fool the people. Witness the vast mass of individuals who refuse to accept evolution or the fact that the Earth's climate is changing.

It's too bad that you had professors who had been either duped by the political process or were part of the political misinformation machine. This, of course, is another reason why there should be no schools at any level run or controlled by the government.

Even more important than freedom of religion or freedom of the press, education must be kept out of the hands of the government.
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Unposter



Joined: 04 Jun 2006

PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess my point, which I seem to have expressed poorly, is that in addition to the mathematical graphing the OP linked that showed that social security and a ponzi scheme do not follow the same patterns, there is also one of intention.

A ponzi scheme's intent is to defraud and steal your money. Social Securit is to provide you with an income in your old age which within its limits has been doing a good job of and unless people like ontheway have their way will continue to do so. In fact, I would assume that dismantling social security would be more damaging than keeping it.

So, ontheway, how would you dismantle social security and what would you do for all the people who depend on it? How would you pay off its debts or would you just default?
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