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Social Security: A Monstrous Truth
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TheUrbanMyth



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Location: It's not a superiority complex when you really are superior

PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ontheway wrote:
[
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.




As an auditor should you not have reported this scheme at once?
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daskalos



Joined: 19 May 2006
Location: The Road to Ithaca

PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What really pisses me off in all this debate is the assertion that the U.S. social security system in an entitlement, which carries the whiff of something for nothing, and that's bullshit. I've paid into SS all my working life. In that sense, I am entitled to it, because I have paid for it, so it's not something for nothing. It's something for something. Not ideal, perhaps, but enough to keep me in cat food if I haven't made other arrangments. If the m-f-ers who want to dismantle the program insist on its destruction, I'm going inisist on having every inflation-adjusted dollar I ever paid into it paid to me.

If Congress had not raided the SS fund, the impending crisis of insolvency would be a thing of the far more distant future than it is now. The money in that fund was (and is) earning a decent interest rate, invested as it is/was rather securely. The trouble with SS is politically generated by right-wing fascists who never liked the idea of a safety net to begin with, who think the lower economic classes deserve their sorry fate and the sooner they die, the better.

God damn Ronald Reagan and his political descendants. America is teetering on the brink of world-wide political, economic and moral irrelevancy, and that is entirely the fault of the GOP's last forty years of idiotic policies. How much do I loathe that m-f-er? The night I heard Ronald Reagn died, I danceed around my living room and sang a full-throated version of "Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead." My only regret was that he didn't die a more painful, lingering death than the one he did.

He was a vile, disgusting human being, but he was a veritable daisy in comparison with today's crop of GOP politicians. America, due to the GOP, is on its way out, slouching toward the dust bin of history. Makes me even more satisfied to be an expat. Saddened, to be sure, but not sad enough to wish to live, ever again, in that sad hell hole that is America.
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Ya-ta Boy



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Established in 1994

PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 3:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

^
I pretty much agree with this.

When I started teaching in '74 (that's 1974, not 1874) in a ruralish (400 students in the top 3 grades), that happened to be in the middle of John Birch Societyville, I was shocked to hear students say that Social Security would not be there when it was time for them and me to retire. I had never questioned it till then.

I should not have had to question it then, and I should not have to question it now. My mom, now 86, is terrified that the GOP is going to take it away from her. She's starting to fail, but she is alert enough that she knows they want to privatize it/turn it into a voucher system/turn it over to the states. She doesn't understand all of it, but she understands enough to know that the program that started when she was a kid and protected her mom is now under attack from the far right.

The whole idea of 'security' is security. My mom worked for a couple of different companies, the last one for about 25 years. Her 'retirement' from them is about $30 a month. A guy who graduated with me got a job right out of high school with a company in the same town where my mom worked and is now sitting on a million bucks. If you work your whole life, and are a good employee, playing the game in the system that others set up, your security in old age should not be dependent on the crap shoot of which company you stumbled into a job with.
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Ya-ta Boy



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Established in 1994

PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 4:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
What really pisses me off in all this debate is the assertion that the U.S. social security system in an entitlement


I'm puzzled by this.

If a person is born to parents with higher IQs, who have (naturally) better-paying jobs, is able to live in neighborhoods with better schools, and who has parents who therefore can afford to help send them to a good university...aren't they entitled to a better living standard than the kid who doesn't have those advantages? Especially if the person is white? Of course, we come from a society that allows the talented from lower classes to rise and share, but basically, aren't the kids of privilege entitled to a higher standard of living?

It's Friday night. Two different kids, from two different families, from two social classes, go out. Both are stopped by the cops for having open beer cans in the car. Tommy comes from the poorer family and so gets in big trouble. Timmy comes from the 'good family' and the cops let him go for that reason--wouldn't want to screw up his college scholarship. Isn't Timmy entitled to better treatement? Any teacher in a smaller high school knows what happens in the real world on the following Monday morning.

The problem with 'entitlement' in American society is that those who have, are the the ones who get.
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Sergio Stefanuto



Joined: 14 May 2009
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 4:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ya-ta Boy wrote:
My mom, now 86, etc etc etc


Why are people so eager to retire? What's so fabulous about retirement?
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Ya-ta Boy



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Established in 1994

PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 5:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sergio Stefanuto wrote:
Ya-ta Boy wrote:
My mom, now 86, etc etc etc


Why are people so eager to retire? What's so fabulous about retirement?


You have a point there. People should probably work until they drop into the grave. God, after all, chooses the lucky. Leisure is something that only the wealthy are entitled to. Labor has no value. Only entrepreneurship has value. The New Deal brought in a distorted system where both labor and investment were worthy. God forbid!

My mom lives in a complex where some Mexican immigrants (legal?) live. The family next door doesn't speak English, a dad, mom, and Eduardo, 7. Eduardo comes over and Mom feeds him cookies and milk and they put puzzles together, lets him play with my great-nephews' toys. When his dad bought a plastic wading pool for him and was out in the yard filling it last summer, the apt manager came by and started yelling at him about wasting water. Mom came out and started yelling back. In English.

You're right. Anecdotes should make no difference. Real life should not interfere with theory.

Old ladies should be at work, not staying at home giving cookies and milk to little neighbor boys...and defending them against jerks.
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Sergio Stefanuto



Joined: 14 May 2009
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 6:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Retirement isn't a right. There are no rights. I challenge you to look into a telescope, or a microscope, or study the laws of physics, and find me a right.

Your mind has been inculcated with silly and indefensible dogmas. Unfortunately, our taxpayer-funded schools and universities are places of political indoctrination masquerading as academic education.

The only possible basis upon which one may receive payments is having satiated the demands of the market. Else, poverty and starvation is only corollary.
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visitorq



Joined: 11 Jan 2008

PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ya-ta Boy wrote:
Labor has no value.

Labor has as much value as people are willing to pay for it. No more no less.

Beyond that, most working people would have little trouble saving money for their own retirement, were it not for the fact that inflation (caused by government) causes their savings to become worthless over time.

As for the anecdote about your mother - I assume she either has extra money that she saved up herself or that she is supported by family. Because I fail to see how anyone could survive each month on a social insurance check (average = around $1200). This amount is expected to drop by around 75% by the time my generation is old enough to retire, and that's not accounting for inflation. I dunno, maybe if she's living in a slum though, with illegal immigrants, that amount might be enough to get by on...

So anyway, let's get this straight - all I have to do is pay into a government-run ponzi scheme (completely against my will) for my entire working life, and in return I get to look forward to something around $900/month to try and survive on by the year 2030? Right... The fascist-socialist policies you champion sure are inspiring...

(I think I'd rather live abroad and save my own money, thanks).


Last edited by visitorq on Sat Sep 17, 2011 6:51 am; edited 1 time in total
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ontheway



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

PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 6:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

daskalos wrote:
I've paid into SS all my working life. In that sense, I am entitled to it, because I have paid for it, so it's not something for nothing. It's something for something. Not ideal, perhaps, but enough to keep me in cat food if I haven't made other arrangments. If the m-f-ers who want to dismantle the program insist on its destruction, I'm going inisist on having every inflation-adjusted dollar I ever paid into it paid to me.


It is quite understandable to want your money back after having been defrauded by the socialist security Ponzi scheme. Unfortunately, there is no money. To get money for you requires taking that money from someone else who won't get their money. You see, that's what makes it a Ponzi scheme. It was designed that way from the outset. There never were any trust funds. None of the money paid in was ever saved to pay for the promises made.

daskalos wrote:
If Congress had not raided the SS fund, the impending crisis of insolvency would be a thing of the far more distant future than it is now. The money in that fund was (and is) earning a decent interest rate, invested as it is/was rather securely. The trouble with SS is politically generated by right-wing fascists who never liked the idea of a safety net to begin with, who think the lower economic classes deserve their sorry fate and the sooner they die, the better.


Here's your problem. You don't understand economics, finance or history.

Socialist InSecurity was created from the outset with no trust funds to pay the benefits promised. This was from day one. It was known to be a Ponzi scheme from its beginning. It was known and predicted that it would eventually fail from the outset because there never were any trust funds. It is not an investment. Your money, nor the money of the other millions of dupes, was never saved and invested for you. That's what makes it a fraud. That's what makes it a Ponzi scheme. You were lied to and duped. Millions of people will suffer and the US government could fail because of this and other such lies and programs. That's what makes it an evil, fascist-socialist Ponzi scheme and its supporters criminals.

The politicians never "raided" the Social Security trust funds. They never took any cash out of SS for other things. The notion of it being raided comes from the fact that successive Congresses used SS to buy votes by increasing benefits and expanding coverages without increasing the taxes, thus making the SS deficit worse and shortening the time horizon for its total collapse.
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ontheway



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

PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unposter wrote:
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?



1) The graphing is mathematically flawed. SS does follow the same pattern as any other Ponzi scheme.

2) The intent of fascist SS scheme was to defraud the public and steal its money. FDR knew it was a bad idea. According to one historian personally aquainted with FDR's family, he had intended to repeal the program before it actually grew to the disasterous pending calamity it has become.

3) What has been proposed by many honest, caring, practical economists is a phase out of the program. Those currently collecting benefits will continue to do so - with the payments frozen at current levels. Those within a range close to retirement able to retire at later dates with reduced benefits (55-70). And those below age 55 or so to be given an apology for the evil done by the politicians.

The disaster of the SS Ponzi scheme is more than just the damage done to future retirees. It has caused a massive slowdown in the economy world wide and prevented the creation of more than 500,000,000 good jobs around the globe.

It is a cascading disaster since the lack of good jobs causes poverty, disease, political instability and war and delays the onset of the reduction in birth rates in those 3rd world nations that so desperately needed the jobs that were aborted by the Fascist-socialist SS Ponzi disaster. Which means it has contributed to the overpopulation of the planet and environmental degredation.


Socialism is always evil. It always fails. All socialism must be abolished.
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ontheway



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

PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ya-ta Boy wrote:
Sergio Stefanuto wrote:
Ya-ta Boy wrote:
My mom, now 86, etc etc etc


Why are people so eager to retire? What's so fabulous about retirement?


You have a point there. People should probably work until they drop into the grave. God, after all, chooses the lucky. Leisure is something that only the wealthy are entitled to. Labor has no value. Only entrepreneurship has value. The New Deal brought in a distorted system where both labor and investment were worthy. God forbid!

My mom lives in a complex where some Mexican immigrants (legal?) live. The family next door doesn't speak English, a dad, mom, and Eduardo, 7. Eduardo comes over and Mom feeds him cookies and milk and they put puzzles together, lets him play with my great-nephews' toys. When his dad bought a plastic wading pool for him and was out in the yard filling it last summer, the apt manager came by and started yelling at him about wasting water. Mom came out and started yelling back. In English.

You're right. Anecdotes should make no difference. Real life should not interfere with theory.

Old ladies should be at work, not staying at home giving cookies and milk to little neighbor boys...and defending them against jerks.



Yata, you only write giberish using outdated 19th century marxist dogma. You need to catch up with the real world. Economics has moved beyond the 19th century, even though you, and most governments, have not. The marxist nonsense that you are parroting was all proven to be completely wrong before Karl Marx had finished publishing it. Even Marx knew it. On his deathbed he renounced his own dogma and declared that he no longer believed in his own writings - that he was not a Marxist.
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TheUrbanMyth



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Location: It's not a superiority complex when you really are superior

PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

daskalos wrote:
If Congress had not raided the SS fund, the impending crisis of insolvency would be a thing of the far more distant future than it is now. The money in that fund was (and is) earning a decent interest rate, invested as it is/was rather securely. .



Only it wasn't raided.



http://peoplespension.infoshop.org/blogs-mu/2010/09/20/has-social-security-ever-been-%E2%80%9Craided%E2%80%9D/
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ontheway



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

PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 7:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TheUrbanMyth wrote:


As an auditor should you not have reported this scheme at once?


When the people who ran this Ponzi were raided and charged, they made numerous threats against whoever reported them. They made many assumptions about who had turned them in. They were heavily armed and well organized. It had taken the authorities some months to investigate before making their raid. Now, decades later, all of these individuals have been released from jail. My latest information is that they are still alive.

During the time of their trials and incarceration, I personally moved far away. Later I changed occupations and moved again.
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Ya-ta Boy



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Established in 1994

PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sergio Stefanuto wrote:
Retirement isn't a right. There are no rights. I challenge you to look into a telescope, or a microscope, or study the laws of physics, and find me a right.

Your mind has been inculcated with silly and indefensible dogmas. Unfortunately, our taxpayer-funded schools and universities are places of political indoctrination masquerading as academic education.

The only possible basis upon which one may receive payments is having satiated the demands of the market. Else, poverty and starvation is only corollary.


Actually, I rather agree with you. Objectively speaking, there are no rights, other than power...and money = power. Might makes right. I 'understand that. I reject it, but I understand it.

All societies are artificial...including and especially including capitalist societies. Property is theft. First, the guy with the bigger gun wins the war, then he sets up a system of 'laws' to defend his privilege. He co-opts the brighter kids from the lower class by nudging a few crumbs off the table to pacify the lawyers to defend his privileged position. I get it.

Conservatives want to keep things the way they used to be in the good old days when the rich masters ran the whole society. Fine. I understand that. That was their society and it worked the way they wanted it to work. Of course they want to keep it the same. Greed is not hard to understand.

However, I do not accept that that was somehow a natural society. There is no such thing. The old society was just the society they had arranged for their benefit. I can see another version. It isn't any more natural than the one the rich had devised for their benefit, but it is a different society. I think a more just society.
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Kuros



Joined: 27 Apr 2004

PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ya-ta Boy wrote:

All societies are artificial...including and especially including capitalist societies. Property is theft. First, the guy with the bigger gun wins the war, then he sets up a system of 'laws' to defend his privilege. He co-opts the brighter kids from the lower class by nudging a few crumbs off the table to pacify the lawyers to defend his privileged position. I get it.


I don't understand how one could have watched the 20th century and seen the populist totalitarian alternatives to capitalism and still become more predisposed against capitalism. Fascism and Communism are actually how you describe: the guy with the bigger gun wins the war, rapes the loser's women, and takes the loser's land. Capitalism is almost always accompanied by the rule of law, which protects the loser's family and political rights from depredation and savagery.

I don't mind critiques of capitalism, per se. But please mind the experiments with alternatives.
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