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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Is the gender pay gap evidence of discrimination?

(I've asked this before but people had troubling separating the question from just the gender pay gap. This is a way I was suggested to ask it, so I am giving it a try) No one can deny the gender pay ...
Sonny Ordell's user avatar
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25 votes
4 answers
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Can we end poverty for $US175 billion per year?

A recent question brought up the claim that poverty can be eliminated for 175 billion a year. I found this claim To end extreme poverty worldwide in 20 years, Sachs calculated that the total ...
Chad's user avatar
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35 votes
4 answers
8k views

Can we grow enough crops to feed all people on Earth?

Vegetarianism is heavily promoted. But let's say all people on Earth stop eating animal products. Can we grow enough crops so all people on the Earth are provided with enough healthy, nutritious food? ...
Egle 's user avatar
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33 votes
1 answer
3k views

Organic food is worse for the environment because it requires more land than non-organic food

I've heard that organic crops and husbandry are worse for the environment than non-organic equivalents because in the absence of pesticides and fertilizers much more land is required for an organic ...
Brian M. Hunt's user avatar
32 votes
1 answer
3k views

Is nuclear power economically untenable?

One of the arguments I've seen levied against nuclear power is that it's not economically viable. In the 1970s nuclear power cost half as much as electricity from coal burning: by 1990 nuclear power ...
Nick T's user avatar
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21 votes
7 answers
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Can a society become unhappier with an increase in wealth?

People like to claim that less developed countries are happier, because they live the simple life and stronger family ties. We've all heard the saying: Money can't buy you happiness. Which is easy ...
Kit Sunde's user avatar
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10 votes
3 answers
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Does the US government voluntarily underreport inflation?

According to Shadow Government Statistics, inflation in the USA is around 11%, not 3% as the official statistics claim, as shown in this chart: (source) In fact, they suggest that the US government ...
Brian M. Hunt's user avatar
103 votes
3 answers
15k views

Are there more open jobs than available developers?

A recent Stack Overflow blog post claims that: With nearly five open jobs for every available software developer, the need for qualified technical talent is higher than ever. I have seen this ...
psr's user avatar
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51 votes
2 answers
17k views

Has every U.S. presidential election been won by the campaign with the most money?

According to Russell Brand: Every election in American history has been won by the party with the most money to campaign. Let's assume that he means every presidential election. Has every ...
gerrit's user avatar
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44 votes
1 answer
8k views

Is austerity in the UK responsible for "120,000" extra deaths?

The UK government has been implementing tight constraints on public spending to attempt to recover from the 2008 financial crash and bailout. But this austerity is controversial. A recent report in ...
matt_black's user avatar
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44 votes
3 answers
2k views

What are the scientifically established effects of Daylight Saving Time?

Since the US recently went on to DST, I thought it'd be appropriate to ask this: I've heard many claims made about DST, ranging from "It saves electricity" to "It balances out daylight hours" to "It ...
anthony137's user avatar
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43 votes
1 answer
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Do the rich get richer and the poor get poorer?

From the Wikipedia page "The rich get richer and the poor get poorer" is a catchphrase and proverb, frequently used (with variations in wording) in discussing economic inequality. Its most common ...
user1873's user avatar
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37 votes
5 answers
5k views

Is peak oil still set for 2013?

There have been various dates that I've read about the prediction of peak oil, when global petroleum production will stop growing theoretically. Some claim 2020s; others say the 2050s as the final ...
Chris S's user avatar
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36 votes
2 answers
7k 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 ...
Orcris's user avatar
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34 votes
1 answer
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Is drug development far cheaper than Big Pharma wants us to believe?

In an article titled "The Make-Believe Billion - How drug companies exaggerate research costs to justify absurd profits" in Slate the author writes about a new study about the costs of drug ...
Mad Scientist's user avatar
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33 votes
2 answers
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Are some of Hamas current and former leaders billionaires?

On June 2, 2021, the Israeli Channel 13 aired a segment entitled Parties, lavish houses, and fancy cars: lifestyles of the children of Hamas leaders, in which the following claims were presented: ...
Zev Spitz's user avatar
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24 votes
1 answer
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Do typical modern pharmaceutical firms spend more on marketing than on R&D?

Developing new drugs is an expensive process. As a result the pharmaceutical industry spends a lot on R&D (15% of turnover is not unusual and is higher than most other major industries: see report ...
matt_black's user avatar
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16 votes
2 answers
3k views

Do minimum wage laws disproportionately harm black employment?

There is a common claim that applying minimum wage laws impacts the poorer members of society, and thus impacts poorer minorities, such as blacks, more than others. Milton Friedman openly argued ...
user avatar
15 votes
1 answer
781 views

Do CFLs have a significant impact on your light bill?

I just moved into my own apartment, and I've taken quite an interest in being as energy-efficient as possible (simply because, hey - I'm paying the electricity bill now!). I've been wondering - are ...
eckza's user avatar
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14 votes
1 answer
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Has immigration from Eastern Europe impacted UK youth unemployment?

MigrationWatch UK is a think-tank that argues for lower immigration levels into the UK. In a 2012 Briefing Paper they claimed: Youth unemployment in the UK increased by almost 450,000 in the ...
AnthonyBlake's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
801 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 ...
the gods from engineering's user avatar
256 votes
1 answer
102k 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 ...
Sklivvz's user avatar
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60 votes
2 answers
8k views

Is there a worldwide helium shortage?

I've seen a number of news articles about scarcity of Helium lately, for example: At the moment, helium is cheap, primarily because the US government built up a large surplus supply, then decided ...
Jeff Atwood's user avatar
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53 votes
1 answer
33k views

Did Einstein ever remark on compound interest?

In personal finance articles I frequently find quotes injected to attribute some further relevance to one's position. Over the years, I've read Einstein quoted as saying that 'compound interest was ...
JTP - Apologise to Monica's user avatar
39 votes
2 answers
2k views

Do patents boost innovation?

In a recent judgement Europe's highest court ruled that Stem Cells derived from human embryos cannot be patented (see BBC story here). This provoked many scientists to argue that both research and the ...
RomanSt's user avatar
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37 votes
3 answers
3k views

Can acts of IP piracy be more beneficial than harmful?

There are several claims that piracy of Intellectual Property (IP) can help sales more than it hurts them. For example, Edmund McMillan of Team Meat states in an interview at IGN: McMillen ...
Sonny Ordell's user avatar
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35 votes
4 answers
4k views

Is more than 30% of US healthcare spending waste?

National healthcare spending in the USA consumes more than 18% of GDP and is growing rapidly. Europeans criticise the expense and relatively poor quality of the US system (for example, see this ...
matt_black's user avatar
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35 votes
1 answer
11k views

Does Hamas divert humanitarian aid donations towards the military budget?

In order to better understand how Hamas operates, I was trying to look up how they manage their budget. It seems there's suspicion that some of the international humanitarian aid goes towards the ...
Angriffsreiher's user avatar
31 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is there economic data to suggest whether or not trickle-down economics provides a net increase in standards of living?

One of the chief arguments for Reagan's fiscal policy of trickle-down economics was "money was all appropriated for the top in hopes that it would trickle down to the needy." Essentially that by ...
Mark Rogers's user avatar
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31 votes
3 answers
22k views

Does the 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 the Iranian presidential office [Persian] quotes ...
Saman's user avatar
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28 votes
2 answers
2k views

Are Fair Trade products guaranteed to be 'fairer'?

I was wondering about Fair Trade foods/products (products carrying the international certificate) as I have never seen an actual policy or standards on how much farmers/producers get paid. Is there ...
seadowg's user avatar
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26 votes
1 answer
20k views

Does the $20 bill predict the 9/11 attacks?

I am referring to claims such as those made at this site. Basically they claim that a certain folding of the bill shows burning images of twin towers. The new U.S. $20 dollar bill contains hidden ...
user13107's user avatar
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25 votes
1 answer
8k views

Are the chances of dying on the way to get lottery tickets larger than the chance of winning?

I encountered the following claim: The chances of you dying on the way to get your lottery tickets is greater than your chances of winning Of course, whether is is true depends on the lottery, on ...
gerrit's user avatar
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25 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 ...
matt_black's user avatar
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24 votes
2 answers
7k views

Do Americans use 500 million straws per day?

CNN claims that Americans use 500 million straws per day. Every day, Americans throw away 500 million plastic straws, enough to circle the Earth twice, or fill 125 school buses. Other sources ...
David says Reinstate Monica's user avatar
23 votes
2 answers
2k views

Do pricey medicines in the USA subsidise R&D for the rest of the world?

A recent (February 2018) report by the US government Council of Economic Advisors makes the following argument (my highlights): The United States both conducts and finances much of the ...
matt_black's user avatar
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22 votes
3 answers
3k views

Do automobile manufacturers make parts wear out and break easily, just so they can make more money?

It is sometimes heard that automobile manufacturers design low-quality parts that wear out or break easily, so that they can make money on the repair or replacement of these parts. I believe this to ...
Keith Groben's user avatar
22 votes
2 answers
3k views

Does banning abortion significantly increase or decrease the number of abortions?

According to the following article, the oft quoted result that abortion is higher in countries where it is legal is misleading: The obvious problem with The Lancet study is that many of the ...
Casebash's user avatar
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21 votes
2 answers
2k views

Does the Bilderberg Group have influence on world events?

Is there any evidence to support the claim the Bilderberg Group have control of the world and its money supply? Is there evidence to suggest they are planning on exterminating the majority of the ...
Moab's user avatar
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21 votes
3 answers
12k views

Do the Jewish control a larger proportion of U.S. wealth than their proportion in the population?

As per StormFront (warning: neo-nazi website): While only 3% of the population, the Jews control over 25% of the nation's wealth and this percentage rises every year. Is only 3% of the ...
user16934's user avatar
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18 votes
2 answers
9k views

Is the income of the porn industry 50% of the revenues made on the Internet?

Yesterday a friend of mine told me that most of the money which is made in the internet is going to the porn industry. First I didn't believe any word and I was like "Hey, shut up! There is still ...
Aufwind's user avatar
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17 votes
2 answers
1k views

Do banks typically lose as much money as they make in the long term?

Nicholas Nassem Taleb makes the following passing statement in his latest meditation on the nature and management of risk (Antifragile): ...businesses with negative optionality (that is, the ...
matt_black's user avatar
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17 votes
1 answer
1k views

Were more than a half of all Silicon Valley tech companies founded by immigrants between 1995 and 2005?

Source: CNN Global Public Square: A new book caught my eye this week. It’s called The Immigrant Exodus by Vivek Wadhwa, a former tech entrepreneur who now studies and lectures on immigration. He ...
Carlo Alterego's user avatar
17 votes
2 answers
4k views

Are teachers in the United states paid poorly?

At the last "Save Our Schools" rally, Matt Damon said: So you think job insecurity is what makes me work hard? I want to be an actor. That’s not an incentive. That’s the thing: See, you take this ...
user1873's user avatar
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17 votes
3 answers
3k views

Is the British monarchy economically beneficial?

When considering the economic impact of the British royals on the economy/budget, a first thought might be that they cost the state money since they don't do any "real" work and yet live quite ...
Lagerbaer's user avatar
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16 votes
1 answer
4k views

Could world hunger be ended for 40 billion USD per year?

The World Food Program USA claims that 345 million people around the world: are experiencing the most severe levels of hunger including starvation. These are the people the U.N. World Food Programme ...
EarlGrey's user avatar
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16 votes
1 answer
6k views

Is 2FABE a secret code for sending postcards without a stamp?

Borrowing shamelessly from a travel Stack Exchange question https://travel.stackexchange.com/questions/2825/2fabe-the-secret-international-travel-postcard-stamp-code: I was told about this about ...
Golden Cuy's user avatar
16 votes
1 answer
2k views

Does the UK send the EU £350 million a week?

I got this propaganda leaflet through my door today, this has been widely claimed by parties in favor of the British EU referendum: We send the EU £350 million a week - let's fund our NHS instead ...
Sklivvz's user avatar
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15 votes
2 answers
9k views

Is it possible to identify where Euro banknotes are from?

Some websites claim that you can know which country printed an euro banknote, by looking at the serial number. Is that technique fool-proof ?
Manu's user avatar
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15 votes
1 answer
4k views

Did JFK Attempt to eliminate the power of the Federal Reserve Bank to loan money to the US?

According to this site: On June 4, 1963, a virtually unknown Presidential decree, Executive Order 11110, was signed with the authority to basically strip the Federal Reserve Bank of its power ...
Chad's user avatar
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