This Is Your Life: A Tontine

“Everybody cheats to the best of their ability.” -Grandma-

“Anything worth having is worth cheating for.” -W. C. Fields-

Fiscal Responsibility

Epiphany: Social Security is NOT a ‘retirement’ system, no matter what semantics they use. And it isn’t a ‘life insurance’ policy either, just as Obama-care isn’t really a health insurance plan–it’s a REQUIREMENT to have health insurance, much like mandatory auto insurance. And, like the latter, there are penalties imposed for not having it.

Social Security is really much more like a Tontine. A tontine is unlike a life insurance policy–a death bet…you have to die to ‘win’ (or for your heirs to win),  Thus your optimum plan w/such a policy would be to die the week after you took out the life insurance. Not so the tontine.

With a tontine (like Social Security), the biggest rewards go to those who live the longest. Tontines were quite popular in the 1600’s and 1700’s. Governments and big insurance companies raised money for projects and grew enormously wealthy from the profits of marketing them. Today, they’re illegal in Europe and most American States. Why? For the same reason Social Security is going broke: The funds raised by the tontines were so enormous they were too tempting a target for fraud, embezzlement, and theft. The funds were paid into the tontines (like Social Security) and they were enormously solvent if left secure from ‘borrowing’ (i.e. theft).

Social Security began under Roosevelt as a kind of involuntary tontine. Those who didn’t live long enough, like any other tontine, got little/nothing. Those who lived long enjoyed the fruits of their death bet through longevity. The dead, along with the still living workers, funded the geezers, as in any tontine. Moreover, the dead, once gone, do not complain about how paltry their share might be. But no life insurance scheme or tontine will work when the escrow/company/government starts dipping into the principal as has predictably happened in the U.S. Those frauds are little more than pyramid schemes. And like all pyramid schemes, the must ultimately fail.

People should understand Social Security isn’t like, say, your local library which is supported by property taxes, thus is a social service. Social Security is a tontine investment that was fully funded on a sound basis for solvency regardless of the baby boomer curve by working Americans who paid contributions into it. After all, the bigger the boom curve, the bigger the contributions that were made by its members. No contributions?–no tickee, no washee!

Imagine buying a life insurance policy, then, after years of paying the premiums, being told that dying wouldn’t help you win the bet–you now had to be over 70 (or whatever number is convenient for the company to pick) AND die to ‘win’? You’d recognize this changing of the terms of the deal already paid for was a breach of contract. That’s exactly what has occurred due to government theft from the Social Security tontine principal fund. The government is not only in breach of contract (consistent with the fraudulent historical record of tontines) but has the chutzpah to argue the resulting insolvency isn’t a result of dishonesty, but of the government being too ‘generous’.

It’s like your town’s bank branches are being repeatedly robbed by a desperado the police are unable to catch. One day, the town gets lucky as the masked bandit makes for his escape and is wrestled to the ground, money bag in hand. Depositors present hold their breath as one of them unmasks the thief…and it’s UNCLE SAM! Of course, Uncle Sam then begins to spout about how we made him do it and he went along out of generosity/government largess.

Groucho Marx had it right: This IS your life!…only he was a lot funnier than the government leeches workers are funding today. People talk about the near financial collapse of the global economy due to mortgage fraud, derivative manipulation, speculation, and the real estate bubble. But who speaks of the far greater ripoff of Social Security tontine funds that has been ongoing for decades? The good news is this cancer within will ultimately cause the collapse of the parasites. The bad news is it’s going to prove fatal to the patient.

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Opposed to politicians who equivocate about air quality & BioMassacre
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