Higher standard of living? Based on self-reported satisfaction. Most of these Countries do not offer, nor do citizens expect, any economic mobility. In truth, often our "poor" enjoy a better life than the upper-middle class in other Countries when actual realized incomes are accurately compared.The socialist countries? You mean the ones with a higher standard of living, union, medical care ranked above the US in all respects, high middle class wages, retirement pensions, vacation benefits, strong currency, members of NATO, and getting ready to expell muslims that refuse to conform to in place cultural norms? Are those the socialists you refer to?
"union"? Whatever that is. I assume you mean Unionization. But there is little comparison. European unions are called Guilds and exist to protect their employers and their own skill levels as much as anything. Where their "unions" exist, as in the US, to indemnify member incompetence, the Countries are failing.
medical care ranked above the US in all respects? Except that they rely on US medical innovation, US drugs, & US developed procedures. Atop that, they often "jigger" their reporting. Child deaths, up to two years of age, call for rewriting vital stats as "stillbirths". Unrequested "assisted suicides" are listed as "natural death". Industrial accidents do not occur where industry does not exist. Again, it's based on self-reporting and not consistent standards.
"high middle class wages"? Only go so far when individual rates are up to 55% and the VAT (sales tax) is 24%. At that point, self sufficiency and freedom from governmental subsidy and dependence is a given.
retirement pensions? Are breaking their economies. Greece - broken. The UK - broke. Spain - broke. And the rest are close behind.
"vacation benefits"? See "retirement benefits".
"strong currency"? That is a JOKE!!!!
"members of NATO"? Funded by the US, manned by the US, armed by the US, and incapable of defending themselves against a determined Girl Scout Troop.
"getting ready to expell muslims that refuse to conform to in place cultural norms"? Only because they've seen what the muslim riots in France, Greece, the UK, and Turkey have done. They've known for 70 years what appeasement is, and what granting nearly unrestricted immigration is for 30 years. And yet, they've attempted to use muslim immigration to replenish the diminished native workforce with an immigrant population. And that immigrant population has refused to assimilate and work. Has, in fact, added stress to an already overburdened system.