Don't believe me? Then take the word of Thomas Sowell, writing today in NRO:
Good enough for Dr. Sowell, it's good enough for me.
Social Security worked fine when the small generation from the 1930s received pensions from the money being paid in by the larger and more prosperous “baby boom” generation that followed. It worked fine when the average life expectancy of the first generation was not long enough for most of them to collect Social Security checks for more than a few years — if at all.
Declining birth rates and greatly increasing lifespans have created havoc with Social Security’s finances, which are based on having the first generation’s pensions paid with money collected from the second generation — and the second generation’s pensions paid by the next generation, etc.
Any private financial scheme set up in a similar way would be illegal. That is why Charles Ponzi went to prison.