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Chalmers' challenge: why the treasurer's words on the economy carry so much weight

By Mark Kenny, Professor, Australian Studies Institute, Australian National University
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When Bill Clinton’s campaign manager, James Carville, scrawled, “the economy, stupid” on a sign in 1992, he merely wanted the campaign volunteers to stick to their presidential candidate’s talking points.

After Clinton became president, Carville’s axiom – by then lengthened to “it’s the economy, stupid” – seemed pitch-perfect for the pro-market zeitgeist taking hold in most Western democracies.

Policy initiatives were increasingly dashed against this irreducible metric. The economy was emerging as an end in itself – as if separate from the people and reified as the foundation…The Conversation

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