Category: Healthcare

The Chilean Miracle

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Herman Cain is fucking crackpot. Well thats at least how he had been marketing himself for some time. From his online TV channel, CainTV, which seemed like if the Adult Swim creators suddenly became deep in Austrian economics to his appearances on the Colbert Report, it seems that Cain had been cashing in on his fame when it lasted. Even when he was running for president he had his share fair of cooky moments. His 9-9-9 tax plan caught the attention of the media as Cain’s solution to our mess of a tax code was literally nothing more than a magic bullet. And who can forget Cain quoting Poke’mon during one of the debates. Yet there was one more crackpot thing that Cain tried to suggest that the less political savvy didn’t realize. During one of the debates Herman Cain proposed his plan for social security. The Chilean model. Herman Cain cited that this is a model that quite simply works. But as you can assume that much like everything else from Herman Cain its just a load of crap.

Chile’s pension system differs from the United States and other first world nations in which that pensions aren’t financed through a system where workers, employers and the government all contribute to the pension, but instead where workers are forced to pay 10 percent of their salaries to private investment accounts. There are some positives to this model. The most notable is that social security costs significantly less than it does in other nations. About one third less than the United States and half of Australia. In a nation obsessed with debt it seems like an obvious path to take. There is just one problem, when Cain said this nearly half of the Chilean population wasn’t covered by Chile’s system… Its pretty easy to have half the amount spent on social security compared to the beacon light of the traditional model when you only cover half the amount of people. Nor does this go into the detail that in the United States the social security system it uses the people pay nearly fifty percent less into it than Chile’s system. And it doesn’t go into the fact that the minimum amount of social security given in Chile’s system, which isn’t always given, is hysterical. Now I’m not trying to say that the American form of social security is perfect, far from it. And I am ignoring the fact that Chile has recently revised its social security, like it has many times before, to try and cover more people. I just find it odd that such a system is held up as the pinnacle of social security. Even prior to the reforms many on the right, including the then president George W. Bush, stated that the Chilean model is what the nation should strive for social security to be. Continue reading