According to the free market' ideology, the route to prosperity is to have low taxes and weak social systems. The argument which is used by the conservatives is to say that if individuals are given more protection, this would undermine the economy, just as Europe named as the symbol of inefficiency and waste. Progressive economists like Krugman are in fact very critical on these views.
We should be aware not to throw the European model just because it is expensive. Actually, it is a safety net against economic insecurity, especially in times of crisis. Europe's economy needs a boost, but not at the expense of our social model, defined by J.Delors by three words 'competition, cooperation, solidarity'. The world has a lot to learn from the European experience, from its merits as well as its mistakes.