I'm referring to mostly western or nordic European nations, not the old bloc countries that still are recovering from communism.
Developed socialist market economies in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, France, The Netherlands, etc more so than what you see in, say, Romania. Although, I hope the people on here are educated enough to understand that socialism and markets can work together and understand how an economy like Norway operates, because it certainly isn't communism and most Americans can't even seem to understand the difference between liberalism, socialism, or communism. A lot of us here are the exception to the rule in America, many of us are educated enough to have these conversations and understand easily these simple concepts. Or rather, shall we say what should be simple concepts.
Mind you, I don't idealize Europe. I love highrise condo living, and Europe doesn't have enough of it. IMO wealth is great when you build cities with masses of condo towers and live a life above and beyond the old single family home concept. Europe certainly isn't the place for me to live, so even there I wouldn't call it "perfection" for me. Canada is far closer to the perfect society for me than Europe. Although looking at photos of Moscow somewhat puts me in awe.
But on economics? Are you kidding me?? Average of having 4-5-6 weeks of vacation? Health care? Job security? While Spain is having a rough go at it, other nations certainly aren't. What this proves is that the simple concept of having 35 hour work weeks or high wages and copious amounts of vacation time aren't what cause bubbles to burst. Nothing is perfect, perfect doesn't exist, but to be able to live with such benefits is above and beyond the American way of life.
The average right winger in America makes a keep it simple, stupid argument. They say that having universal health care is a government bureaucratic takeover. They say that these programs are what cause a nation to faulter, and what cause an economy collapse. They rewind and repeat the same, stupid, keep it simple arguments over and over until it becomes a meme that has sway in the US.
The truth is that during the economic crisis of 2008 and the Great Recession that hit the world, these programs aren't what cause the economic malaise. The next time a right winger makes the case on these stupid arguments, we have to remind them that Canada's banking system was largely untouched because it was well regulated. From 2008-2012, Canada still has universal health care much like a lot of European programs, yet it came out fine. Well, so does Spain, who didn't fare so well in the Great Recession.
So the cause-effect scenario that the Tea Party likes to put forth is utter bullshit. The right wing is hellbent on proving something based on programs and policies that have no effect on the bubble bursting. Spain had problems with real estate and bad investments, and they are using Austerity to remedy the situation. The result? 25% unemployment. The right wing response to this?? Oh, its because Spain has lavish vacation time, worker rights, vacation time, and spends on universal health care. That's the cause of every problem in the right wing world, from Paul Ryan's budget in the states to Cameron's austerity budget in the UK. Different shores, same bullshit. Only the US has been lucky not to be subject to austerity.
Anyway, wealth is measured in many ways, and we always have to be cogniziant that right wingers will always make the same bullshit, stupid arguments and try to destroy public programs on the basis that they destroy the economy.