Greece, Spain, and Italy have among the least developed welfare states in Europe. If someone wants to make an argument that there is some inherent problem with the welfare state model then we should look for crises in Sweden, Denmark and Germany, all states with far more generous welfare states than these Mediterranean countries. In fact, the welfare states of northern Europe are doing relatively well through the crisis, it is difficult to understand how anyone can look at the pattern of the crisis across Europe and conclude that it implies that the welfare state model has reached its end.
Dean Baker make a really good point that no one on the right will listen to. And most certainly not Mr. Brooks. But this is the kicker:
If the U.S. paid the same amount per person for health care as Denmark, Germany, or Sweden we would be looking at massive budget surpluses.
If you just look at the numbers, a better welfare state model would put us in a much better economic situation. Not that anyone on the right would consider such a thing.