Tuesday, May 07, 2013

1981 Veni Vedi Victim

I was reading a story the other day about the latest "victims" in a Ponzi scheme. It made me think. Are they really victims? Isn't there a point when a deal is too good to be true and you say to yourself, hmm, I'm making a ton more money than any other safe investment. I wonder if I'm skirting the law?
Now I guess in the Bernie Madoff thing, where he made off with billions of pension funds, he did make it seem kind of legitimate. But the Ponzi set up generally pays off more than just at the tippy-top. The first echelons in the pyramid do quite well, that's why they recruit others.
So are those first adopters actually victims?
On the subject of skirting the law, I had an interesting experience recently. I was at a small teriyaki place. When I placed my order, the woman at the cash register, one of the family that owned the place, saw that I was pulling cash from my pocket to pay. So instead of using the register, she switched to a calculator to figure the amount owed. Then manually opened the drawer of the register and made my change. Which she did wrongly so I had to correct her.
I left the place still feeling short-changed. She had obviously taken advantage of a cash transaction to skirt the taxes she would have owed had the sale been registered in the register. Those taxes we all need to share and pay to fix roads and pay for police and such like. Worse, I still paid the sales tax to her, she just wasn't going to turn around and pay them to the proper place.
Hmm... Looks like a good potential "victim" for a Ponzi scheme.
America, ya gotta love it.

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