The United States´ problems are not pimarily due to increased global competition, the deregulationary policies they have implemented since the 1980´s have caused a lot of severe internal problems for the US. You need to look up the primary reasons of the recession in the US ( housing bubble, financial derivatives etc). Nothing to do with increased global competition, even if China is a big issue for them nowadays as well.
As for Europe, it has no "heavy, socialist policy", it still consists of independent countries. The issues that got Greece into the whole mess are not "trying to be on the same level as Germany", it´s way deeper than that. Those are also the reasons Greece should never have been accepted to EU, but now that they have, it´s a mess that involves the whole Europe.
Yes, yes, I agree, I wasn't going in deep, but just giving an overview of how I see it. I think is a fair assessment to say that the US anti-regulation policies of the right, which in big part caused the housing bubble, add to that the costly decade long conflicts, the US found the mess they are in.
The US mostly liked to see itself as to the right economically, when they were so ahead of the curve, in a bubble it worked for decades, in more globalized world, the trickle down economics becomes a much harder approach. For example, an Auto worked used to live high in the US in the 70ties, noways with factories everywhere it becomes a whole other matter. That's where socialization comes in, you can't depend on companies alone to socialize society anymore.
Europe is not a heavy socialized Continent? Compared to the rest of the world even the US, Europe is quite socialized. Which country in Europe doesn't have free healthcare, lots of assistance in Education, great social safety nets, retirement pensions, high taxes rates generally etc.
I am more left leaning specially economically as one can tell and I think most of Europe is a great inspiration of social and economic policies, much more so than the US, which I think economically it is too wild and free for all type of capitalism, which is causing great inequalities and an actual welfare to the corporation rather than to the people which Europe does, but the EURO currency creates imbalances when countries like Greece and Germany bunched up together.
It is a question of finding a balance, but in no way I would advocate becoming like the US, as I said the US will actually need to become more socialized if they plan on keeping a high HDI, poverty and inequality there are rising sharply over the last 10 years or so.
Having to inject some politics into this, Obama is helping to put the US in the right direction. Now, if in comes another right wing nut job over there, probably say hello another long and costly war with Iran, more tax cuts and deregulation and you will have the US sink even further. I hope it doesn't happen though, nobdy wins really with a sinking US.