CHILE: Pensions for Everybody

When Chile's Parliament passed historic Law 4054 in 1924, social security was introduced to the Western Hemisphere (the first U.S. federal law was passed in 1935). Since then, Chile has fleshed out the sys! tern to the point where every money earner is entitled, bylaw, to cradle-to-grave insurance against childbirth costs, doctor bills, hospital bills, disability losses and funeral expenses. Manual laborers, furthermore, get old-age pensions up to full working pay.

A disastrous inflation has made many pensions tragic jokes; some workers have accepted lump-sum payoffs of only $35. Nevertheless, Chileans are...

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