The difference between the motivation in U.S. and European efforts to downsize budgets is vast.
In America, we (at least a majority of us) believe that reducing the size and scope of government is the way to prosperity-we want to downsize government in the hope for a better future.
This is not the case in Europe. A majority of Western Europeans have given up hope for a better future. They've come to grips with the fact that they have to live in tiny apartments, drive tiny cars or take the train/bus, pay a lot for petrol, and generally do with less. This is because they see government as the way to prosperity, but they now see that government is going broke and can't afford to give it to them. So they cut their budgets, resigned to austerity.
But they aren't alone. In New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and city planners are pushing the European-style austerity. They see micro apartments, about 300 square feet, as " the answer to … a nation that's becoming increasingly populous and increasingly urbanized."
There appears to be no recognition of the fact that people could afford bigger apartments if NYC eliminated rent control laws and zoning restrictions, and cut taxes to boot.
Welcome to the future, European-style, New York. May it never come to Texas."