Bernie Madoff is the scum of the earth. Hands down, no doubt; building up a Ponzi scheme in order to bilk people out of billions of dollars is infuriating, and this man should spend the rest of his life behind bars. Let’s hope that the authorities track down as much of his ill-gotten money as possible, and find some way to return it to investors.
But Bernie Madoff is a small fry. A shrimp. A rank amateur. A bit player. Or as John Stossel puts it,
I hope that you’ll go and read the article above, but here is the synopsis: the greatest perpetrator of Ponzi schemes is your United States government. And my guess is that a high percentage of my readers support the Ponzi schemes that the government has been running, because I doubt that many of my readers have followed me down the path of libertarian thinking (just another name for Constitutional fidelity, IMHO). I have long railed against the first of these Ponzi schemes, what I call “Socialist Security”: All the “Security” that Socialism Can Provide. Socialist Security is a Ponzi scheme, plain and simple, and I’ve long said that the first reason to oppose Socialist Security–not to partially “privatize” it, a la George W. Bush (though that would have been a massive step in the right direction), but to eliminate it–is not that Socialist Security is “ineffective” or “ill-managed”, but that Socialist Security is immoral. And when you understand that the government has been lying to us from the very beginning about Socialist Security, that there is no “trust fund” or Algore “lock box” into which your funds are going, but that they are simply being used to pay off current retirees, and when you further understand the ratio of workers to retirees that is going to be in play in 30 years (2-to-1), then you understand that the system will, a la Madoff, collapse, and one of two things will happen: either you will (immorally) get no money, the money you were promised after putting into the system for your working life, or the money you get will be worth pennies on the dollar, because the government will (immorally) print more money to “cover” the gap.
But as Stossel points out, Socialist Security isn’t even the worst of the two: Medicare is. I won’t get into all of it, but the facts are simple: the government has been lying to us, running a Ponzi scheme, and the kicker is that, at least with Bernie Madoff, the whole thing was voluntary; greedy investors jumped at a chance for big profits, and it all came crashing in when no more dupes could be found. But to fund the immoral Ponzi schemes we call Socialist Security and Medicare, your money is confiscated, and you have no say.
The floor is now open for any of my readers to defend the indefensible: the immoral Socialist Security and Medicare.