The Heritage Foundation has put out an impressive looking chart showing that in 1960 the average person received $6.39 for each dollar they had to pay in Social Security taxes but that by 2013 the average person was receiving only 92 cents for each dollar of taxes and that by 2030 this will be down to only 84 cents. Wow! QED! Social Security is a bad deal!
However, if you look at the study that the chart is based on, you notice that it's for "hypothetical workers with specific work histories and longevity characteristics." If you look further, you notice that those hypothetical workers don't become disabled nor do they die early leaving survivors who receive benefits, nor, in fact, do they have spouses who receive benefits on their account either before or after their death. In other words, the study is misleading since it excludes dependent benefits, survivor benefits and disability benefits.