By Monica Showalter
Investor's Business Daily
April 30, 2011
May Day — socialists' paean to class warfare — evokes memories of Soviet tanks in Red Square and leftist radicals rioting. But Chile celebrates the actual empowerment of workers.
May 1 marks the 30 years since Chile became the first nation to privatize its social security system. By turning workers into investors, the move solved an entitlement crisis much like the one America faces today.
"I like symbols, so I chose May Day as the birth date of Chile's 'ownership society' that allowed every worker to become a small capitalist," wrote Jose Pinera, former secretary of labor and social security and the architect of this pension revolution. He is now a senior fellow at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C.
What he designed has succeeded beyond all expectations. Yet Congress remains reluctant to adopt anything like it, despite efforts by Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush to partially privatize an American system.