Questions tagged [economics]

Economics is the analytical study of the costs and benefits of producing, distributing, and consuming goods and services. This tag should not be used for personal finance questions, nor for most questions about expensive items, e.g. exorbitantly priced houses, autos, jewelry. It can be used for current events, and in historical contexts.

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35 votes
1 answer
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Did the percent of humans living on < $2/day drop from 94% to 8.6% since 1820?

In a recent Vox article, the author claims (without citation): In 1820, some 94 percent of humans lived on less than $2 a day. Over the next two centuries, extreme poverty fell dramatically; in 2018, ...
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7 votes
1 answer
561 views

Has Russia pegged the ruble to gold in the sense that U.S. dollar was before August 15, 1971?

Some sites like this one, this one, this one and some social media posts like this one refer to news articles saying that Russia has linked ruble to gold at 1 gram = 5000 roubles. Also Forbes seems to ...
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9 votes
1 answer
656 views

Is their tax bill the single biggest cost of living for most households in the UK?

Mark Littlewood wrote an opinion article in The Telegraph [unpaywalled alternative] atacking the UK's Conservative Party. He claimed: For most households, the single biggest cost of living is their ...
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14 votes
1 answer
776 views

Is the current crisis in the Sri Lankan economy caused by a decision to mandate organic farming?

The Sri Lankan economy is currently having something of a major crisis. This BBC report points out they are about to default on major international loan payments: Sri Lanka crisis: Government ...
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19 votes
2 answers
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Did the USA increase oil imports from Russia after the Ukraine invasion?

According to Zhao Lijian of the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China (RDCY) [...] Russian Security Council Deputy Secretary Mikhail Popov said, in a contrasting ...
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4 votes
0 answers
212 views

Is it true that the Bennington College endowment is low because they declined donations to maintain academic independence?

Some (possibly dubious) college Q&A web sites (e.g. this one) make the claim that Bennington has a paltry endowment of $3.5 million, the result of a historical philosophy - now recognized by its ...
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11 votes
1 answer
464 views

During the disintegration of the Soviet Union, was there a surge of child allergies in Tajikistan because people hoarded soap?

The Hesitant U.S. Rescue of the Soviet Economy Wilson Quarterly (Fall 2016): By November 1990, Professor Graham Allison of Harvard University had become alarmed at the deterioration of the Soviet ...
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30 votes
2 answers
17k views

Were a large fraction of US Dollars in existence printed since 2020?

For many months now I have heard claims on the internet and radio that some large fraction of USD "in existence" were printed since 2020. The percentage ranges between 40 and 80%. Is it a ...
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2 votes
0 answers
373 views

Did Burj Khalifa cause the surrounding malls and shops to increase revenue?

Wikipedia claims: The concept of profitability derived from building high density developments and malls around the landmark has proven successful. Its surrounding malls, hotels and condominiums in ...
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20 votes
1 answer
9k views

Is over 96% of Moderna's revenue from their COVID-19 Vaccine?

In a recent YouTube video from "The Lotus Eaters", one of the anchors states that "During the previous quarter, Moderna's earnings on their shares were 4.97 billion overall, and the ...
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6 votes
0 answers
491 views

Does the mass of human made objects exceed the entire biomass on the planet?

An article in Nature, "Global human-made mass exceeds all living biomass" in 2020 has recently gained some attention on social media (see this Twitter thread) possibly because of a striking ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Will there be more than 11 million job openings related to Data Science in India by 2026?

This Career Outlook for Data Scientist article claims that analyst predict that there will be more than 11 million job openings by 2026 in the field of data science. Does this claim makes sense given ...
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44 votes
2 answers
13k views

Is the UK lorry driver shortage unrelated to Brexit? Do EU countries have equal or greater shortages?

UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps claims that Brexit is not one of the causes of the UK lorry driver shortage which is causing shortages of food in supermarkets and shortages of fuel in petrol ...
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31 votes
3 answers
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Does Norway spend $29,726 on child care per toddler annually?

I would like to verify the following chart (e.g. take Norway) in a New York Times article: (Note that multiple references in the article appear to define a toddler as being 0-2 years of age. They say ...
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2 votes
0 answers
295 views

Is the UK experiencing wage growth for people on low incomes?

In a TV interview with Andrew Marr on 3 Oct 2021, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson claimed that UK wages were growing for people on low incomes. The interviewer (Marr) said that wasn't true - Johnson ...
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27 votes
2 answers
9k views

Did China shut down a port for one COVID-19 case and did this closure have a bigger impact than the blocking of the Suez canal?

Journalist Fabian Kretschmer claimed in a DW interview (at 1m56): For every case you have to shut down a factory, you have to shut down a port. In May, for example, they had to shut down the Yantian ...
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9 votes
1 answer
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Is the local purchasing power in Cuba as low as shown in the following page?

This page shows a list of countries with some data from them, one of them being the "local purchasing power index". Cuba is in the last position of this with a 1.28 in purchasing power ...
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6 votes
0 answers
283 views

Is China's GDP data politically manipulated?

In 2010, a World Bank economist denied that China's GDP figures were politically manipulated: Is the data manipulated by the authorities to meet political objectives? My answer to it, at least ...
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1 vote
2 answers
744 views

Are these claims about the changes in the economy during Obama accurate?

An image was recently posted on politics about how the economy changed under Obama. While that question was not asking about the validity of the claim itself, instead focused on the validity of ...
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7 votes
2 answers
3k views

Did Milton Friedman say that nothing was so permanent as a temporary government program?

According to the Adam Smith institute (and numerous other pages): Milton Friedman used to say that nothing was so permanent as a temporary government programme. Did he actually say this? And if so, ...
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53 votes
3 answers
6k views

Has the distribution of income and wealth in the USA got much more skewed towards the rich in the last 4 decades?

I recently asked this question about a statistic quoted by Kurt Andersen designed to illustrate the current wealth distribution in the USA in his book Evil Geniuses. It provoked a great deal of (...
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26 votes
1 answer
7k views

Would the median household income in the USA be $140K and mean net worth $800K if wealth were evenly distributed

In his book (Evil Geniuses) about how the USA got where it currently is, Kurt Andersen speculates about how far wealth and income inequality has risen in the last few decades. He attempts to visualise ...
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4 votes
1 answer
349 views

Has any US official said that the economy cannot be "fixed" if the pandemic is not "fixed"?

Context A week ago or so, Romania observed a conflict between the central authorities dealing with the pandemic (who want more restrictions) and the local authorities in a county (who want fewer ...
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4 votes
0 answers
314 views

Do companies who go public lower their R&D spending as a result?

Eric Ries talks in an interview with Ezra Klein about how there are studies that show that when a company goes public, it usually lowers their R&D spending afterwards. Is this is accurate ...
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5 votes
0 answers
331 views

Is an egalitarian inclination largely genetically determined?

A 2017 study titled A Genetic Basis of Economic Egalitarianism seems to have concluded that: We use Minnesota Twin Study data from 2008, collected from samples of monozygotic and dizygotic twin pairs ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Does "The Great Reset" seek to abolish property rights? [closed]

The Great Reset is a plan by the World Economic Forum, imagined by a gentleman named Klaus Schwab. The plan is somewhat controversial, with some media outlets portraying it as an agenda to abolish ...
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6 votes
1 answer
827 views

Is only 13% of the UK economy and only 8% of its businesses involved with european Union trade?

CAPX recently published a pro-Brexit opinion piece by John Longworth who headed a pro-Brexit pressure group. He argued that the UK were being held to ransom and were being treated like a "vassal ...
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7 votes
1 answer
624 views

Is solar power the cheapest form for utility companies to build?

A recent Popular Mechanics article claimed In a new report, the International Energy Agency (IEA) says solar is now the cheapest form of electricity for utility companies to build. That’s thanks to ...
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7 votes
1 answer
916 views

Did the wealth gap shrink under Trump (pre-pandemic)?

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-wealth-gap-shrinks-11601420393 According to an op-ed piece by the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board, the Federal Reserve has published a report (https://www....
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10 votes
1 answer
554 views

Are farm bankruptcies in the US "at highs not seen since the Great Depression"?

A June 29 Vox article quoted a Democratic party notable saying: “Trump’s failed trade war wreaked havoc on industries across the country. Farm bankruptcies are at highs not seen since the Great ...
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55 votes
3 answers
12k views

Was it ever cheaper to starve slaves and replace them than to provide them with food?

In a recent opinion piece in the Guardian, historian David Olusoga makes this shocking claim about slavery in the 17th Century British Empire: The system [Hans Sloane] witnessed and wrote about was ...
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9 votes
1 answer
689 views

Do 37% of people in the UK believe that their job either makes no difference or makes the world worse?

According to David Graeber: They discovered that people in the UK, 37% agreed that if their job didn't exist either it would make no difference whatsoever or the world might be a slightly better ...
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5 votes
1 answer
551 views

Did David Ricardo make £1M from the Battle of Waterloo?

Mark Skousen (2008): He was a speculator par excellence, allegedly making a million pounds sterling in 1 day following the Battle of Waterloo. Madsen Pirie: He went into a banking house and made a ...
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7 votes
3 answers
1k views

Did Marx use the word "capitalism"?

I'm finding contradictory accounts on this. First, we need to differentiate between the words "capital", "capitalist", and "capitalism". According to "Civilization ...
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0 votes
1 answer
186 views

Did Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell backtrack on raising interest rates from 2.5% to 3.25% in Jan 2 2019?

In this May 22 2020 article, NYU Stern Prof. Nouriel Roubini (BA Bocconi University 1982, PhD Harvard 1988) proclaimed: In other words, you’re saying that because of structural weaknesses in the ...
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4 votes
1 answer
178 views

Did Ecuador's privatization of its healthcare system (under Moreno) substantially reduce the number of ICU beds?

As claimed on iacenter.org: What’s behind this crisis is that during the past three years, the neoliberal regime of President Lenín Moreno privatized the public health system and systematically ...
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9 votes
0 answers
850 views

Are/were US broadband internet service providers making 90%+ profit margins?

A 2012 blog article from Stop The Cap quotes the Wall Street Journal (without a link) as saying: Cable executives and analysts say that about 90% of the money cable operators charge for broadband ...
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8 votes
1 answer
652 views

Has the US unemployment rate reached 24.9%?

Before this seven-week stretch of 33.5 million initial jobless claims, there were already 7.1 million unemployed Americans as of March 13. When those figures are combined, it equals more than 40 ...
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9 votes
1 answer
554 views

Has Florida left 75% of its lettuce crop unharvested due to the coronavirus lockdowns?

Various sources claim that Florida's coronavirus lockdown has caused a serious breakdown in the food supply chain in the state. For example, this Politico article states the following: The scale ...
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8 votes
1 answer
746 views

Is Russia's fiscal break-even price for oil around half of Saudi Arabia's?

According to the philosopher John Gray (Why this crisis is a turning point in history): An increasing influence on the EU will come from Russia. In the struggle with the Saudis that triggered the ...
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9 votes
1 answer
768 views

Did China import 2 billion masks earlier this year to control Covid-19?

I'm wondering if there's not a typo in a recent paper that says that to control the COVID-19 outbreak, the Chinese government imported more than 2.0 billion facemasks between 24 Jan 2020 and 29 Feb ...
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4 votes
0 answers
1k views

Do restaurants have ugly sections? [closed]

Disclaimer: asked on Travel SE https://travel.stackexchange.com/q/154682/13746 but was closed. There's a theory that restaurants have a section for good looking people and a section for ugly people. ...
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  • 1,997
10 votes
0 answers
463 views

Did two brothers steal credit card information worth millions and walked away scot-free because banks were embarrassed?

In this DEFCON talk at around 24:52 minute mark, the speaker (a Cambridge professor) tells a story of two brothers stealing millions of dollars using a weakness in credit card terminal technology, and ...
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  • 221
8 votes
2 answers
643 views

Do library fines affect return rates?

I just got an email from the Free Library of Philadelphia announcing that they no longer charge fines for material returned past the due date. The announcement, reproduced on their blog contained the ...
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  • 313
7 votes
1 answer
797 views

Did 20% of American millionaires inherit their riches?

A 2019 Investopedia article, 7 Millioinaire Myths, which has been widely copied makes the claim that "Millionaires Just Inherited Their Money" is a false preconception: According to Thomas J. ...
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  • 465
7 votes
0 answers
767 views

Do 30 year old Millennials have lower average household income than Gen X did?

A 2017 Business Insider article claims that, in the UK: for the first time in more than 100 years the current generation of workers — millennials — are doing worse than the generation before them, ...
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  • 1,457
21 votes
1 answer
5k views

Did (former) German Minister Manfred Lahnstein admit that Germany wanted the EMS in order to get a competitive edge over other European countries?

A 2017 article about the European Monetary System (EMS) in Foreign Policy relates this story: But there was always a suspicion that Germany was trying to get long-term trade advantages from linking ...
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  • 49.6k
11 votes
0 answers
934 views

Can a Cuban taxi driver make a doctor's monthly salary in just one hour?

A recent video by the Guardian, 'It's not fair': why Havana's taxi drviers vastly out-earn doctors looks at the difference between public sector workers and the privately employed in Cuba. The video ...
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3 votes
5 answers
901 views

Did the 2018 drought in Europe result in 2019 worldwide grain crop not meeting demand?

An essay on T-Online.de makes the following claim: Schon ein einziger Dürresommer in Europa 2018 führte dazu, dass die Getreideernte in diesem Jahr weltweit den Bedarf nicht mehr deckt (noch gibt ...
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  • 18.8k
4 votes
1 answer
851 views

Did Lyft and Uber pay drivers for just turning on the app and not picking up passengers?

This recent Mirror article, Couple explain exactly how they saved up £1.6million to retire at 41 claims: "For a period, we drove for Uber and Lyft in the San Francisco bay area. "For us, it ...
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