The Times, unwilling to buy Bush's idealization of Chile, has run a stake through the heart of that comparison. The article on the failings of Chile's privatization system is excellent all around, but this is the money quote:
"It is evident the system requires reform," the minister of labor and social security, Ricardo Scolari, said in an interview here. Chile's current approach based on private pension funds has "important strengths," he said, but "it is absolutely impossible to think that a system of this nature is going to resolve the income needs of Chileans when they reach old age."
Privatization has its strengths, but it's not a system that can resolve the income needs of our seniors when they reach old age. For the better part of a century, Social Security has. Bush can shout his "reforms" from building tops nationwide, but that doesn't change the simple fact that he wants to transform an income that guarantees dignity for seniors into a supplementary check that'll send them back to work. That's the choice.