"Here, however, it's useful to put European expectations of what constitutes austerity into perspective. Does France's raising of the official retirement age from 60 to 62 really constitute "hardship"? Does Greece's effort to reduce its public sector payroll expenses from a 2009 high of 55 percent of state revenues to something close to the 40 percent figure recorded in 2000 represent "privation"? Does the British government's 2010 plan to return public spending to 2006 levels of a mere 41 percent of GDP suggest that David Cameron is "gutting" the welfare state? Please."