Ponzi Scheme Pedigree

Given that pundits as diverse as Thomas Friedman and Karl Rove have their conventional wisdom knickers in a twist over Rick Perry doubling down on his position that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme, it is instructive to look at where that term has been used before to describe the American Social Security system and by whom. Consider these two statements. "The beauty of Social Insurance is that it is actuarially unsound"(italics in original)" and "A growing nation is the greatest Ponzi scheme ever devised. And that is a fact, not a paradox." They were written by economist Paul A. Samuelson, a proponent of Keynes, in his February 13, 1967 Newsweek column which carried the subhead Something for Nothing?   Samuelson, a Nobel Prize winner, wrote an Introduction to economics textbook that has been in print since 1948.  Indeed, every Baby Boomer who had to take Econ 101 and 102 probably used Samuelson as his text was ubiquitous from the 1960s until economic events of...(Read Full Article)