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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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Did Britain borrow $120 billion in 1945?

This copy-paste has being doing the rounds of local newspaper letters pages and dodgy hard-core pro-Brexit Facebook pages, etc: JEAN Claude Juncker should be forced to walk past every white ...
32
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1answer
6k views

Did the US spend 7 trillion in the Middle East?

In response to the recent train accident in Washington State, the current President of the United States, Donal Trump, made a claim in a tweet that the US has spent $7 trillion in the Middle East. Is ...
4
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2answers
591 views

Were nearly all founders of large companies existing in mid 20th century uneducated “rude mechanicals”?

Y-Combinator cofounder and famous hacker Paul Graham publishes essays, and one of his recent ones was 2016 "The Refragmentation". One of the ancillary claims he made was that for the known founders ...
8
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1answer
326 views

Did tax revenue improve after tax rates were cut after Kennedy's death?

This CNN op-ed about Trump's recent attempts to cut taxes makes some historical claims: President Kennedy declared at the New York Economic Club that "it is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are ...
6
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0answers
614 views

Does the Bitcoin network consume as much energy as Denmark?

According to Ars Technica: One estimate suggests the Bitcoin network consumes as much energy as Denmark. There are other sources that make similar claims: Greentech Media claim: The Bitcoin ...
12
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0answers
1k views

Did ISP “pocket” $400 billion that was supposed to be dedicated toward fiber cable infrastructure?

Bruce Kushnick, author of "The Book Of Broken Promises: $400 Billion Broadband Scandal And Free The Net," makes some pretty major claims. The most prominent article, an ad for his book written by ...
10
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1answer
626 views

Did 79% of Greeks not have health insurance in 2013?

The following claim on recession in Greece is pretty shocking on its face, but also a little muddy: Citing OECD data of 2013, the BoG [Bank of Greece] underlines that 79% of the population in ...
42
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1answer
7k 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 ...
16
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2answers
1k views

Does the fossil fuel industry benefit from trillions of dollars of subsidy from governments every year?

This IMF working paper claims that the fossil fuel industry benefits from trillions of dollars of government subsidies every year. It is a working paper intended to "promote discussion" and not the ...
20
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1answer
1k views

Is 90% of world trade conducted on WTO terms?

The European Union is, among many other things, a large free trade block with few barriers to cross-country trade within it. The United Kingdom has voted to leave the EU and is currently trying to ...
2
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0answers
747 views

Is bitcoin a pyramid scheme? [closed]

According to the Fortune Magazine article This Billionaire Just Called Bitcoin a 'Pyramid Scheme', Howard Marks said: In my view, digital currencies are nothing but an unfounded fad (or perhaps ...
14
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1answer
882 views

Does placing a fly on a urinal improve cleanliness in men's toilets?

Recently Richard Thaler won the Nobel Prize for Economics for his "Nudge" Theory. Pretty much every news agency (in the UK at least) has chosen to explain his theory by using the "Fly on a Urinal" ...
10
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2answers
1k views

Do companies sometimes sabotage their products before selling them?

This might be the case for the iPhone. I'm skeptic that this is a general practice because on the surface, customers would just migrate to competing products... Maybe this practice is common for ...
12
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4answers
814 views

Does the Jones Act double import prices in Puerto Rico?

The Jones Act is a protectionist law passed in the 1920's requiring ships carrying goods between American ports to be made in America and crewed by Americans. The Jones Act has become an issue ...
3
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0answers
200 views

Did Marx imply that indigenous Mexicans were racially inferior? [closed]

http://www.jstor.org/stable/41035216 Marx classed the Indians of Mexico as "the last of men". Is this an accurate representation of what Marx said?
2
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0answers
150 views

Is publicly-funded housing more likely to be in areas of large US cities with lower elevation? [closed]

In large US cities, is there any correlation between elevation and property value? Specifically, does publicly-funded housing tend to be built in areas with lower elevation than higher-priced housing? ...
15
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1answer
4k views

Do 40,000 people die in the United States for every 1% increase in unemployment?

In the 2015 movie The Big Short, the character of Ben Rickert, played by Brad Pitt, makes the following statement to two investment bankers. If we're right (about the housing market collapsing), ...
1
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2answers
446 views

Does Congress appropriate 300 billion annually to agencies which cannot legally receive appropriations?

According to the article Inappropriate Appropriations in The Weekly Standard: Congress spent $310 billion last year on some 250 agencies and programs that were no longer — as required under the law ...
3
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2answers
580 views

Why does the IRS want you to declare income from illegal activites? [closed]

According to a paper by the IRS you should declare illegal income from dealing drugs or stolen property. What's the motivation behind this? And are there examples of people who reported such ...
12
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1answer
1k views

Does NASA have a high ROI?

One of the oft-cited reasons for funding space exploration is the high return on investment, in terms of boosting the economy. For example Studies estimate that for every $1 the U.S. government ...
2
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1answer
297 views

Do vinyl records account for 3.6% of global music sales?

Sony is restarting production of vinyl records after 30 years. That's pretty surprising. Even more surprising to me though is one of the reasons provided: in 2016, a format nearly a century old ...
13
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3answers
1k views

Does wealth reduce compassion?

Daisy Grewal writes in the Scientific American in the article How Wealth Reduces Compassion: But research suggests the opposite is true: as people climb the social ladder, their compassionate ...
28
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1answer
4k views

Is the economic situation portrayed in “Loving” accurate?

The recent movie Loving is acclaimed for its historical accuracy. Whereas the story about the case in front of the supreme court is documented as someone from a much later generation I am skeptic but ...
12
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0answers
985 views

Is this €150k beach club bill real?

This bill, with a total amount of over €150,000, from a beach club in Monaco is currently circulating on social media. Is it real? I've checked the website of the beach club; some of the more common ...
22
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1answer
2k views

In California, does it cost more to send someone to prison than to send them to Stanford?

According to Bernie Sanders' Facebook page: Is this statement true?
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1answer
448 views

1 job to incinerate 10,000 tons of goods

In a CleanTechnica article taken from The Beam, it is stated that: As is often the case in developed markets, we only create one job for every 10,000 tons of goods produced Thanks to Oddthinking,...
2
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0answers
265 views

Do Women Make Up 85% of All Consumer Purchases? [duplicate]

This video seems to be the source of the claim but I can't find what statistics they use to back it up. These figures are duplicated at She-Conomy: Women account for 85% of all consumer ...
2
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0answers
275 views

Could the EU “take Britain to the Hague” over the “£50 Billion EU divorce bill” [closed]

I've seen several papers (express, telegraph) claiming that Britain will have to pay a £50 Billion 'fee' for leaving the EU. A further paper (Independent) has written (emphasis by me): “In that ...
65
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4answers
12k views

Do airlines in North America make around $10 profit per customer?

A quick google search returns several articles such as this one claiming that airlines make less than $10 in profit from each customer. I feel there are a few reasons to doubt this premise: You can ...
19
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1answer
1k views

Is credit card use more environmentally friendly than cash?

A popular organic food store in Amsterdam has this sign posted near the entrance: Welcome! Marqt accepts all credit or debit cards, free of charge. Thank you for contributing to a safer and ...
8
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1answer
708 views

Were there 600 millionaires in Gaza in 2014?

In 2014, The Algemeiner reported: Pan-Arab London based paper, Asharq al Awsat, which is considered a reliable media outlet, recently ran a story saying there are 600 millionaires in Gaza. The ...
9
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0answers
1k views

Do candles create more carbon dioxide than light bulbs?

During the annual ritual of Earth Hour: ...around one billion people are expected to switch off their lights for one hour as a political statement against climate change and fossil fuels, and in ...
-2
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2answers
594 views

Do some Jewish American charity organizations fund the Israeli military?

This was claimed by multiple sources, as an example Is it not striking that the US grants charity status to organizations whose sole mission is to support the army of another country? Are there ...
11
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1answer
757 views

Do the motors of washers last only 1/3 to 1/4 as long as they used to?

Ryan Finlay writes in They Used To Last 50 Years: Let me start with an example: for top loading washers and dryers two of the most expensive parts on the machines are the timer and motor. For ...
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0answers
225 views

Did training Bell executives in humanities subjects lower their interest in working? [closed]

The story I heard happened in the 1950s-60s, at 50-60x at Bell Telephone in the USA Top management of the corporation noticed a majority of their managers were formerly engineers and often they don'...
38
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4answers
8k views

Is this “fall of industrial production” graph accurate?

A candidate to the French presidency tweeted The fall in industrial production in Spain, Italy and France of course has a link with the euro. However I have a couple of doubts on its ...
9
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2answers
3k views

Did the US national debt fall by $100 billion in the first two months of Trump's office?

According to Joe Hoft at thegatewaypundit.com: In First 2 Months in Office – Trump Reduces Debt by $100 Billion – Obama Increased Debt by $400 Billion – Half a Trillion Dollar Difference! Is this ...
7
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1answer
582 views

Is Sesame Street at risk of losing funding with Trump's new budget proposal?

Trump's latest budget proposal includes cuts to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. There have been claims that this would endanger funding to Sesame Street. However, Sesame Street moved off of ...
6
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1answer
465 views

Did the shuttle cost more per launch than a Saturn V (after inflation)? [closed]

I got this one from some political debate; unfortunately no reference to it. I know the shuttle was a boondoggle; but I find it hard to believe it was really that outrageous. On the other hand, the ...
0
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2answers
437 views

Do long working hours in Spain affect birth rate?

According to "Spain appoints 'minister for sex' to reverse nation's plummeting birth rate": Experts say long working hours and a culture of eating late at night and going to bed after midnight are ...
2
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2answers
688 views

Did Henry Ford say, “Jews control the business…”?

A search for the quote returns results from many websites It claims that Henry ford said, "Jews have always controlled the business... The motion picture influence of the United States and Canada....
4
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2answers
760 views

What if everyone in a city flushed their toilets at once?

"The applied theory of price", by Donald N McCloskey claims: If all people flushed their toilets at once, the city water mains would burst. How much damage (if at all) will a drainage system in a ...
7
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0answers
909 views

Is this graphic about female executives accurate? [closed]

Is this graph about female executives accurate? Women in executive positions earn 18% less than the average male executive. This is why: 70% Allocative hiring: only 3.7% of all ...
6
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1answer
515 views

Did Robert Putnam find that diversity has “incredibly negative consequences”?

According to a comment on this 9gag post about Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau welcoming immigrants: queen_boxxy 1042 points · 28 Jan 2017 diversity has in fact incredibly negative ...
26
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1answer
2k views

Is the total cost of treating the uninsured in emergency rooms more expensive than government-subsidized urgent care would be in the US?

One of the claims I have frequently heard in support of some sort of government intervention in providing health insurance above and beyond Medicare and Medicaid in the US, is that it will reduce the ...
5
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1answer
494 views

Does Germany use the Euro to exploit the US and the EU? [closed]

Trump's advisor Peter Navarro claims that Germany exploits the US and the EU by maintaining the Euro at an all time low. The Guardian for example says: Germany “continues to exploit other ...
2
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0answers
161 views

Is the ageing population a major cause of higher healthcare costs?

Healthcare is getting more expensive in most western countries. It is widely assumed that one of the major factors behind this is the ageing of populations (baby boomers produced in the burst of high ...
5
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0answers
265 views

Evidence for and against (verbal-IQ-based) Smart Fraction Theory

Currently Smart Fraction Theory is subject of some discussion among the economists. The theory holds that the wealth of the country is heavily impacted by the fraction of the population that has IQ ...
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0answers
143 views

Does paraskevidekatriaphobia (fear of Friday 13th) cause a decrease in commerce?

On the CBS FM radio this morning (101.1FM in NYC area), the host of the show mentioned offhand that "paraskevidekatriaphobia" (fear of Friday the 13th) causes a loss of $1 billion in commerce annually,...
143
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1answer
20k views

Are there 96 million workers in the US who want a job and can't get one?

On Wednesday 11 Jan 2017, US President-elect Donald Trump claimed in a press conference that: There will be a major border tax on these companies that are leaving and getting away with murder. And ...