I saw this earlier this month and found it interesting. When advocating for tax increases, increased welfare, or socialized medicine, the American left tends to always point toward Europe, and the supposedly higher standard of living, or at the very least, quality of life, found in Europe.
Having traveled to Europe, it is true that their lifestyle is much different, much more pleasure based, and much more relaxed and happy than our lifestyle here in the U.S. Or at least in major U.S. cities.
Looking at the numbers though, it soon becomes clear that this is an unsustainable lifestyle, at least as executed in Europe. Yes, European youth have more free time to explore themselves and the world around them. Partly because they have a 25% unemployment rate.
While this may seem okay, when the economy takes a dip, where do the funds to support the unemployed youth, vacationing workers, and retired pensioners of Europe come from? And what is the incentive to be a part of the other 3/4 of the European under 25 crowd, that is, the part of the crowd that works?
The riots in Greece and the bailout talks in the E.U. show the dangers of building a system on public aid and welfare. The numbers show just how much of a facade the image of backpacking European youth and happy public employees is.