Think the American social safety net is stingy and full of holes compared to Europe's? Think again. University of Arizona economist Price Fishback has a new paper out from the National Bureau of Economic Research headlined, "Social Welfare Expenditures in the United States and the Nordic Countries, 1900-2003." From the abstract: "The common view that America spends much less on social welfare than the Nordic countries does not survive closer inspection....Per capita net public social expenditures in the U.S. rank behind only Sweden. Add in the private spending, and per capita spending in the U.S. is higher than in all of the Nordic countries."