Letter to the Editor ¦ February 23, 1998
World's Biggest Ponzi Scheme

By John McManus

David Langer's Feb. 10 Letter to the Editor criticizing Alan Murray's calculation of Social Security's below-market returns contains an obvious flaw. For a married couple's return on Social Security to be properly calculated, Mr. Langer believes that the sum of all Social Security payments made by them must be reduced by the sum of all savings Social Security generates by relieving them of the duty to support their four surviving parents. The flaw in Mr. Langer's reasoning is that the four surviving parents would have had more of their own money available to them for retirement if they had not paid it into Social Security.

Mr. Langer assumes, as most Social Security supporters oddly assume, that the Social Security system somehow "creates" money. It doesn't. No matter how you argue the point, the Social Security system is history's largest Ponzi scheme-illegal if created by an ordinary citizen.

John McManus
Middletown, Conn.

Ponzi Wouldn't Bother With Social Security | Letter by David Langer, The Wall Street Journal, March 13, 1998

Double-Income, Four Parents ¦ Letter by David Langer, The Wall Street Journal, February 11, 1998