From Mr Enrique Sacau.

Sir, In his splendid article “A tough nut to crack” (Is America working? Analysis, December 12), Edward Luce effectively traces the first-of-all slow and currently very fast decline of median incomes in the US. He makes a very specific point about the middle classes losing their comfortably paid jobs to see them replaced (if at all) by less lucrative activities. I am missing this clarity in European and American political discourses coming from both the centre left and the centre right.

The former seem to be in denial, still promising a world that no longer exists since the credit that allowed it has all but dried up. The latter want the population to live within their means and propose cuts after cuts without really explaining to westerners that what actually lies ahead is more work for less money and with ever fewer safety nets. The sooner they explain this, the better we can all make decisions about our lives and finances, instead of continuing the futile wait for the “crisis” to be over. Some from the left can explain it with a certain nostalgia for a welfare state that (let’s be honest) was spiffing while it lasted, and some from the right with relish. But all should say that it’s not a crisis and that the old times won’t come back any time soon. Please tell those who still don’t know.

Enrique Sacau, London N7, UK

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