European socialism isn't some 7 headed uniform beast as you make it out to be.
What you see as the result of socialism namely poor economic growth in comparison with the rest of the industrialized world is actually more the result of reluctance of the ruling political classes in many European countries to step down from a state run economy (the aviation business being an excellent example with SABENA, ALITALIA and many more others) to a fully privatised economy.
Just look at how much money is still flowing towards black-hole money pits like the railroads, postal company's and so on.
We also lack growth in comparison with the US because we don't finance growth with excessive loans and budgetary suicide to maintain economic growth or current level of spending.
What does work better in the US is the way they fund research projects and how they have set up their funding for university's high schools and the likes.
Also they seem to be more open for the import of foreign brain power into their educational system.
All this leads to the US having cutting edge technology and usually being a market pioneer in many fields
Comparing our growth with the likes of INDIA or CHINA is just ridiculous as they are still underdeveloped countries (economy wise that is),besides having a 10 or 12% growth while your per capita GDP is about 3500$ is not as difficult as having a 3% growth when per capita GDP is at a 10 fold.
The good thing about "our" socialism as you call it is to achieve political and social stability by trying to look out for the weaker and less fortunate in society.
You know, this is a big plus for foreign investments, the more stable a country is the better it will run in the long run.
I was in the US to work for about 20 months (mainly Chicago & the east coast area) and I was always surprised at how big the differences where between rich and poor,
For instance over here you won't see anyone at the end of the cashier packing your bags while being 60+ years old.
In my eyes that is just a cheap slogan, as if the rest of the world or the progressives in contrary to your conservatives don't emphasize on initiative and self reliance.
I was also under the impression that you conservatives, dare I say Republicans
where all for less government (you know part of being self reliant) and look at what has happened in that regard the last couple of years in that field in the US and UK.
I can never get rid of that uneasy feeling I get when I hear people (mostly the richer , better well off ones) speaking about being more self reliant, It usually is nothing more than an egocentric explanation for not having to pay for contributions for the unfortunate ones.
It's like hearing the likes of PARIS HILTON saying "everybody can make it in this world if you want it hard enough", funny thing is that they usually start believing it themselves.