O Intermitente<br> (So long, farewell, auf weidersehen, good-bye)

O Intermitente
(So long, farewell, auf weidersehen, good-bye)

quinta-feira, outubro 28, 2004

A Reforma das Reformas

Um artigo da Tech Central Station argumenta que a Europa necessita seguir o modelo chileno, de privatização da Pensões de Reforma, a evitar a crise que se avizinha.

"Old Europe" is old in more ways than just its ideology. According to UN projections, in 2050 34 percent of Italians are going to be over 65. Spain, France and Germany face similar aging scenarios.

But if an aging society is not bad per se -- how living a longer life could be bad? -- the problem is that the Bismarckian welfare state is unfit to sustain such a development. In particular, Europe's pension systems were designed at a time when life expectancy was much lower, and the state could easily take over in the field of personal savings. The problem is that now both demography and economics conspire against the welfare state.


In the modern Bismarckian system, a pension is something you get, after you retire, as a substitute for regular income. In a country like Italy, roughly 40 percent of a worker's income is taken by the state and used to finance the pensions of the actual retired people. Young people are in a sense expropriated of their own money -- with the promise, or the hope, that as they get older, their sons and daughters will pay for them. The process is inherently unsustainable, and even harder to defend on moral ground. In fact, the system causes government spending to grow and grow, thus taxes have to be increased in order to maintain the system effective.


In Chile, after Piñera's reform, a worker's money is spent in a Personal Savings Account, which may be controlled directly by the worker himself. He may decide when to retire, and his pension will depend upon how much he paid during his working life. If a worker finds the amount of the pension suitable, she just has to stop working; otherwise, she may work until a reasonable amount is reached. The pension revolution resulted in a spectacular change in the country's savings rate, which rose from less then 10 percent in 1986 to almost 29 percent in 1996. Workers' PSAs, on average, have given a 12 percent interest rate every year, and pensions amount to about 80 percent of the average stipend.

The key has been the ability to change people's minds towards private management of their money. Without popular consensus, it would have been impossible to convince them to join the new system. Today, about 95 percent of Chileans have chosen the new private system over the old one. They feel more comfortable and safer, knowing that whenever they want, they may "see" their money, invest it in a different way, make their own decisions (and even change their mind) with respect to how to manage the second half of their life.

posted by Miguel Noronha 12:52 da tarde

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"A society that does not recognize that each individual has values of his own which he is entitled to follow can have no respect for the dignity of the individual and cannot really know freedom."

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