I will refrain from calling it Euro socialism, its...not right, and sounds like a terminal illness
Now, one with what I was going to say...
European society has often been credited with being good to their people, with social programs, and general benefits for their citizens.
Kelzie, is one person who overwhelmingly sticks out in my mind about supporters of this system.
I think she makes a decent point, maybe we should all by force or otherwise, care a little bit about for our fellow man. This is an odd move by someone like me, as I generally despise most government and even more so, taxation, but for once, I'm going to go out on a limb and say if they found a find line between economically crippling their economys (lets face it, they stagnated, reform is coming through eventually) with all these social programs and not..well, it might be for the better...
Anyone else want to go out on limbs here?
Careful, you're mixing ideas in such a dangerous way, you won't get that limb back.
Social Programs and Social Welfare, though indicitive of a sick society, are not really socialism. Socialism and the western "Middle way" deal with control of resources, production and distribution, not transfer payments. Resource control boards, regulatory enforcement and planning agencies, market controls such as : price controls, quotas, tariffs and subsidy, etc. are the Hallmarks of the misnomered "socialism." Socialism is about control of the economy, again, particulary concerning the resources, production and allocation of goods or services.
Social Welfare CAN be socialist, if used in a way to manipulate particulare resource or product distributions. Something like WIC is closer to socialism, than Welfare "checks." (As WIC promotes distribution of certain resources, such as Milk, Cereal, Eggs and Cheeses. Where as, transfer payments only promote "Goods in General," and even then, not necessarily goods the state would choose; such as foriegn produced goods, etc.)
Socialism is about control over resources, production and distribution.
WIC is mostly socialist, but still social welfare
National Healthcare is mostly socialist, and still mostly social welfare (also Medicare/Medicaid).
Transfer payments are lightly socialist, but largley social welfare.
Also, THE WAY a social program works, can make it more or less socialist. An income dependant transfer payment would be less socialist. Such a payment that puts limitation on spending or ownership, would be more socialist. In the USA, actual home owners needing income assistace (either used to, or still ) needed to sell their homes before being able to recieve a state check. This obviously would benefit landlords and developers more, and thus was a way to promote either rental housing or whatever development industries, or to create state dependancy.
What defines socialism is how much influence or control the state has over the distribution, allocation, or production of resources, good and services.
Some European (or other) countries may have nationalized industries, socialism. Some countries, like the USA, use the less direct route, resource control boards (the Alphabet soup of regulatory agencies that controls to some degree private industry, FCC, Dept of Agriculture, SEC, etc.), but these countries are actiually significantly socialist.
It's been refered to as "the middle way," a mix of socialism as capitalism. (It irrtates me, when the US has adopted "the middle way" for the last 85 years or so, and people say we should try a mix of socialism and capitalism. DUH, we already are doing it). Keynes became famous because his economic "policies" were excellent for use of statist "middle way" politics. It's one of the reasons governments and government schools so readily latched onto Keynes, was because he promoted a powerful central state, but not an authoritarian one. Of course, the road to authroitarianism is usually done is sucessive steps anyway, Keynes was just one of those steps, and has been surpased by many countries by now.