Today, 30% of Chile's income is because of the state owned Codelco. Chile's copper was nationalized by Allende.
Chile's current economic state is partially supported by the surge in copper price in 2005 http://www.infomine.com/invest... (at the same time, Venezuela is being hit by a record low oil price, not that that excepts all of Venezuela's mistakes)
If Allende had not nationalized the copper, Chile would need to increase taxes by 50% to maintain current budget. That wouldn't come easily to the economy.
Statistics aside, Chile is no wonder. It's very hard to people with dependents (both older people and kids). In my personal experience, based on how I've worked with chileans in IT, they are below Argentina and Brazil (in my anecdotal evidence, *way* below).
Chile's last right wing president ended his term with the lowest level of public support since the return of democracy, and resulted in a comeback of the very moderate left.
Also, you probably would find it interesting to read about the portuguese Carnation Revolution http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C....