The worst invention in the Western Civilization's recent history was a result of Americans' attempt to reduce fatalities from road accidents. They introduced the inflatable airbag into the cars. Now the passengers drive, having a sense of safety.
If I were trying to reduce the accidents, I would put a sharp knife in the middle of the steering wheel. And that would reduce the accidents, because, by G-d, people would be driving carefully now.
-- Hugh Hendry, British hedge funds manager (and a famous critic of the government's attempts to manage the economy)
The point of the above quote is that by creating agencies that manage our safety for us, without our choice, the government makes us less safe. First, the agencies like FDA are extremely inefficient and in general bad at what they're trying to do, as a result of being monopolies. But more severely, they prevent us from caring for our own lives and safety.
As a result, you have attempts at logical arguments that state that without FDA, unsafe drugs and food would fill the markets, because the people wouldn't have anyone watching out for them (while the businesses would of course care more about selling the drugs and not about the safety of their customers). The people who make them cannot imagine that someone might want to care for his own safety, relying (if necessary) on private inspection agencies whose reputation he would keep an eye on.
And I think, in the end, that is the worst result of socialism: it changes the culture. It creates a nation of slaves, of people who are similar to a 30-year-old who lives with his parents and is unable to make a decision himself about his life. (As I have written before, studies show that children who were given some small allowances and allowed to manage their purchases themselves grew up to be more responsible adults.)
This is the worst result of American and European governments' policies. We see this culture of dependent junkies in Greece today. When their government attempts to cut down on spending, they come out to streets and protest, since they are not getting the free pie.
The same thing happened in the Roman Empire: in an attempt to please the public and win popularity, the government created welfare programs, feeding and entertaining the masses for free (the source of the 'bread and circuses' expression). Unfortunately, this could not be sustained forever. In an attempt to pay for the ever-increasing demands of the public, Roman government debased the currency, creating massive economic crisis that spanned the centuries and was one of the reasons for the downfall of the Empire.
In my opinion, unless drastic change of course is undertaken (by the people themselves -- for the government will never change itself for the better), both American and European societies are headed the same way. They will destroy themselves from the inside, degenerating socially, economically, and culturally.
* source of image