Posts Tagged ‘security’

The People’s Pension: Designed in secret with bad assumptions

Erica Laursen’s new book about the recent (last 30 years) history of Social Security is a compendium of prior research that provides valuable historical and political perspective on the evolution of a program that is about to abet in the bankruptcy of this country.

As with other books I mark pithy passages as I’m reading and the first three tell a disturbing tale:

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First, let’s kill all the actuaries

From “The Clash of Generations” by Laurence J. Kotlikoff and Scott Burns, page 4:

Second, we’ll suggest that Shakespeare had it wrong when he said, “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” The right statement is, “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the accountants.”  Government accountants have concealed Uncle Sam’s Ponzi scheme since its inception by focusing attention on the official debt.  But they knew, or should have known, as a matter of economic theory, that official debt is a figment of our language, not a meaningful measure of our fiscal affairs.  As a result, they’ve made sure, with the help of the politicians, that the public (and most economists) would ignore the rapidly metastasizing economic tumor associated with our living beyond our children’s means.

In referring to the Social Security/Medicare Ponzi scheme the authors could have easily wished bloody annihilation upon actuaries as accountants.

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Lying with ‘facts’ on Social Security

PolitiFact Media is a project of the St. Petersburg Times and Congressional Quarterly to deliver PolitiFact content to subscribers.  One of those subscribers is the Star Ledger and the Politifact content delivered today consisted of calling “conservative activist Steve Lonegan” a liar when he claims that the “Social Security system is broke.”  They arrive at this conclusion by consulting four ‘experts’ and believing the three who said it’s not broke:

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