In Europe, reforms are in vogue. Though many special interests are fiercely resisting change, it is striking to see just how many European Social-Democrats have come to recognize the need for structural reforms to welfare states.
Witness Gerhard Schroeder, the former center-left Chancellor of Germany: in 2003, he called for a "change of mentality" in his own party, the SPD, as well as in German society as a whole. "Much will have to be changed to keep our welfare and social security at least at its current level," he added, as he argued in favor of reforms that would trim entitlements, and cut taxes. The Chairman of the SPD, Franz Müntefering, supported Schroeder by saying that "we believe that things must be rearranged and restarted in Germany in this decade." Not long thereafter, Schroeder took the lead in making German labor laws more flexible. Read More.