Social Security is a Ponzi scheme that works well

Social Security is a Ponzi scheme that works well

Paying into the system may piss off young whippersnappers, but you aren't the only one who paid in.

I know you. You are under 40 and work hard to make ends meet. It's hard to put anything aside for the future. You have been paying into Social Security since the fast food job when you were in high school. You will keep paying into it because you have little choice. Still, you are under no illusion that you will get anything out of it. You are sure that it will be gone when you reach retirement age. That pisses you off.

A few years ago, President Bush the Younger (not that you liked him much) got your interest by proposing that younger workers should be able to take part or all of their Social Security and invest it however they wanted to. That sounded like a plan. Maybe you could build up a nest egg after all.

It sounded good. Really good, though you don't know a whole lot about investing. The problem is that it won't help you — and it will really hurt me. Let me explain.

Social Security is, in some ways, like a Ponzi scheme. Money coming in is payed right out to old farts like me. We geezers will draw more money out of the system than we put in. That pisses you off, too.

I started paying into Social Security when I was 14. I had a summer job shoveling bricks into a dumpster at a construction site. I got a buck an hour. A little was taken out. It didn't add up very fast. After college, I got a teaching job for $5,700 a year. Still not a great amount taken out.

What you have to take into consideration is that these were 1950s and 1960s dollars. The minimum wage was $1 per hour. Of course, that dollar would buy four gallons of gas or four loaves of bread.

The $5,700 I got in 1967 was exactly the price I paid for a new MGB GT. Those were some powerful dollars.

Over the years, the value of the dollar has fallen. The dollars I get from Social Security won't even buy a loaf of bread and it takes 3-1/2 of them to buy a gallon of gas. So yeah, I'm getting a check from Social Security, but it doesn't buy much more than the dollars I paid in.

If you are able to stop paying into the SS fund in order to invest in the market or some other investment scheme, my checks will stop. I'll be up that well known creek. It's not fair to me after 50-plus years of paying in. And what's more, it won't help you either. I'll try to explain that next week.