Charles Ponzi’s “get rich quick” scheme began in 1918. It involved taking money from investors and promising huge returns in short periods of time. Ponzi never invested the money he took in. Instead, he used some of it to pay dividends to investors and then he pocketed the rest for himself! This scheme could be perpetrated as long as there were new investments to cover the old ones. Ponzi swindled investors out of $7 million. He was convicted in 1920 and served 14 years in prison. Bernie Madoff is another infamous chiseler, who in 1991 used the Ponzi scheme to cheat investors out of over $20 billion! Madoff was convicted in 2009 and sentenced to 150 years in prison.
Is a Ponzi scheme, which is basically theft by deception, lawful just because the government runs it? Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law in 1935. He promised the federal government would hold our money for us in sort of a savings account into which employees would contribute. Then, when we retire at age 65, we would receive payments of our own money from said account. I’m sure some in government had good intentions, especially after the Great Depression. I’m also sure that others in government simply wanted to get their grubby hands on more of our money! The government promised our money was safe and we would get our money back. Now it seems Social Security is insolvent since more money is going out than is coming in. This sure sounds like a Ponzi scheme to me, except that Ponzi’s and Madoff’s victims invested their money voluntary!
With millions of illegal immigrants and able-bodied citizens receiving benefits, and a president promising more freebies (including Obamacare), it’s no wonder Social Security funds are dwindling. Maybe it’s time to turn off the freebies spigot and shut down the Social Security system. I believe the responsibility of saving for retirement (and health care) falls on each individual, not on the federal government. I also believe welfare money should be very limited and come with strings attached, like drug testing and job skills training, to discourage its use. The concept of self-reliance is what makes America great. My article “The Ant and the Grasshopper” aptly demonstrates this concept. Enjoy!
May God bless you and the United States of America!