Sorry boys and girls, this is not a debatable issue. It is easy to identify the countries in Europe that have the most generous welfare states. They would be the Nordic countries like Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland. Also high on the list would be the Netherlands, Germany, France and Austria. No one has Greece, Spain, Italy, or even Ireland on the list of countries with the most generous welfare states.
This means that conservatives would be mistaken if they blame the euro crisis on overly generous welfare state. Unfortunately the NYT did not point this fact out to reader in an article about Governor Romney's summer travels.
At one point the article said:
"That Europe [the one with an extensive welfare state], which some conservatives label the “old Europe,” is symbolized by the troubles of the euro zone, where heavy regulation and a vast social welfare network, they maintain, has led to an intractable economic crisis."
Since most readers probably would not know that debt crisis has been confined to the countries with the least generous welfare states, it would have been useful if the NYT had called readers attention to this fact.