Social Security Reform Gets Pinochet’d

Herman Cain proposed privatizing U.S. Social Security and cited Chile’s success. But like cuckoos popping out of clocks, the media smeared Chile as a “dictatorship.”

Cain, speaking Monday at CNN’s Republican presidential candidates’ debate in New Hampshire, boldly laid out the one solution known to work in resolving much of America’s $100 trillion in unfunded mandates by saying:

“I support a personal retirement system option in order to phase (out) the current system. We know that this works. It worked in the small country of Chile when they did it 30 years ago. I believe we can do the same thing.”

That system, initiated in 1981 by Chile’s Labor Secretary Jose Pinera, a U.S.-trained economist, formed the backbone of what’s known as Chile’s Economic Miracle. The privatization has provided Chile’s workers with an average 9.23% compound rate of return on their retirement contributions over 30 years compared with the 1% or less that U.S. workers can expect before the U.S. system goes bust in 2038.

Instead of challenging the proposal on its merits, the media were quick to leap on the only thing that excites them: The system, approved by Chile’s legislature and freely chosen by 97% of its workers over a state system, came about under the military government of Gen. Augusto Pinochet.