Here is one situation where the media and the education system have totally failed the people. So many middle-aged and older folks are saying these days, "I paid into the system. I deserve to get my money back." But the system does not and never worked that way. There is no real "social security trust fund". There even might be some accountants somewhere who spend their productive hours working out how much "money" should be in it, however, there is no such fund and never has been and there are no managers managing it. The money is gone already. Every single penny which has been paid in has already been paid out again.
Instead, social security has always been a pay-as-you-go system. In the first years, there were some 50 people working and paying in, for every retiree who was drawing benefits. Where the system began to have problems came about as life expectancies became longer and longer, resulting in far more retirees drawing benefits for far longer. Thus now we have the situation where there are less than two workers paying in for every retiree pulling out. And the two workers are supposed to be able to carry the one worker? Hardly possible, is it?
The young people today may not understand what a Ponzi scheme is, how it works, how to set one up. But all the ones I talk with are at least cognizant that its highly unlikely that they will ever be able to draw any social security when they get old. To a man they have the expectation that one way or another the system will collapse by then or at least, Congress will find ways to deny them any payments.
and here is the rub with the current unemployment issue today. While it may be true that employers do not want to offer the minimum wage plues the employer social security tax plus the employer health insurance benefit required by Obama's new law plus the unemployment insurance payment plus the workers' compensation benefit....all told that's a whole lotta money. But it is equally true that the kids do not want to work for it. They are more or less on strike. Many of them will mow lawns, shovel snow, babysit, or what have you for cash. but they are not about to do what's required for a salaried job. Not when they know that a third to a half of what they are earning is going into other people's hands and they don't expect to ever see it.
In effect, the young people are on strike. I wonder if any of the old people, who have been systematically robbing the young, for several generations now, are listening? Because with nobody working, the net wealth of the country as a whole is in decline. It affects everybody. With so many pikers, who wants to work?