Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ponzi scheme?
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Peninsula readers' letters: September 10
From Daily News Group readers Posted: 09/09/2011 05:19:58 PM PDTUpdated: 09/09/2011 05:19:59 PM PDT

Ponzi scheme
Dear Editor: Charles Ponzi was a Boston investor broker who in the early months of 1920 was momentarily famous as a purveyor of foreign postal coupons who promised fabulous rates of return for his investors. Ponzi issued bonds that offered 50 percent interest in 45 days, or a 100 percent profit if held for 90 days. The supposed source of this windfall was the differential earned on trading in postal coupons. The actual profit on the postal coupons never amounted to more than a fraction of a penny each, but it didn't matter to Ponzi since this was not the true source of his profits.
When Social Security was enacted in 1935, the tax was 2 percent compared to 12.4 percent today, there were over 45 people working for every retiree compared to a 3-1 ratio today, and life expectancy then was 60 compared to 78 today.
Because of these changing realities, projections show that the system as it currently stands will be short some $20 trillion in meeting future obligations.
Any claim that Social Security will continue to work is simply a lie, as Rick Perry says. Some 76 percent of Americans between 18 and 34 apparently agree, because they say they don't expect anything from the system when they retire.
Ted Rudow III, MA
Palo Alto

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