I have nothing against Italy. In fact, I have a lot of family there, and it's got great people and culture. But they believed in centralized government, and the wisdom of the masses, and the state over the individual: and the results was a slow decay in malaise, that the individuals all admit is stifling, but none will question their prime assumptions enough to fix. The wise give up and leave, or at least stop trying -- and the rest are resigned to complain and climb to the bottom and be the biggest victims. And that's Progressive Democratic Socialism in a nutshell.
Italy : 2 items
Italian Malaise - The sun in the south, the mountains in the north and stunningly beautiful cities in between: Life in Italy, one might think, is just short of paradise. But residents of the country are deeply unhappy. With 46% of Italians claiming to be unhappy despite having greater private wealth, a longer life expectancy and better weather than people in most other European countries. Why? Because they trusted government over individuals. They have elite know-it-all know-nothings in the North and cities with deep contempt for the south and rural. Sound familiar?
Gini Coefficient - Corrado Gini (and Italian Sociologist) wrote the book: The Scientific Basic of Fascism. His idea was that you could make systems stronger than the individuals, if you just weeded out the threats to the collective and accepted fascism (democratic socialism combined with crony capitalism). His book, and the infamous “Gini Coefficient” he created, said that income should be evenly distributed, and if it wasn’t, then government should use that imbalance as an excuse to seize wealth and liberty, and redistribute it (fascism) to make things “more fair”. His coefficient is basically just that: a measure of how economically fascists (socialist) your country is.
The U.S. was created so that we the people could separate from a monarchy, self govern as a lot of local (State) democracies, with the minimum overarching federalism as possible. The EU was created to turn a bunch of separate little democracracies with autonomy into one unresponsive Brussels (or Berlin) run monarchy. It's not just that's the wrong idea... it's that they THINK they're doing what we did, when they're doing the exact opposite. We were created on individualism and limiting government power, and they are created on collectivism, centralization and maximize it.