Europeans Follow American Lead on Welfare Reform

The Economist has an article illustrating how policy success breeds envy and eventually trumps ideology.  Seeing how welfare reform in the U.S. has cut welfare rolls in half while poverty has fallen, European nations have started to implement reforms modeled on the U.S.  According to the Economist

Welfare reform was once regarded as a harsh, right-wing, America-only idea. But an unexpected lesson of the past ten years is that it enjoys much wider political appeal. Within America, its success has silenced the former fierce opposition of left-wing Democrats, which Mr Clinton had overruled. For the Labour government in Britain and for social democrats in Europe, reform offers a way to reintegrate people who would otherwise live in a welfare apartheid.

Perhaps another lesson to be learned is the success of federalism in producing better policy, whether in Europe or the U.S. as Michael New of Cato points out in an article describing the impact of welfare policies at the state level.