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It’s more than five years since the financial crisis broke over the “rich” countries of the world, shattering their record of growth and the confidence of voters and politicians. The mood now is different, with recovery underway on both sides of the Atlantic. A year ago (Prospect, January 2013) we set out “10 reasons for hope”; many of those have gained a lot of ground in just 12 months.

That new outlook, however, has opened up new problems to resolve. In Britain, Labour has seized hold of the political conversation with its assertion that wages have become decoupled from growth,…

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