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Opinion >  Letters

Chile experiment failed

They are at it again; this time in the United States. For 16 years, three conservatives went to Chile to privatize that country; they drastically reduced government spending, privatized government services, dismantled unions, eliminated pensions, created massive deregulation, confiscated private land, sold off government assets and rewrote the constitution and laws.

That resulted in unemployment soaring, wages falling, medical care and education denied the poor and safety nets such as unemployment and welfare eliminated. The middle class disappeared; crime and hunger exploded.

Yet, now Republicans want to duplicate this through their Ryan Plan.

Workers in Chile contributed 13 percent of their wages for retirement and disability. They were promised 70 percent of their wages at retirement but received closer to 20 percent and benefits were no longer for a lifetime. In 1994, more than half of their programs incurred losses. A market downturn in 1998 left officials urging workers to defer retirement indefinitely.

From 1998 to 2010, Chile’s private managers received about $240 billion for management and administrative fees, commissions and profits. They got rich while the people watched their benefits evaporate. Don’t let Trump and Ryan do that to the American people.

Tell Cathy McMorris Rodgers to vote no.

Joanna McPherson


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