Blast From Paul Krugman's Past: "Social Security Is A Ponzi Scheme And Will Soon Be Over"

Tyler Durden's picture

It is one thing (what thing that is we are not sure, but we have heard others say it, so like all good lemmings we will say it too) for Rick Perry to call Social Security a ponzi scheme. After all he is some crazy, foaming in the mouth conservative, as uber-Keynesian liberal Paul Krugman may call him. And that's fine. What confuses us, however, is why Social Security would be called a ponzi by the same liberal noted previously: none other than Paul Krugman himself.

Exhibit A, from a distant 1997, which perhaps one would have expected to remain buried (source):

Social Security is structured from the point of view of the recipients as if it were an ordinary retirement plan: what you get out depends on what you put in. So it does not look like a redistributionist scheme. In practice it has turned out to be strongly redistributionist, but only because of its Ponzi game aspect, in which each generation takes more out than it put in. Well, the Ponzi game will soon be over, thanks to changing demographics, so that the typical recipient henceforth will get only about as much as he or she put in (and today's young may well get less than they put in).

This coming from the same person who a year ago said the following much anticipated truism, and has in the interim become a caricature of himself:

So where do claims of crisis come from? To a large extent they rely on bad-faith accounting. In particular, they rely on an exercise in three-card monte in which the surpluses Social Security has been running for a quarter-century don’t count — because hey, the program doesn’t have any independent existence; it’s just part of the general federal budget — while future Social Security deficits are unacceptable — because hey, the program has to stand on its own.


It would be easy to dismiss this bait-and-switch as obvious nonsense, except for one thing: many influential people — including Alan Simpson, co-chairman of the president’s deficit commission — are peddling this nonsense.


And having invented a crisis, what do Social Security’s attackers want to do? They don’t propose cutting benefits to current retirees; invariably the plan is, instead, to cut benefits many years in the future. So think about it this way: In order to avoid the possibility of future benefit cuts, we must cut future benefits. O.K.


What’s really going on here? Conservatives hate Social Security for ideological reasons: its success undermines their claim that government is always the problem, never the solution. But they receive crucial support from Washington insiders, for whom a declared willingness to cut Social Security has long served as a badge of fiscal seriousness, never mind the arithmetic.


And neither wing of the anti-Social-Security coalition seems to know or care about the hardship its favorite proposals would cause.

The only question we have for the Nobelist: is some form of affective disorder a necessary and sufficient condition to espouse the virtues of government dumping endless capital in what said Nobelist himself calls a Ponzi scheme, and just how would the overlord, John M. Keynes, fell about this?

h/t John Poehling

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anynonmous's picture

Krugman is not worth the pixels



he did come out supporting death panels back on  Nov 14 2010:


"Some years down the pike, we're going to get the real solution, which is going to be a combination of death panels and sales taxes. It's going to be that we're actually going to take Medicare under control, and we're going to have to get some additional revenue, probably from a VAT. But it's not going to happen now."  video ABC Amanpour

PulauHantu29's picture

Death Panels will be implicit, not explicit. The reimbursement to doctors will become so low they will refuse to treat you. The number of doctors who accept Medicare/Medicaid is less then 15% in many cities.

Hey, we all gotta go sometime, right?


anynonmous's picture

apologies for bringing up health care I should have stopped typing at pixels



this is theater of the absurd

circa April 2009  Cramer (whom Doug Kass affectionately refers to as El Capitan ) compares Krugman and Roubini to characters from somehting called Gilligans Island



TruthInSunshine's picture




Paul Krugman, if you're reading your incompatible statements that ZH'er John Poehling has highlighted for you, whether you ambled in over here on your own, or were sent a link by one of your lackeys, all I have to say to you is:



redpill's picture

Combine this with his completely classless 9/11 anniversary editorial and it tells you all you need to know about this piece of shit.  He's a hydra of hypocrisy and lies.

weinerdog43's picture

Unfortunately, he was right.  Seriously, did you read his article?  He was complaining about the turning Sept. 11 into a fascist wet dream.  Are you so crazy to want more regulation and government supervison?  That was what he was complaining about.  Talk about blinders dude.

GilaMonster's picture

He didn't back up his talk and accusations, so before you start all the haliburton bs, krugman should man up and give facts or shut the fuck up and maintain being a nobel ponzi prize whiner.

sun tzu's picture

Go suck Krugman's weiner, you sorry ass sockpuppet

nmewn's picture

A nice article identifying past & present "liberals" who have called Social Security a ponzi...

Oh my...

tovar2's picture

well put Redpill

when the boots are out in the streets guys like him will go into hiding

I only kill chickens and wheat's picture

Watch out for the KDI, they'll get yer for sure. Krugeman Defense Industries, they're everywhere.

Pay Day Today's picture

Does KDI make orbital lazer platforms for zapping incoming alien invaders with?

nmewn's picture


And they also make cute little shovels stamped with the word "Ready" on them to dig and refill trenches, day after day, for no apparent reason.

duckhook's picture

The number of baby boomers collecting medoacre is going to be so large that Doctor's will have no choice but to accept medicare

jabu's picture

The other choice, you ass, is to quit practicing medicine in public.

GeorgeHayduke's picture

"Hey, we all gotta go sometime, right?"

Yes we do. I just hope my time to go isn't while I'm sitting in a restaurant with my family when a terminally-ill patient with a Czech SKS who's been screwed over by "the healthcare industry" decides to take out his frustrations with our corrupt, innane and inept healthcare system on the patrons of the restaurant.

One thing about our future of which I am quite certain is much less courtesy, decency, and humanity, all of which is brought to you by our owners. Meanwhile, the other thing you can be certain of is many of the slaves and serfs will defend their owners before, during and after this has happened.

johnnynaps's picture

Well, you might be correct if you hold a viewpoint like mine. I see the baby boomers as the one's in control of this disasterous way of life. They hoard jobs and assets. They want the can kicked down the road because it suits their best interests of allowing my generation to deal with the shit-storm. No one from my generation has made these irrational, unConsitutional, retarded policies or laws. As far as I'm concerned, my master boomers can do what they will do best the next 20 years. And, they want to cry inept and unfair as they collect a pension and the remaining SS amounting to double what I make at 50 hours of work a week for just hanging around doing NO good! -PS, to the obvious boomer argument.....I did not ask for this way of life. I would rather work less and enjoy nature more living with a lesser ICRAP standard. Thank you for ruining the please choke on those dentures.

zhandax's picture

If I were not 95% convinced that the global ponzi would collapse within the next 15 months, I would say 'lots of luck changing it when it gets dumped in your generation's lap' numbnutz.  Guess you have never tried to talk sense to an incumbent representative?

camaro68ss's picture

Oooo head fake bitchez!!!

Debtless's picture

Beware the bearded financial hacks.

X.inf.capt's picture




Al Gorerhythm's picture

She said that it was not in the best interests of the market to let the Greeks go into an uncontrolled default, as it would roil the markets that are already jittery about the debt situation.

So let me get this straight. The broader markets are reliant upon a known bankrupt nation with negative income, (in hock to the rest of them), to not defaulting on its obligations to pay back their loans. The creditors, in trying to stop the inevitable, offers the bankrupted Greeks more money in order to stop the default.

This ain't about solvent or insolvent sovereigns, this is more profound. This is most assuredly about the fundamental promise of payment, inherent in all good faith redemptionless paper promises to pay, being broken. Once one debtor fails to pay, in this overleversaged Ponzi that risks all saved capital, the faith once broken, and the wound open for all to see, will transform this psychology to one of panic.

I panicked first (long ago) and managed to get the fuck outta this intact, ahead of the herd.

Get ze silver, get ze gold, get ze beer.

treemagnet's picture

First SheepDogOne loses his faith, then Krugman pulls his head clean out of his ass.......I need a drink, too much for a Tuesday (?), I'm just a man.

NumNutt's picture

Next thing you know TPTB will be telling everyone to start buying gold. That would be when you know we are in deep shit.

evolvedmonkey's picture

No, that is when we STOP buying gold and start selling.

X.inf.capt's picture

I not selling my pre65 dimes, i dont give a DAMN what anybody says....

Caviar Emptor's picture

Social Security? How bout the whole US economy? How bout the entire debt-structure of the Western World? 

bugs_'s picture

KREEEEEEWG MAN!  he was high and was compulsively honest  - it was 1997


moonstears's picture

I think it's the beard, that's why they listen to him. Point taken, I'm growing a goat. Knew I was on the right track when the wife started "hating" on it! P.S. Who's the last actual, factual Nobel winner with worth who gave some value to the world, in any catagory? MLK, maybe?

disabledvet's picture

MLK would be about right for "social sciences"...and all else vis a vis "the humanities." Or is it just humanity period? Anywho physical sciences--well, just look at your i-phone, or your e-trade account. No stopping the revolution of Quantum mechanics.

Rodent Freikorps's picture

Seems you have to be a transnational progressive lapdog to get one these days.

Wonder why?

weinerdog43's picture

As opposed to a transgender gobbling fascist fuckwad?

Rodent Freikorps's picture

I always treasure your well reasoned and articulate responses.


weinerdog43's picture

And I'll always treasure your mom enjoying the kibbles on the floor.  She's so funny!

The_Jew_Bear's picture

I always tresure your krout dissembling.


Let's go again, Krout. This time with nukes.

Rodent Freikorps's picture

It would help you seem less moronic if you spelled kraut correctly.

The_Jew_Bear's picture

Wow, it would be great if there was a point to you your existance other than sucking Nazi cock.


Hephasteus's picture

I see what you're up to. Trying to cash in that 500 dollar per nuke jew fine.

The_Jew_Bear's picture

It would help you seem less moronic if you had a point other than bile.

Also, It would help if you realized that languages are translated phonetically: either is correct in English, you perfectly stupid Nazi moron.

Look it up.


Rodent Freikorps's picture

But nice try on the blustering lie.

Gotta give you a point for chutzpah.

fxrxexexdxoxmx's picture

The last Nobel prize winner who has violent kinetic value to unarmed women and children: B. Hussein Obama, peace is as peace does Ear Leader, his biological father, Frank Marshall Davis would have been proud.'s picture

Who's the last actual, factual Nobel winner with worth who gave some value to the world,



vegas's picture

Liberal Theology 101: Pay no attention to what I said yesterday, as that was intended for rubes who need my elite take on things.

LetThemEatRand's picture

Conservative Theology 101:  oh, never mind.    Krugman is an asshole and so is Perry and so is every current candidate competing with Perry.  Paul is great for his desire to end the Fed and dismantle the MIC, but he would let children starve in the street in the name of freedom (no, churches won't step up, get over it). I wish more than 5% of the population could overcome the left/right paradigm.  

Sophist Economicus's picture

LetThemEat Rand Theology:  Whatever you say, I'm against it.