Opinionomics | 26 May 2012

Must-read comment analysis. Featuring fiscal expansion and free banking contraction.

1. Why the political left should adopt the 'flat tax' (Independent)

Mary Dejevsky argues that Ed Miliband should support a flat tax, but neglects to mention the massive spending cuts that such a move would entail.

2. Fiscal policy can’t cure all Britain’s ills (Financial Times)

Chris Giles argues against the recent calls for expansionary fiscal policy...

3. Chris Giles: evidence based analysis, but not so the conclusions (Not the Treasury View)

...and Jonathan Portes argues against Chris Giles

4. This call to end free banking is an insult (Guardian)

Phillip Inman is not a massive fan of Andrew Bailey.

5. The weak demand for equal opportunity (Stumbling and Mumbling)

Chris Dillow argues that once there is some oppportunity, people don't value any extra very highly.

Infrastructure projects underway. Good project, or a risky waste of money? Photograph: Getty Images

Alex Hern is a technology reporter for the Guardian. He was formerly staff writer at the New Statesman. You should follow Alex on Twitter.

Photo: Getty
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Cabinet audit: what does the appointment of Liam Fox as International Trade Secretary mean for policy?

The political and policy-based implications of the new Secretary of State for International Trade.

Only Nixon, it is said, could have gone to China. Only a politician with the impeccable Commie-bashing credentials of the 37th President had the political capital necessary to strike a deal with the People’s Republic of China.

Theresa May’s great hope is that only Liam Fox, the newly-installed Secretary of State for International Trade, has the Euro-bashing credentials to break the news to the Brexiteers that a deal between a post-Leave United Kingdom and China might be somewhat harder to negotiate than Vote Leave suggested.

The biggest item on the agenda: striking a deal that allows Britain to stay in the single market. Elsewhere, Fox should use his political capital with the Conservative right to wait longer to sign deals than a Remainer would have to, to avoid the United Kingdom being caught in a series of bad deals. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. He usually writes about politics.