There is an interesting article by Peter Schiff (the guy who predicted the meltdown with frightening accuracy) on Euro Pacific discussing the Social Security Administration and how it compares to the recent scam perpetrated by Bernard Madoff.
(Look for the article 'In Madoff We Trust')
The Ponzi scheme is fairly simple to understand. A guy gets you to invest in his business. Then when new investors arrive and pay into your program he uses that money to pay you 'dividends'. You think he is a wise and good soul and so you spread the word. More people invest, and the older investors get some more dividends (after the schemer gets his cut, of course).
The scam has other names like pyramid, chain, etc. The problem results in when the new investors slow down. The older investors do not get as much 'dividend' and so they pull out. The house of cards then crumbles and falls.
Look, now, at our social security program. What used to be a trust fund, earning interest, is now nothing but one, big Ponzi scam. Youth pay into the program, and the elderly get the dividends. What happens when the numbers are flipped?
I'll tell you: The revolution is at hand. Will you be a leader or a follower?