A friend on Facebook posted this, and when I started to respond I realized it called for a longer analysis.
Why Europeans Think We're Insane | Economy | AlterNet
This is naïve and deserves a more detailed response. Yes, as an American resident in Spain, I know full well: European social benefits are vastly greater than those in the US. But that could not have happened (it's all since WWII) without the US: Marshall Plan, US defense spending & much else. The story is well told in Tony Judt's Postwar. And because of "the Crisis" (which showed how dependent European prosperity has been on US prosperity—it all started with US financial giants finagling their books and US banks overextending credit) the European advantage may not survive the big benefits cutbacks in the UK and elsewhere. Or will almost certainly diminish.
I'll have more to say about Judt's book on modern Europe soon. I'm about half-way through it, reading slowly and carefully (it's a big book) because what he says (whether I always agree with him or not) is so important for understanding where we are now