Social Security is just a Ponzi scheme

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Contrary to what Gene Lyons wants you to believe (Another View, Nov. 3), Social Security is a Ponzi scheme and like all Ponzi schemes, it will eventually collapse. Ponzi schemes are all based on the lie that it is an investment, when in truth “investments” made by new participants are used to pay “dividends” to old “investors.” The collapse can be delayed as long as ever-growing numbers of new “investors” can be added to the scheme. Therefore, Ponzi schemes can be very beneficial for some participants, namely those who participate early and get out before the collapse. Social Security is a Ponzi scheme because the participants are led to believe that when they receive payments they are just receiving what they paid into the system over many years when they were working. That this is a lie becomes very clear when you understand that your total lifetime Social Security benefit is not dependent upon how much you paid in when you were working. You do not need to live very long after retirement to use up every dollar you and your employer “contributed,” plus reasonable interest. With a real investment you receive nothing more once you have used up the principle and interest. But, with Social Security the checks just keep coming. Who is funding those additional payments? Social Security is called an entitlement because recipients are entitled by law to the earnings of other people to provide those additional payments. This should be clear enough for all except those who can’t do the math and truly believe there is indeed a free lunch. Grant Shaw, Auburn