Wednesday, May 06, 2009
The grandest Ponzi scheme of them all (in my day we called them pyramid schemes): Social Security. Millions of Americans paying the government, to pay people, because they're old. What the fuck? Why doesn't this piss people off?
It's guilt. Liberal guilt. And it's greed. Conservative greed. Social security is the perfect political clusterfuck. The guilty liberal inside all of us reluctantly, yet willingly pays social security taxes so we can feel like we take care of our old people. The greedy conservative in us loves getting a government check in the mail.
But why did it begin? There was no social security in 1776, nor in 1850, nor in 1920. Franklin D. Roosevelt, a.k.a. Franklin The Overrated, a.k.a. Comrade Franky, a.k.a. the Derek Jeter of Presidents. Roosevelt used his leverage, and his nearly omnipotent political mandate to railroad through social security and loads of other goofy socialist legislation. Sound like someone we know?
$500 billion. That's how much social security was paid out in 2004. Why?
I'm going to seem like a greedy, money grubbing bastard (which is why no politician speaks out against social security), but just being old doesn't mean you deserve money from the government. In fact, you don't deserve any money from the government. The government is not in the business of providing retirement plans for people. At least it shouldn't be. My money is my money, so go fuck yourself.
If you want old folks to get money, then get together AS INDIVIDUALS, and start DONATING money from your paychecks toward your own social security programs. It's called a pension, and it's great.
I should have the right to retain the money that I earn. Selfish? You bet your guilty liberal bleeding heart I'm selfish. The only thing I like more than my money is my right to do what I want with my money.
And the well is running dry. Like all pyramid schemes, when the pyramid stops growing, the scheme collapses. Refresher course on what a pyramid scheme is:
Con artist gets 10 people to invest $100 in a fake company ($1,000 total), promising they'll get $150 in return ($50 profit). Con artist gets 100 more people to invest $100 in same fake company ($10,000 total), promising the same $50 profit. Con artist pays first group of investors with the money from the second group, and pockets the rest. Con artist gets 1000 more people to invest $100 in the fake company ($100,000), promising same $50 profit. Con artist pays the second group, with the money from the third group. And so on, until the con artist stops, or is caught.
It's a good deal so long as you're not in the last group of investors. If you are, you're fucked.
Social security works along similar lines. People working now pay into social security, and that money is distributed to those who payed into it years ago. Eventually, those working now will receive retirement benefits from those working in the future.
Problems: people these days live longer than they used to, and the baby boom generation is retiring.
Solution: Either the pyramid scheme will collapse, with people in my generation (I'm 24) being the last ones to pay, and the first to get fucked by not receiving benefits. OR, we'll take money from other sources (raise taxes) and perpetuate the scheme.
I don't want the government handling my retirement. I don't anticipate living much past the age of 50 anyway, so I want to burn my money now. At the very least, I want to have THE FUCKING RIGHT to burn my money now.
And what's going to happen in 50 years, when people in my generation are 75 years old, and still have 25 to 45 years of life left, and 25 to 45 years of collecting monthy social security checks?
Fun story, the first woman to ever receive a monthly social security check was Ida May Fuller. She paid a total of $24.75 into the system, but lived to be 100 and received nearly $23,000 from the program. so she took 1,000 times more than what she gave. If this doesn't enrage you, you're not a capitalist. The $22,975 that Mrs. Fuller profited from the program means a combined $22,975 loss for others.
That's not right. It's not even left, it's socialist. Give people the right to choose what to do with their money.
Posted by rob at 2:00 PM