Social Security the Ponzi Scheme, and the Duck Test

Arguing on a forum today, I was forced to defend my assessment of the Social Security system as a Ponzi Scheme.

It's not like this is a novel concept. The local talk show host, Jeff Ward, refers to Social Security in this fashion repeatedly. (he even has a sound bite of Republican front runner John McCain calling Social Security a Ponzi Scheme. I was listening to the show when he said it, and I was listening to the show when Ward found the clip again. I wonder if McCain would be willing to repeat and affirm his words today?) It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this out.

A Ponzi scheme is a
fraudulent investment operation that involves paying abnormally high returns ("profits") to investors out of the money paid in by subsequent investors, rather than from net revenues generated by any real business.
I closed with the observation "Walks like a duck, quacks like a duck" which is an expression I've heard dozens of times. However, when I plugged it into Wikipedia, by accident, I came up with a bit of trivia that I didn't know.

The Duck Test is an attributed quote, and it describes not just inductive logic, but is apparently highly useful in certain types of programming. Go figure.

The important point to remember about Ponzi schemes is, no matter who runs it, the Ponzi scheme eventually fails. It's funny, Charles Ponzi's investors were always certain that the schemes would work, if only the government wouldn't get in the way and stop them. Now the government is running it's own Ponzi scheme and insisting that it won't fail.

Good luck with that.

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