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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/11493/place-blame-where-it-belongs/

Place Blame Where It Belongs

January 20, 2010 by

The 1935 Social Security Act was a marvel of Ponzi-scheme legerdemain that surpasses anything Madoff could conjure. Everyone reading this polemic resides far down the pyramid — exactly where you don’t want to be. FULL ARTICLE by Stephen Mauzy

{ 7 comments }

Guard January 20, 2010 at 9:35 am

Ponzi scheme may somewhat of a misnomer here since it was, at worst based on fraud. The government operations are based directly upon violent force; if I refuse to participate my property will be confiscated, if I resist I will be shot. I have a theory I’d like others’ opinion on. It is my neighbor who literally votes my life away for their own gain but they will not acknowledge that is what they are doing. I am beginning to think the apparently senseless random acts of violence we see happening are actually due to the perpetrator knowing, perhaps subconsciously, that his neighbor is the one who is really at war with him.

Ribald January 20, 2010 at 10:41 am

“So I refuse to blame Messrs. Madoff, Petters, and Stanford for duping the dopes; they were simply satisfying market demand.”

“That leaves the voting majority, whom I do blame.”

The gist of the idea here, if I’m correct, is that majority rule is unconscionable (arguable, but a reasonable opinion), while committing fraud is fine because those who are defrauded should have known better. I’m sure one can see that the latter idea is repugnant and wrong–social Darwinism rearing its ugly head.

Of course, the article leading up to that point isn’t so much better. While I oppose the senate healthcare bill, for example, I wouldn’t spread such a blatantly obvious falsehood, that the bill is somehow “single-payer in disguise.” I guess it has death panels and provides for free gender reassignment surgeries too. Let’s be clear: lying is not a good way to bolster support for one’s argument.

My opinion is decidedly negative about this piece. Mauzy thoroughly squanders the opportunity to inform and explain a coherent position, instead opting for bottom-of-the-barrel rhetoric and misdirection.

Is free market advocacy just social Darwinism in disguise? A casual observer, after reading Mauzy, might say yes.

Mike January 20, 2010 at 11:28 am

Ribald,

He didn’t say it is single payer in disguise, but that it’s a Trojan horse. I think the idea is that the bill will inevitably destroy the insurance market leaving the state as the only payer.

And I’ve always suspected that “Social Darwinism” is a smear term invented by anti-capitalists. To illustrate, can you define what isn’t Social-Darwinistic without proposing massive state interference with the individual?

In any case, I agree that the organizers of a Ponzi scheme are not at all exempt from blame. People are people; when you dangle moneybags in front of our eyes we will grab for them. The victims are not so much to blame for greed as for stupidity. I mean, guaranteed 10% return, come on!

Inquisitor January 20, 2010 at 11:44 am

“Is free market advocacy just social Darwinism in disguise? A casual observer, after reading Mauzy, might say yes.”

Opposition to free markets is anti-Darwinian in many ways…

Smack MacDougal January 20, 2010 at 12:34 pm

Someone needs to school Stephen Mauzy that greed means wanting to get something for nothing.

Those who want Social(ist) Security, Medicare, Medicaid and now nationalist government medicine — the voting majority as Stephen calls them — all are greedy.

Who are among the the Greedy?

We have corporatists who want unearned profits without competition and thus seek oligopoly forming laws; farmers who want cash to not work and thus not grow crops; unionists, be them school teachers, government workers or car makers, who want to be paid evermore money for less hours and thus less work performed; welfare collectees of every stripe such as the self-lying “but, but, I paid into Social Security”.

Eric January 20, 2010 at 1:37 pm

Part of the blame has to go to those that believe the government (SEC etc.) is going to safeguard the public from ponzi schemes.

But mostly, I’d have to say that it is the public/government education that is the biggest cause of public ignorance. If they learned in school just how little the government is able to protect one from fraud the public would look to private companies that either got it right or went under.

This too is part of the Darwinian way that is missing with a force acting from above.

Ribald January 20, 2010 at 6:36 pm

Because the term “social Darwinism” is a bit vague, my preferred usage is “a view of social hierarchy which favors one group of individuals as superior and, thus, absolved of responsibility when abusing inferior individuals (i.e. divine right, but cast in a veil of science or social progress)”. It can be used in many contexts, though it’s universally despicable.

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