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England Rejecting European Socialism

Written By: James A. Bacon  |  Posted: Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

American liberals are big fans of the European welfare state. They point to European models of national health care, rich pensions and generous unemployment benefits as worthy of emulation in the United States. Europeans may not make as much money as Americans, the liberals say, but they have created a more humane way of life.

What you don't hear from the American left these days is much acknowledgment that the Europeans are backpedaling as fast as they can. There is a reason that transportation and oil-refinery unions have been striking in France and government workers are rioting again in Greece. When Greece nearly defaulted on its national debt last year, governments got a glimpse of what would happen when the money ran out, and they began enacting some of the toughest austerity measures of the post-World War II era.

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