Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. Macro-economics studies the large-scale behaviour of the whole economy. Micro-economics studies small-scale behaviour from individual transactions to the behaviour within particular ...

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Is anti-whaling activism almost as big an industry as the whaling industry?

In the article Confronting Paul Watson and Sea Shepherd, Tetsuhiko Endo writes: In a March 2012 article in Nature, Christopher Costello and Steven Gaines from the University of California, point ...
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0answers
127 views

Is racial income inequality currently in US worse than it was in Apartheid South Africa

As reported here, (and here) white/black wealth inequality is worse now in the US than it was under Apartheid South Africa. The figures brought up during the segment are backed up, too. ...
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3answers
420 views

Do high immigration levels lower quality of life standards?

In a UK panel show, Question Time, a politician says: However, if you have a country in which the population goes up as a direct result of immigration, what you find is not a shortage of green ...
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1answer
205 views

Is there any proof that blackle.com conserves energy? [duplicate]

There are claims that blackle.com conserves energy given that it is darker themed and produces less light. There is a counter under the search box that constantly increases. But in today's era of ...
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1answer
513 views

Did stone age people have an income of slightly below $2 a day? [closed]

In his 2014 book "War! What Is It Good For?", historian Ian Morris writes: Ten thousand years ago, there were only about six million people on earth. On average they lived about thirty years and ...
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1answer
723 views

Is Sweden's economy deteriorating fast?

I am rather surprised to read this article: Sweden to become a Third World Country by 2030, according to UN In 2010 Sweden had the 15th place in the HDI rankings but according to UN ...
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1answer
218 views

Is some better technology suppressed in favor of profits? [closed]

The Conspiracy in Question: I have heard from different sources (crazy people), that certain companies suppress better technology in favor of profits. For instance car tires and light-bulbs that last ...
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0answers
656 views

Are Jim Rogers, George Soros, Warren Buffet converting their stocks into cash holdings?

According to the article “Buffett's $55 Billion Gamble is a Bet on U.S. Collapse, Warns CIA Economist”, a number of billionaires have taken a cash position on their holdings at the expense of stocks. ...
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0answers
178 views

Are US businesses paying historically low proportions of income as wages?

In this story about non-compete clauses for low wage jobs, the New York Times reported, "American businesses are paying out a historically low proportion of their income in the form of wages and ...
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0answers
164 views

Is it estimated that nearly half of USA jobs be low wage service jobs by 2040?

According to yesmagazine.org's post A Wealthy Capitalist on Why Money Doesn't Trickle Down, By 2040, it is estimated that 48 percent of all American jobs will be low-wage service jobs. The claim ...
2
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0answers
140 views

Did the pitchforks ever come for the plutocrats? [closed]

Nick Hanauer recently wrote an article where he claims that income inequality is rising to extreme levels, and soon the lower classes will rise up and overthrow the financial elite in bloody ...
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0answers
359 views

Has the average Somalian's quality of life improved under anarchy?

Peter T. Leeson makes multiple claims about economic and public health improvements since the collapse of its government in his paper Better Off Stateless. This paper investigates the impact of ...
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1answer
237 views

Are 35% of Americans currently in collections?

An article from the Associated Press, STUDY: 35 PERCENT IN US FACING DEBT COLLECTORS, cites a study by the Urban Institute. The article states: The study found that 35.1 percent of people with ...
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1answer
587 views

Has a famine ever taken place in a functioning democracy?

Nobel winning economist, Amartya Sen has said: "No famine has ever taken place in the history of the world in a functioning democracy," he wrote in "Democracy as Freedom" (Anchor, 1999) ...
6
votes
1answer
556 views

Did a Soviet nail factory produce useless nails to improve metrics?

We've all heard the story, which sounds for all the world like a typical urban legend. It goes something like this: Once upon a time, there was a factory in the Soviet Union that made nails. ...
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1answer
5k views

Are there 24 empty houses “available” per homeless person in the USA?

I just saw this meme on Facebook: Since this question answered the ratio question, I would like to know if these houses are "available for" those homeless?
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0answers
150 views

Are these metrics regarding the 2009-2014 recession accurate?

In the Forbes article "The Worst Five Years Since the Great Depression", it is quoted: [...] what America got by year five was fewer jobs than before. Even though the employment age population has ...
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1answer
851 views

Are Fairtrade farmers paid worse than other farmers in the same regions?

There have been a few articles recently on the (in)efficiency of fair trade organisation Fairtrade. Here is an example from the Guardian: Sales of Fairtrade-certified products from Uganda and ...
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2answers
3k views

Is Matt Ridley's assertion that the most extreme of the IPCC climate projections is based on very implausible assumptions correct?

Matt Ridley, the science writer who is often grouped with skeptics of warming and denialists despite asserting: man-made climate change is real but not likely to do much harm, let alone prove to ...
21
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1answer
571 views

Have airlines as a whole been unprofitable over their history?

I recently overheard a discussion in which it was claimed that the airline industry has generated more losses than profits when we take its whole history into account. This is basically a repeat of ...
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2answers
8k views

Are there lots worldwide filled with thousands of unsold new cars left to ruin?

This link came in an email that was getting passed around the office today: http://www.vincelewis.net/unsoldcars.html The premise is that car manufacturers, not wanting to dilute their inventory to ...
5
votes
1answer
170 views

Are the latest estimates of the cost of climate policy five time higher than the projected benefits?

Bjorn Lomborg argues that the implication of the latest IPCC report is that current mitigation policies are not smart in that the cost of mitigating CO2 emissions is much higher than the benefits: ...
4
votes
1answer
382 views

Do US food stamp recipients outnumber women who work full-time?

This story has been circulating through the conservative media channels: In the average month of 2012, according to the Department of Agriculture, there were 46,609,000 people participating in the ...
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0answers
302 views

Is tax wedge 80%-90% in most of western Europe vs 50% in US?

Wikipedia definition of tax wedge references a document, which makes following claim: Europe's comparatively high tax burden has created big marginal effects and tax wedges. For example a 2007 ...
22
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2answers
2k views

Was pepper once worth its weight in gold?

It's a frequent claim that common black pepper was worth its weight in gold in early modern times. Just yesterday I heard it again in a documentary about the Dutch East India Company's spice trade in ...
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2answers
189 views

Is Moore's law just a special case of an experience curve? [closed]

I recently stumbled upon the notion of an experience curve: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Experience_curve_effects#The_experience_curve . It basically says, that plotting the cost per item over the ...
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0answers
87 views

Is the US economic downturn slowing scientific research?

Nature magazine claims: The financial crisis of the past few years has led to deep cuts in funding for scientific research by governments and charitable organizations, hiring freezes across ...
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1answer
530 views

Has a company fired its employees by deactivating their access badges?

A few years ago, at the beginning of the financial crisis, there was this rumor that traveled from mouth to mouth about some company that did some layoffs. The story says the company's management ...
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0answers
447 views

Do any precious stones actually have intrinsic value? [closed]

I watched this CollegeHumor video "Why Engagement Rings are a Scam", which claims that diamonds - particularly dimaond rings - derive all their value from a one hundred year marketing campaign by ...
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0answers
197 views

Does government spending on healthcare promote economic growth?

As governments attempt to get their finances back into balance, many have cut back on a wide range of spending commitments. Some governments such as the UK have chosen to protect spending on ...
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0answers
115 views

Has the Canadian government recently dismissed a net of 2,000 scientists?

A CBC article claims: In the past five years the federal government has dismissed more than 2,000 scientists, and hundreds of programs and world-renowned research facilities have lost their ...
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0answers
197 views

Do obese people have lower lifetime healthcare costs?

I've always been told that obesity is a drain a country's healthcare system...and it's generally accepted as fact. In online debates I frequently see reference to this. I remember seeing news ...
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0answers
287 views

Did tax and inflation consume more wealth in the 20th Century than previously produced?

In the chapter on Statism: Our Condition of the 1983 version of the New Libertarian Manifesto by Samuel Edward Konkin III the following can be found, In the 20th Century alone, war has murdered ...
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0answers
140 views

Can technological innovation increase overall unemployment? [closed]

This is my first question on the site, it may look hypothetical at first but its not. For those unfamiliar with the Luddite Fallacy its synonymous to 'Technological unemployment' Apparently ...
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2answers
393 views

Has the Catholic Church lifted more people out of poverty than any other civic institution?

The New York Times published an editorial on December 29, 2013 about Pope Francis titled "Radical Pope, Traditional Values" which includes the following statement: As a result of its work in basic ...
159
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0answers
85k views

Has Stack Overflow saved billions of dollars in programmer productivity?

John Carmack is a renowned developer and CTO. His Twitter account has over 100,000 followers. On the occasion of Stack Exchange's 5th anniversary, he quipped on Twitter: [... Stack Overflow] has ...
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2answers
983 views

Is helium being “wasted” on party balloons?

From Tim O'Reilly: Good Q?, the kind politicians are loathe to answer RT @jamesoreilly: "Is it right to waste helium on party balloons?" http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24903034 … and ...
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votes
2answers
480 views

Was 31.5% of Medicare payments in 2006 the result of fraud?

To much fanfare, in 2006 Medicare announced that only 7 percent of its payments were a result of fraud. Two years later, The New York Times reported that it was actually 31.5 percent -- and ...
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2answers
3k views

Are there enough unused houses in America for each homeless person to have six?

I can't find a source for this, and that number seems much too high to me (although I don't know much about the subject). Is this true? If not, what is the actual ratio of homeless people to vacant ...
4
votes
1answer
122 views

Has the cost of wireless services in Canada fallen nearly 20% during 2008-2013?

On Stephen Harper's Facebook page (the Prime Minister of Canada), I found many claims that I am skeptical of. The first one is that since 2008, the cost of wireless services has fallen 20 per cent. ...
13
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1answer
576 views

Is climate change currently good for the world economy?

Bjorn Lomborg has just edited a new book How Much have Global Problems Cost the World? (Kindle version here) in which he assembles economic analysis of the world's major challenges. The point of the ...
7
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1answer
459 views

Did Roosevelt's New Deal Program Prolong the Great Depression?

Many libertarian economists argue in favor of laissez-faire economic policies. As a supporting argument, they often claim that Roosevelt's New Deal program actually prolonged the Great Depression. I'm ...
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votes
4answers
1k views

Are GMO crops to blame for farmer suicides in India?

Anyone who follows the genetically modified organism (GMO) debate has probably heard the claim that GMO crops, and specifically the inability to save seed and other associated production costs, have ...
8
votes
3answers
851 views

Is the cost of preventing climate change 50 times higher than the cost of adapting to it?

Political activist Topher has created the "50-to-1" project. In the explanatory video, he claims that: It's 50 times more expensive to try to stop climate change than it is to adapt to climate ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

Does the increase of automation lead to unemployment? [closed]

According to this Huffington Post opinion piece, it's possible that in the future the ongoing process of automation will lead to less job opportunities. It quotes economist Paul Krugman arguing one ...
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votes
4answers
667 views

Was there a downturn in the South African economy after the end of apartheid?

I have heard claims, that there is a strong correlation between the end of the Apartheid in South Africa, and an economic decline there. Does this have any factual basis? More concretely, did any or ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

Does United States throw wheat in the ocean to keep the prices high?

In Iran, there is a wide-spread belief that the USA throws extra wheat it produces into the ocean to keep the prices high. The official website for Iranian presidential office [Persian] quotes ...
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1answer
573 views

Do Europeans have a greater chance of making it into the top 1% of income earners than Americans?

In a 2011 Vanity Fair article, Nobel-Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz wrote: America has long prided itself on being a fair society, where everyone has an equal chance of getting ahead, but ...
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2answers
164 views

Are there no rules mandating disclosure of conflicts of interest for academic economists?

The documentary movie Inside Job is a polemical attack on and analysis of the policies and people who contributed to the 2008 financial crisis. It doesn't pretend to be a balanced view. Some of the ...
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0answers
441 views

Does immigration have a positive economical impact on Sweden?

DN.se made an article(2013-06-13) about immigrants contributing economically more than the cost. Immigration is a very hot topic in Sweden, and Sweden have a very high number of refugees. In 2009, ...