Charles Ponzi: Unsung National Hero?
by Bill Huff
by Bill Huff
Some time ago
I visited the Social
Security Website just to see what was going on in their little
socialistic heads, and came across an "explanation" of
how Social Security was Not a "Ponzi Scheme,"
embellished with some of the most convoluted govspeak
one could ever imagine.
It seemed to
be written by a true believer. But as I read it again and again
I was impressed with how they were inadvertently making the case
for the opposition. The more I read it, the more I wanted
every American to read it – and think about it. I shared
it with a few friends and they all agreed. The Social Security Administration
was exposing itself as a Ponzi
Scheme – albeit a really Huge Ponzi Scheme. At
the bottom their "explanation" proved nothing more than
that their Ponzi Scheme was quite legit simply because it
had the sanction of government.
robs Peter to pay Paul to sustain social security. This is not really
disputed. It is just euphemized
ad nauseum. Lawfully
speaking you give them written permission to rob you
to pay Paul. Of course you are not allowed to do anything
like robbing Peter on your own behalf, because that
would be a crime. But Socialism
is a criminal system of economics. The sanction of government
does not render a crime victimless or without culpability. It can
sometimes mask the crime and delay the results. But sooner or later
the day it’s Judgment
we refer to Bastiat:
But how is
this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the
law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it
to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits
one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen
himself cannot do without committing a crime.
this law without delay, for it is not only an evil itself, but
also it is a fertile source for further evils because it invites
reprisals. If such a law – which may be an isolated case – is
not abolished immediately, it will spread, multiply, and develop
into a system [Social Security is a government Institution but
that cannot make it Lawful].
The Law by Frédéric Bastiat
this article is not a letter addressed to the Social Security Administration
is that I have learned it is fruitless to engage them in dialog
if you are hoping to come to a lawful, helpful, or logical solution.
They cannot "afford" to listen. Their job is to keep track
of eligibility, payments and benefits, and to make sure the
government’s extra-constitutional socialism machine is
on track. They need to have more and more money to give away and
more and more beneficiaries to "help" – and their job
security and cushy retirements depend on it. They don’t get on the
phone to the Congress and ask questions about government
ethics, the Constitution,
I would not
hesitate to challenge them to put that same "explanation"
verbatim back up on the Web for all to see.
Could it be
the entire project was covertly done by a disgruntled SSA employee
who wanted to expose the fraud? Do we have a man on the inside?
I am more inclined to believe some underling, a budding young socialist,
perhaps an intern, had labored long hours on his/her own time in
an effort to proudly glorify the Agency and its noble mission. Then
a senior management gatekeeper read the piece and immediately had
it deleted. Suddenly the piece vanished. We must not confuse
the customers. Note: If anyone has a copy of that piece I would
appreciate an email.
The above scenario
is pure speculation. But I am sure I would be equally entertained
by any new effort they might mount to explain how silly we are to
question their alchemy. Just how do they expect to keep it going?
Will it work when one worker carries twelve retirees on his back?
What happens when our life expectancy increases dramatically?
Ponzi was a
He stole a lousy 15 million bucks. And he couldn’t sustain his scam
because he didn’t have access to an inflatable money supply or the
force of government arms coupled with taxing powers. The "Full
Faith and Credit of the United States" is no longer dependent
on anything tangible. It is only limited by the amount of time it
will take the government to bankrupt everyone – and they are proceeding
apace. As they print ever more paper money the effects of the silent
but deadly inflation
tax continue to devalue all goods, services and savings – except
for their arch enemies: Gold
and Silver – and those who have socked away enough of these
precious metals not to be codependent
with government. Inflation may already be decreasing Social Security
benefits by as much as 20% per year. When they pay you later it
will be with cheaper dollars – perhaps close to worthless dollars.
scheme was orchestrated by Charles
Ponzi, who went from anonymity to being a well-known Boston
millionaire in six months using such a scheme in 1920.
Profits were supposed to come from exchanging international postal
reply coupons. He promised 50% interest (return) on investments
in 45 days or "double your money" in 90 days. About
40,000 people invested about $15 million all together; in the
end, only a third of that money was returned to them.
began to crumble when faith in his "system" was broken
by a few who began to question it. Upon closer investigation by
Barron the house of cards collapsed and Ponzi went to jail.
His career was not over yet. After spending a little time in jail
he went on to perpetrate various frauds in other States and countries.
games. But this time you are the Mark.
understand the true impact of our shifting demographic combined
with the inherent fraud of social security and fiat money, this
ruse should be scheduled for decommissioning. In any case, gravity
will sooner or later take its course. We are witnessing a giant
game of musical chairs – and the chairs are being pulled away faster
and faster. Social Security may be the quintessential Third
Rail. Political animals may refrain from touching it. But
that will not keep the money from running out. Empire building abroad
and Socialism at home can really cut into your ability to set aside
funds for the future. When in Rome buy gold.
How could the
Founders and Framers of our Constitution have been so short-sighted
in not providing for all our retirement benefits? Why, there is
not a single word on it in the Constitution
Federalist Papers. Maybe the Anti-Federalists
mentioned it? How could they have been so uniformly financially
inept that they didn’t even realize how desperately we needed income
taxes, paper money
and standing armies?
believe... that the principle of spending money to be paid by
posterity under the name of funding is but swindling futurity
on a large scale." – Thomas
Jefferson to John Taylor, 1816. ME 15:23
of the United States, does not, has never had, any authority
to take property from one citizen and give it to another who has
not lawfully earned it. And, believe it or not, FDR, in
his own words, affirmed that. Later, he tried to circumvent
the Constitution to birth the modern Welfare State.
In all fairness
perhaps the Ponzi family should have been given reparations or at
least royalties. But in the final analysis we should not be calling
any government program a Ponzi Scheme. Government dwarfs
all contenders when it comes to robbing Peter to pay Paul – after
taking out a small cut of course.
own retirement plan. What do they know that you don’t know?
crimes are and should be called Government
Crimes not Ponzi Schemes. We must not sully his memory by comparing
Ponzi’s petty crimes with the Grand Thefts of our Elected Representatives.
Ponzi has stolen his millions and government its trillions. Compared
to the Congress Ponzi seems almost noble.
doth punish man or woman who steals the goose from off the common,
but lets the greater Felon loose that steals the common from the
goose." – Anonymous circa 1600
credit where credit is due.
I cannot presently
prove that the article I remember was ever on the SSA website. But
I can prove that they are not giving Ponzi any proper credit in
their present revision of SSA.gov.
Click here to Search
SSA for "Ponzi": Ponzi is nowhere to be found.
Thanks to several astute readers who helped locate the
article from the Social Security Administration mentioned above.
Huff [send him mail] is a
Classical Libertarian and proprietor of LEXREX.com
a former public school music teacher turned home schooling advocate;
a US Navy veteran, and host of WarIsARacket.com.
is available as a guest
lecturer or for interviews on talk radio.
© 2008 Bill Huff
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