We'd better do something. Just ask the Europeans.

Europeans have benefited from low military spending, protected by NATO and the American nuclear umbrella.

They have also translated higher taxes into a cradle-to-grave safety net.“The Europe that protects” is a slogan of the European Union.

But Europe can no longer afford its comfortable lifestyle, at least not without a period of austerity and significant changes. The countries are trying to reassure investors by cutting salaries, raising legal retirement ages, increasing work hours and reducing health benefits and pensions.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/23/world/europ...