Farewell to Welfare

As Americans just begin to debate universal health care, long jobless rolls and empty coffers are forcing Europeans to question the welfare state

You've fallen for Sally, but Linda's name is tattooed on your forearm. No problem if you live in Britain, where the overburdened National Health Service will obligingly pay to remove it -- cost $53 -- as often as your shifting affections require. You want to take that package holiday to Mallorca, but you haven't got the cash. In Germany most unionized and salaried workers are given extra "vacation money," usually half their regular monthly pay. Such is the solicitous treatment Europeans have come to expect. But not for much longer.

In a country just beginning to debate universal health care, Americans...

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