In Europe it is handouts to help pay our energy bills – even for people who could easily afford to pay them. In the US, it is student debts being written off. With remarkable speed the West is emerging into a new age of big – no, make that huge – paternalistic government. Today, Joe Biden announced that graduates who earn less than $125,000 a year, and who live in a household whose joint income is less than $250,000, will have $20,000 worth of student debt written off. For those who work in the non-profit sector, the military, or federal or local government, the write-off will be 100 per cent.