Posts Tagged ‘politics’

In December, 2008, Bernie Madoff was arrested for orchestrating and profiting from a large-scale Ponzi scheme.  He is currently serving a 150-year sentence.  Allen Stanford is in prison, serving a 110-year sentence for the same thing.  Others include Nevin Shapiro, Edmundo Rubi, Mark Drucker, John C. Jeffers, Norman Adie and hundreds more.

What did they do wrong?

A Ponzi scheme uses new investor’s money to pay high rates of return to previous investors.  When the new money dries up, the scheme implodes and everyone with money still in the pot loses their entire investment.

Why is this illegal?

One of the reason this is illegal is because the architect of the scheme – Mr. Shyster – never really “invests” in anything except his own back account.  Another reason is Mr. Shyster promises high rates of return, knowing the system will collapse at some point.  (An over-simplification, but hang with me a minute.)

Who created the longest-running Ponzi scheme in America?

Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  Yep.  FDR.  During his term as President, FDR created a Ponzi scheme called Social Security.

What does Social Security do?

It takes money from new investors and uses it to pay returns to previous investors.  It “invests” in nothing.  The funds go to the Treasury’s General Fund (the pocket of Mr. Shyster.)  Anybody who believes in the Social Security Trust Fund is sadly deluded.  Put a tooth under a pillow and see if the Tooth Fairy comes; it’s the same principle.  Social Security promises huge returns upon retirement, in excess of contributions.

“But wait,” you say.  “It’s my money I’m taking out.  I’ve paid in every working day of my life.  I’m entitled to it.”

No, not all of it.  At the time of this writing, you will receive benefits in excess of contributions.  Don’t believe me?  Check it out; I ain’t making this up.  Guess where the extra money comes from?  That’s right!  New investors.

So why have we not tried and sentenced FDR to a Bernie Madoff-type prison term?  In terms of raw dollars, Social Security has bilked hundreds of times more money from investors than Madoff ever did.  Well, it’s because FDR is no longer available for prosecution, having gone to the Great New Deal in the Sky.

So what should we do?

Stop living in Fantasyland for one thing.  If you’re over fifty, stop getting your panties bunched every time a conservative (Paul Ryan) mentions allowing younger people to opt-out of Social Security.  Stop contributing to AARP.  Stop whining and worrying about whether grandma’s checks will stop coming.  (They won’t.)

Overall, stop insisting the government take care of you after retirement.  That’s YOUR job.  Look in the mirror.  Take control of your life.

Right now, we pay 15% of our earnings every paycheck into Social Security.  Half of that never makes it to our paycheck, because Mr. Shyster uses some strong arm goons called the IRS to insure your employer coughs that up every quarter.

If you put 15% of your money in a mattress every paycheck, you would at least break even.  Stuff into CDs, money market accounts, a mutual fund, a REIT, a diversified portfolio of all the above, even (God help us) the stock market.  Or do like Robert Wagner says and buy gold with it.  Can you imagine what you – an intelligent and responsible human could do with that kind of money?

Final word:  Let’s stop contributing to biggest Ponzi scheme ever invented.  If we don’t, we’re going to get burned when the bottom drops out.

            Has decided that personal responsibility, hard work and independence no longer matter.  The America of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, Abraham Lincoln and many other iconic thought-leaders is, quite simply, dead.  That ship has sailed.  The final nail in the coffin was driven home last night, Tuesday, November 6th, 2012.

             Good bye United States of America.

             Hello United States of Dependence.

             One half of America decided to ignore Barrack Hussein Obama’s longtime friendship with Bill Ayers, the terrorist who bombed a police station.  They decided to ignore his longtime affiliation with the racist, America-hating Reverend Wright.  They decided to ignore the lessons of history which have clearly demonstrated that government redistribution of wealth is an unsustainable model.

            One half of America has chosen the dubious leadership qualities of a man with no history of success in any endeavor; a man with a polished exterior thinly veiling a smirking, condescending smugness.

             Why?

             I do not know.  I don’t understand it.

             I can only surmise that they are motivated by greed at worst, or a misguided perception that compassion comes from the hands of the people who brought them the Post Office, the Veteran’s Administration, the DMV, the passport office, Medicare/Medicaid, Social Security, food stamps, farm subsidies, TARP, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Unemployment Insurance, Solyndra and, well, see the full list here: 

             http://www.recovery.gov/Transparency/fundingoverview/Pages/entitlements-details.aspx

             A motivation encompassed in the one sentence:  Take care of me, please.

             Has one half of the American Electorate bought into the “rich don’t pay enough” argument?  Can any argument be more specious?  If you took away every asset owned by a people with a net worth exceeding one million dollars – took away every dollar owned by Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Jerry Jones, all of them – and paid it into the Treasury tomorrow, you wouldn’t make a dent in the Federal deficit – not the debt, the deficit.  (Although I strongly suspect that one half of America does not understand the difference.)

             I can only suppose that one half of America wants the other half of America to pay for their medical care, guarantee their mortgage, cover their living expenses while unemployed, feed them, clothe them, pay for their retirement, protect them from harm – but not if we have to go to war to do it – pay to heat and cool their homes and pretty much guarantee that they will never face anything more distressing than a hangnail.

             No, I’m doing them a disservice.  They don’t want the other half of America to pay for all this.  They want the government to pay for it instead.  I’m sorry, my bad.

             So on Wednesday, November 7th, 2012, I would like to welcome all of you to the New United States of Dependence.

             I have to sign off now and go to work this morning.  My neighbor needs a new car.