Social Security is a Scam

     Well everyone, it is time to admit it. We’ve been duped. Tricked. Suckered into believing in the criminally fraudulent Ponzi Scheme that is Social Security. Our leaders have known this for decades. Social Security is unsustainable.

     First, what is a Ponzi Scheme? Originating in the 1920’s from Charles Ponzi, a Ponzi Scheme is “An operation that pays alleged "investment returns" to clients from the clients' own paid-in funds and with payments by subsequent clients, rather than from investments in productive assets or securities. The scheme entices new entrants by false promises of returns that are unrealistically high, ever-rising, or even abnormally-stable, all of which require ever-increasing inflows and hordes of additional dupes, to keep all the fakery going. Unless the scheme keeps growing and spreading, in time it must collapse, as the outflows swamp inflows; the game of "musical chairs" halts when claims exceed cash (insolvency).” [1]

     This is what we currently see happening to the Social Security system, outflow is swamping inflow. It’s been happening since 2010. Recent reports showed a negative cash flow around $74 billion dollars back in 2014, and in 2015 the gap was around $84 billion. [2]

     Moreover, Social Security’s combined reserves (primarily Treasury Notes) will be depleted by 2034. [3] This is absolutely terrifying from the standpoint of the 90’s generation (and even earlier), who will be forced to bite the bullet and suffer the fallout from this system and its inevitable insolvency. (Really, Social Security has been insolvent for years, and so has Medicare, but we continue to borrow and increase tax rates to pay for the increasing outflow of cash from the system). Really, as it always turns out to be, the government is at fault. In the 1960s Congress and the Treasury began raiding the Social Security fund, to finance general outlays, typical of a Ponzi Scheme. Over the long term, this strategy would not succeed. The system was destined to fail from the start, and it’s sad to look back now and realize the huge mistake we made.

     Is there any possible way to avoid future insolvency and re-shape the system to where it could be sustainable? Possibly. In theory, per Richard M. Salsman of Forbes: “Here's a plan – call it the Salsman Plan – that would ensure electoral support from all three groups, and thus potentially guarantee a political landslide for the candidate who proposes it. First, tell the elderly that they'll no longer be subject to political scare tactics, because immediately they'll be given an account in their name that's full of U.S. Treasury bills and bonds, whose worth equals the present value of what they'd otherwise receive in Social Security checks for the likely balance of their lives. They can do what they wish with their new account: cash it out now, slowly liquidate it over time, perhaps buy an annuity, or keep most of it as is. Second, tell the young and the middle-aged they will no longer have to pay the 15.3% payroll tax, and they too will immediately receive an account in their name with U.S. Treasury bills and bonds, based on what they've already paid in so far. They too can do what they wish with their sudden investment windfall. Social Security, no longer empowered to tax payrolls or send retiree checks, would then be closed overnight.

     How much new Treasury debt would be needed to create these new investment accounts? Actuaries would have to calculate the precise sum, but they already tell us that roughly $3 trillion sits in trust fund vaults as non-tradable T-Bonds. Simply transfer these to the new private accounts and declare them tradable. Next we must add the latest actuarial estimate of Social Security's short-fall (its magnitude of insolvency) – aka, it's "unfunded liability" (in present value terms). That's about $20 trillion (see page 67 of the Trustees' 2011 Annual Report), for a total of $23 trillion. Radical as this plan may appear, it simply acknowledges reality by transforming the implicit debt of the U.S. into explicit debt (an investment security) to be held in portfolios, traded, or sold. We add this $23 trillion new explicit debt to the existing national debt of $15 trillion, which is eagerly held all over the world and pays an average yield of only 2.91%. The new total national debt of $38 trillion may appear excessive, but the implicit debt of the U.S. is probably already embodied in market estimates of U.S. creditworthiness, hence U.S. bond yields, so my plan alone shouldn't boost yields. There'd be added interest expense, of course, but without Social Security we'd also have more saving and investment plus greater incentive to work and produce, so the economy would grow faster. To be prudent, Washington could sell its vast tracts of Western lands and use the proceeds to repay some debt – then make sure bond yields stay low by issuing a gold-linked dollar.” [4]

     Drastic changes need to be made to combat the scam that is Social Security. The first step to change is to educate yourself on the topic, understand how it is a scam, why it needs to be changed, and how we as a nation can change it. Within the next two decades we will see how that all unravels.

 

 

Sources:

[1] Social Security is a Ponzi Scheme

[2] Social Security’s cash flow

[3] Social Security’s path to insolvency

[4] The Salsman Plan

Planned Parenthood is Awesome

     First, let me start by saying that I am not a strict Republican. I am more of a right-leaning libertarian. Most of my beliefs fall on the right side of the political spectrum, but I also share many beliefs that fall on the left side.

     I am Pro-Choice, and I am a supporter of Planned Parenthood. Essentially, being Pro-Choice means you are in favor of restricting government influence in the decisions of women and their bodies, specifically abortions. Limited government? Sounds like a Republican value to me. Therefore, I often criticize the Republican party, because they campaign on the belief of limited government, but want to eliminate the ability for women to have abortions. They also seek to practically destroy Planned Parenthood, disregarding the large amount of good the organization provides. It is quite hypocritical. But, the issue runs much deeper than that. The subject of abortion and Planned Parenthood has its complexities.

     For instance, there has been an uproar over Planned Parenthood, and how they use federal tax dollars to conduct abortions. Nothing could be further from the truth. Per the Planned Parenthood website, most of their funding comes from Medicaid and Title X reimbursements for the many services they provide (preventive medical services, including life-saving cancer screenings, HIV testing, and birth control, and sexual education). “The public funds that Planned Parenthood’s health centers receive are mostly reimbursements for preventive services, which often aren’t available anywhere else. Without Planned Parenthood, there just aren’t enough health care providers to deliver the millions of medical services it provides each year.”

     In addition, Planned Parenthood SAVES the government money. Per the Planned Parenthood website, “The government saves $7 in Medicaid-related costs for every dollar invested in publicly funded family planning programs like Title X.”

     Moreover, “The Congressional Budget Office projects that barring Planned Parenthood health centers from being reimbursed through Medicaid would result in a net cost of $130 million to taxpayers over 10 years due to an increase in unintended pregnancies without the high-quality contraceptive care that Planned Parenthood provides.”

     It is estimated that Planned Parenthood health centers prevent at least 579,000 unintended pregnancies a year.

     Economically, this makes a ton of sense. So how could the Republican party not support Planned Parenthood? Beats me. Federal funds do not pay for abortions at Planned Parenthood. A forty-year-old law already prohibits that (The Hyde Amendment) (except in cases of rape, incest, or when a woman’s life is in danger).

     I firmly stand behind Planned Parenthood and Pro-Choice causes, and you should too.

White Privilege: Fact or Fiction? Part 1

     Is white privilege real? In order to answer that question we must first figure out what people mean when they talk about white privilege. 

     White privilege (or white skin privilege) is a term for societal privileges that benefit people identified as white in Western countries, beyond what is commonly experienced by non-white people under the same social, political, or economic circumstances. [1]

 

     I am so sorry for using Wikipedia as a source, I promise to never do that again (probably). So let's dive in. Both sides have very strong opinions on this and it's going to be tough writing an article that doesn't offend anyone so if you are already feeling triggered click here.  

     White privilege refers to the benefits I and many other people get just for the color of our (white) skin. From getting off easy with the police, to getting into schools easier it seems that many people think white people have it easy.

Let's tackle each of these issues one by one.

 

1.) GEtting Off Easier WIth the police

danger.jpg

     The claim that police officers are letting white people off the hook while unarmed black people are being massacred in the streets is pure fiction. Since 2015 the number of unarmed black people that have been shot is up to 57. [2] Keep in mind there are 30 million black Americans. I don't think I need to do the math for you but 57/30,000,000....well, I'll let you figure that one out. This number includes people that are known to have reached for the police officers firearm. That's a pretty low number when you consider that the black community has a significantly higher crime rate than any other racial subgroup. According to Heather MacDonald, the author of  The War on Cops: How the New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe “The per capita rate of officers being feloniously killed is 45 times higher than the rate at which unarmed black males are killed by cops. And an officer’s chance of getting killed by a black assailant is 18.5 times higher than the chance of an unarmed black getting killed by a cop.”[3] If anything, the number of unarmed black people being killed by police is nowhere near the rate at which officers are being killed. 

 

2.) Getting Into Schools Easier

     The idea that it's easier for whites to get into school easier than it is for minorities is absurd. The issue here is not inequality of opportunity. A great example of inequality of opportunity would be two people with the same ACT score apply for the same college but only one get's in because they had a rough childhood, but the other one is denied because he is middle-upper class. That's not the issue; the issue is inequality of outcome. Affirmative action targets people of minority, so if I have the same ACT score as someone that's in the same middle class as myself, we both apply for the same university, but the other person gets in because of their race, that's not helping anything, that's just racism. The idea that if the only thing I had to change about myself to get into Yale was me not being white that's racist.

 

   This is part one of a three part series about white privilege. This series will tackle claims by each side of the fence while providing examples of each. Let me know what you guys think about this piece in the comment section as well as provide any examples of white privilege you know about.

     

Sources:

[1] White Privilege Definition

[2] Unarmed Black People Killed by Police Numbers Since '15

[3]  DONALD, HEATHER MAC. WAR ON COPS: how the new attack on law and order makes everyone less safe. S.l.: ENCOUNTER , 2017. Print.

     

Why America’s Bankruptcy Is Inevitable

     Just to be clear so everyone doesn’t break out in a panic… This won’t be happening anytime soon. However, it is very real problem that has still yet to be addressed. Now, what could a 19-year-old college student know? Quite a bit actually. The funny thing is, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand the situation and ultimately the numbers. I have been involved with this specific topic for a couple of years now, dedicating much of my time to research and to dissecting the problem that is our debt. Interestingly enough, there is much more at play than most people can even fathom. Many factors are connected to our current problem, our nearly $20 trillion-dollar debt burden (although I will explain later the real amount is actually much, much larger). Let’s dive into the factors. (I’ll try to break it down and make this as simple and short as possible).

     So, when did our money problems begin? Really, they began back in 1913, with the passing of the Federal Reserve Act. This act effectively established what we now know as the Federal Reserve System of the United States. What most people do not know is that this legislation was drafted back in 1909 by a small group of incredibly powerful bankers. This legislation was drafted in private in response to the panic of 1907, where several large banking institutions provoked a near collapse of the U.S. economy. With the help of congressional insiders, this legislation passed several years later and was signed by Woodrow Wilson. An absolutely fatal mistake. With the passing of the Federal Reserve Act, a direct violation of the constitution was made. As it clearly states in article 1 section 8 of the constitution: “The congress shall have the power to coin money, regulate the value thereof, ad of foreign coin, and fix the standard weights and measures; no state shall make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts.” The power of creating financial and monetary policy now resides with the Federal Reserve. With the Federal Reserve controlling our monetary policy, our money supply, and ultimately our entire economic well-being, they effectively created a private cartel. The best part? Most people do not know the Federal Reserve is a PRIVATE entity, not a PUBLIC entity. They receive no general oversight from the government of the United States, thus they are not held accountable by the people they control.

     Wait, it gets better. So, how has the system faired in a little over a century? Terribly actually. In fact, the Federal Reserve has done nothing but destroy the value of the American Dollar, cause inflation levels to rise out of control, and destroy the livelihoods of tens of millions of Americans [1]. Let’s not forget that Ex-Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke admitted in 2002 that the Federal Reserve caused the Great Depression: “Regarding the Great Depression, …we did it. We’re very sorry. … We won’t do it again” [2]. The Federal Reserve today still holds too much power over our economy and in my personal opinion should be abolished entirely, returning the power to create monetary policy and to print money back to the U.S. Government.

     Here are some graphics that depict how abysmal the Federal Reserve has been throughout its history:

t2.png

 

     Our next factor is the ever-growing welfare state. Regardless of where you lie on the political spectrum, you cannot deny that the U.S. Government has gradually become more and more involved in people’s lives, which is a very bad thing for the most part. From food stamps, to single-payer healthcare, to Medicare and Medicaid, to social security, to countless other programs, millions of people depend on government aid. Now, I understand there are extreme circumstances, so a little support here and there isn’t a bad thing, until you get back on your feet. But the fact is, our governments burden is tremendous. Who is responsible? The taxpayer. I have never met anyone who likes to pay taxes. Many Americans don’t even pay federal income taxes, 45.3 percent to be exact [3]. This means that the government is drawing its funds from fewer individuals than ever before, undoubtedly putting a strain on those who do pay income taxes. If you have ever taken the time to look at http://www.usdebtclock.org/, you’ll understand how incredibly screwed our nation is. Nearly $20 trillion dollars on our U.S. National Debt clock. BUT, in reality, the total U.S. debt sits near $70 trillion dollars. That is all households, businesses, local, state, and national governments, and financial institutions combined. There is an even larger amount though! The U.S. has $105 trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities. $16 trillion dollars in social security liability and $28 trillion in Medicare liability are included in the mix. That is OUTRAEGOUS. These numbers are clearly, without a doubt, unsustainable. Social Security was a pyramid scheme to begin with, anyone with common sense knows a system like that can’t last forever. Plus, the government spent every single contribution it received since its creation. How incredibly stupid can our government be?

     Lastly, it all comes down to bureaucratic efficiency and responsibility for oneself. It goes without saying that the government is applauded for spending money, while businesses are applauded for saving money and minimizing costs. Why does our government not take this approach? While the government isn’t 100% like a business, it still has income (taxes) and expenses (functions), many expenses that could easily be minimized or gotten rid of forever. Ever heard of the $500-dollar toilet plungers? $100,000 bronze busts? All ridiculous. Our government doesn’t care how much they spend on basic resources, because it isn’t their money [4]! I also think it is stupid that as a government agency, in order to receive proper funding, you must spend what you are allocated for that year. Spend everything, regardless if you have a surplus or not. Why isn’t that surplus rolled over to next year’s budget? Simple things like this can make a difference. When approaching the individual perspective, Americans should really invest in their financial education, and learn proper spending and savings habits, to ensure they are able to live a long and comfortable life. It is possible for everyone.

     Is it inevitable that America’s debt brings it to bankruptcy status? Yes, I do believe so. Many factors contribute to this catastrophic realization. The Federal Reserve system and its severe inefficiencies, our ever-growing welfare state, bureaucratic downfalls, and lack of personal responsibility are huge concerns that must be addressed and solved if we are to have any sort of chance in the future. While there are so many other things to consider, take these few examples as the biggest indicators of the inevitable bankruptcy of the United States.   

Check it out: U.S Debt Clock

 

[1] Why The Federal Reserve Should Be Abolished

[2] Bernanke’s Quote

[3] Federal Income Tax Facts

[4] Government Waste 2016

Why Hillary Clinton Would Have Made A Better President Than Trump

Why Hillary Clinton Would Have Made A Better President Than Trump

Many people wonder what life would be like if Hillary Clinton was president....

5 Reasons Marijuana Should Be Legalized

1. Marijuana Enforcement Is Costly

     From law enforcement, to incarceration and prosecution, the bill continues to add up. According to a study conducted by the Cato Institute in 2010, enforcing marijuana laws cost U.S. taxpayers $8.7 billion dollars! [1]  According to Jeffrey Miron (a  Senior Lecturer at Harvard) that total (adujusted for inflation) would amount to nearly $20 Billion dollars in 2017. Will the federal government continue to hemorrhage precious taxes dollars on useless marijuana laws and enforcement when people will continue to smoke either way? 

 

2. The Potential Tax Revenue Is Massive

     Say we just legalized marijuana and taxed the industry accordingly. We would generate some serious revenue! In fact, according to a study conducted by the Tax Foundation in 2016, the marijuana industry could generate up to $28 BILLION in tax revenues for federal, state, and local governments! [2] This money could go towards roads, schools, parks, and other public goods. Obviously the government has had no problem collecting tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue from states that have already legalized marijuana, like Colorado, Washington, and Oregon. Why not collect from all 50 states? 

 

3. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!

     In addition to bringing in large amounts of tax revenue, the marijuana industry will create more jobs than the manufacturing industry by 2020; more than 250,000 jobs according to Forbes. [3] These are legit jobs that pay well! That is amazing! 

 

 

4. Marijuana Has Incredible Health Benefits

     From treating Glaucoma, to controlling epileptic seizures, to potentially slowing the progression of cancer cells and Alzheimer’s Disease, to pain relief, marijuana seems like a medical miracle. Scientists continue to discover new health perks derived from marijuana, and it is being accepted around the nation and even around the world in numerous medical communities.

(However, there has also been negative effects studied from the ABUSE of marijuana, like memory and emotional changes, and dependency problems. So, if it is used wisely, it is highly beneficial.) [4]

 

5. Public Opinion Has Changed

     It’s time to accept the changing view on marijuana and legalize it! As of 2016, 60% of American’s support marijuana legalization. With more and more studies being conducted and reported, the civilian population has truly been enlightened, and realizes that marijuana isn’t all that bad. In fact, it is much more beneficial than not. Combined with the other reasons in this article, legalizing marijuana makes a convincing argument. [5]

 

 

 

Sources:

1. 8.7b Enforcement Cost

2. 28b Tax Revenue

3. 250k Jobs

4. Health Benefits

5. Public Opinion