Letters to the Editor - 23/04 - Labour's spending, The West's decline, Best of Twitter

Labour’s spending

[Re: The cost of living crisis isn’t over – but Ed Miliband still won’t solve it, yesterday]

It is difficult to see how Labour intends to deal with high childcare costs, while also promising to raise the national minimum wage or introduce a (much higher) living wage. Unless the intention is just to subsidise childcare through higher taxation, of course.

Name withheld

Labour’s plan to freeze energy bills is a surefire way to hold back investment in the industry and bring even higher energy prices in the long term.

Laura Davison

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The West’s decline

[Re: It’s time to read the writing on the wall: Why the West no longer exists, yesterday]

John Hulsman is right – the West’s slow decline on the world stage may be the defining trend of this century. But an interesting theme he doesn’t draw out is what happens when countries like China stop seeing Western government debt as the automatic choice to invest their booming surpluses in. Geopolitics is one thing, but developing world surpluses have funded Western budget and current account deficits for years. The West (particularly the US) should plan for a world of far higher borrowing costs when this shift occurs.

Matt Michaels

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BEST OF TWITTER

JP Morgan’s Global FX Volatility Indicator just hit the lowest level since July 2007.
@World_First

Japan is downgrading its economic assessment and boosting its inflation outlook. So, stagflation?
@zerohedge

It’s one month until the European elections in Britain. Ukip normally enjoys late surges (2009, 2004).
@minefornothing

Venezuela Annual Implied Inflation Update: 179 per cent, as of 21 April 2014.
@steve_hanke