Opinionomics: must-read analysis and comment

Featuring inequality, iPads, and ignorant Republicans

1. Robin van Persie & the cost of inequality (Stumbling and Mumbling)

Chris Dillow addresses the two great issues of our age: what impact does inequality have upon economic performance? and: should Arsenal give Robin van Persie a massive pay rise to hold onto him?

2. Ignorance, Hatred, and the Agency Problem In Representative Politics (Slate Moneybox)

Matt Yglesias suggests that the terrible pool of Republican candidates is an ingenious, accidental, response to the principal-agent problem.

3. The worst of all worlds (Economist)

Free Exchange examine America's growthless recovery.

4. Buy new iPad. Flip over. Understand U.S.-China economics (Bloomberg)

The new iPad provides a one-item example of comparative advantage.

5. Budget 2012: Osborne must help the squeezed middle and tax the top (Guardian)

David Laws and Tim Farron make their push for what the Lib Dems want to see in the budget.

Robin van Persie does some football. Credit: 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.