When both Rick Perry and Glenn Reynolds embrace an argument you know it’s going to be uniquely stupid:
RICK PERRY CALLS SOCIAL SECURITY A PONZI SCHEME.
Well, I have heard Yale Law Professor John Langbein say that if a private entity did what Social Security has done, they’d all be in jail. So Perry’s right up there with Ivy League experts on the subject.
Well, this may come as news to Reynolds, Perry, and an “Ivy League expert,” but in fact companies that sell life insurance, companies that offer pension plans as compensation, banks that lend out money on the anticipation of maintaining and acquiring new customers, etc. etc. are in fact allowed to stay in business. And even if this transparently stupid assertion was true, it would still be beside the point. It also wouldn’t be legal for you or me to force someone off the streets at gunpoint and hold them in a room for 25 years, but I’m guessing that even certified Ivy League professor John Langbein* does not believe that therefore the state and federal prison systems should be disbanded. States are obviously able to raise revenues in ways that private actors are not.
Or perhaps putting it in diagram form would help.
*As noted by a special guest star in comments, it should be emphasized that I don’t mean to imply that the real Langbein actually means what Reynolds implies that he means.