Jose Pinera moves fast. Scanning the immaculate table in a private room at the new Waldorf Astoria he describes his enthusiasm for visiting Israel. Although it is not his first time here, “I have come before as a friend, pilgrim and a tourist ... but never to discuss economic ideas.” He is here to spread a message about the empowerment of workers through pension reform – and to speak at a student economic seminar organized by the Friedberg Economics Institute in partnership with the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies.

A Harvard PhD, Pinera was Chile’s labor and pensions minister from 1978 to 1980. In the last decades he has become a prophet of pension reform. “Africa is in the future,” he says, describing experiences in South Africa. He also describes pension reforms enacted in Hong Kong infecting the rest of China, like a freedom virus.

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