Is Social Security a Ponzi Scheme? Response to Comments

I’ve read through all the comments on my previous post, and I wanted to see if I could respond to some of them. In particular, a lot of people objected to me calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme. Other people thought that Social Security would be unsustainable, even with technological progress. So let me explain why I think that Social Security has most of the characteristics of a Ponzi scheme—let’s call it a “Ponzi-like” scheme. Nevertheless, the system of intergenerational transfers—the young supporting the old—is sustainable as long as productivity is rising. A “Ponzi-like” scheme has three characteristics—transfers, obscurity, and unsustainability. 1) Transfer: Early participants are paid off by the investments of later participants

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