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Our Best Economics Stories of 2018

The most important reads from our coverage of unions, driverless tech, urban gentrification, and more.
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In 1992, James Carville, then employed as the campaign manager during Bill Clinton's presidential run, offered to his colleagues a three-word maxim that instantly entered the realm of political lore: "The economy, stupid!" In its original incantation, the phrase acted as a reminder that the United States economy was, at that point, deep in a recession; Clinton and his ilk would be wise, Carville was saying, to remind voters of that fact.

Flash forward to the 2018 mid-terms and Carville's words proved, once again, to point to an underlying principal of politics: National poll after national poll still shows Americans are worried about the economy. Little surprise, then, that so many electoral battles focused in large part on the economy.

Of course, there are many variables that go into judging an economy, and developing a more nuanced understanding requires a comprehension of a wide swath of issues, from health-care exchanges to tax incentives to automation. Rather than parsing all that information yourself, read our best economics coverage of 2018, a list that includes stories on the benefits oil and gas interests reap from President Donald Trump's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the decline of the songwriters' union in the U.S., and the tax-exempt status of the real-world Jedi religion (seriously).