IF A senior IMF official is convinced that this country’s core problem is that too many people are excluded from the economy, why do decision makers still show so little interest in fixing poverty and inequality?IMF deputy MD David Lipton’s speech on SA’s economic challenges last week deserved the media attention it received. But much of the reportage seemed to miss what was new and interesting in what he had to say, concentrating instead on those parts of his speech that repeated the story we hear daily in much of the debate.Lipton did, as most reports noted, repeat refrains that are often heard in commentary here and in IMF documents — they place most blame for missed economic growth on government and labour. Like many politicians and economists, he blamed law and government policy, crime and corruption, governance of state-owned enterprises and wage bargaining for blocking growth.But that is not all he said.First, his central message was that excluding "one-third of the working p...

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