The subtitle to an article at money.cnn.com reads (via Reddit):
Some commentators are finding a tempting comparison between the Madoff scandal and the Social Security system. Here’s why it’s wrong. —Social Security a Ponzi scheme?
My guess is that the rest of the article totally fellates Social Security, and that the reason why the Madoff comparison is “wrong” boils down to something like: “The government says Social Security is the Law.”
I don’t even have to think about these arguments anymore, I just <em>react</em>. I see right through the bullshit so easily that in cases like this, it’s not worth my time or effort to formulate an original response. That’s OK though, I don’t need to. Bastiat <em>already did</em>:
When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law. These two evils are of equal consequence, and it would be difficult for a person to choose between them.
The nature of law is to maintain justice. This is so much the case that, in the minds of the people, law and justice are one and the same thing. There is in all of us a strong disposition to believe that anything lawful is also legitimate. This belief is so widespread that many persons have erroneously held that things are “just” because law makes them so. Thus, in order to make plunder appear just and sacred to many consciences, it is only necessary for the law to decree and sanction it. —The Law, Frederic Bastiat
I’m going to read the whole article momentarily. I’ll be unpleasantly surprised if the argument is more sophisticated than that which Bastiat exploded in a century and a half ago. Further commentary as situations warrant.