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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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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158 votes
6 answers
29k views

Are people of Nordic Nations "happier, healthier" with "a higher standard of living overall than Americans"?

Ernest W. Adams wrote in the answer to the question "Why are people so negative about Nordic nations, especially Sweden?": There are a lot of right wing Americans who have been preaching ...
Sakib Arifin's user avatar
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149 votes
1 answer
22k 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 ...
A E's user avatar
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148 votes
1 answer
32k views

Did Amazon pay $0 in US taxes in 2018?

Background I saw this article saying that Amazon paid $0 in corporate income tax last year. Is this true or just phrased to sound like they are getting away with paying nothing? Here's the article: ...
Noah Cristino's user avatar
122 votes
1 answer
25k views

Did Germany produce so much renewable electricity on May 8th 2016 that their power prices went negative?

This picture has been floating around the internet On May 8th, 2016, Germany's solar, wind, hydro and biomass plants generated so much energy, power prices actually went negative. Is this true? I ...
David says Reinstate Monica's user avatar
103 votes
2 answers
21k views

In the American west—the world of cowboys and cowhands—was ammunition traded for alcoholic “shots” of a drink?

CLARIFICATION: Just so it’s clear, this question is specifically about the economic claims made by the meme presented below. It is a NOT question concerning the origins and etymology of the word “shot”...
Giacomo1968's user avatar
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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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92 votes
7 answers
24k views

Do the 26 richest billionaires own as much wealth as the poorest 3.8 billion people?

Bernie Sanders, who is running for president in 2020 gave a speech a few days ago. He makes a claim which goes like the following: Today the world's richest 26 billionaires, 26, now own as much ...
Zebrafish's user avatar
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82 votes
1 answer
6k views

Do researchers receive no income from revenues arising from their published papers?

According to this article Meet the Robin Hood of Science (about the creator of a website to bypass paper access restrictions and paywalls), Elbakyan made a point that will likely come as a shock to ...
user69715's user avatar
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81 votes
4 answers
20k views

As of February 2019, were US wages rising at the "fastest pace in decades"?

The President of the USA, Donald Trump, told during his "State of the Union address" speech on 5th February 2019, that [...] wages in America are rising at the fastest pace in decades Source: at ...
Pac0's user avatar
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80 votes
2 answers
11k views

Does fossil fuels use since 1990 account for half of all the fossil fuels used in history?

This recent claim appeared on Twitter: If you are 29, you’ve been alive when half of all the fossil fuels ever burned throughout all of human history have been burned The source appears to be an ...
matt_black's user avatar
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70 votes
3 answers
9k views

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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67 votes
3 answers
17k views

Has the Red Cross raised half a billion dollars for Haiti to build 6 houses?

According to this article the Red Cross raised half a billion dollars and yet only built six houses in Haiti while claiming to have housed 130,000 residents. In late 2011, the Red Cross launched a ...
Himarm's user avatar
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64 votes
4 answers
9k views

How accurate are these nine charts of the economy under the Obama Administration?

I've seen the image below around and would like to know the accuracy of the charts. The original image I was sent was fairly low quality and a reverse image search lead to a bunch of right-leaning ...
David Starkey's user avatar
64 votes
4 answers
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 ...
Kevin Laity's user avatar
61 votes
1 answer
12k views

Does the cardboard box cost more than the corn in cornflakes?

In today's edition of CNN Student News (transcript), devoted to the topic "breakfast cereal", the following claim was made: Let`s start with the cereal itself. At its core, cereal is actually the ...
Log'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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56 votes
3 answers
15k views

Did the UK slip to sixth largest world economy from fifth, less than 24 hours after the EU referendum vote?

Some news sources have reported that in the 24 hours after the UK's results on the EU referendum came through, the UK dropped from 5th largest economy in the world, to 6th, being overtaken by France. ...
user56reinstatemonica8's user avatar
54 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 (...
matt_black's user avatar
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53 votes
9 answers
10k views

Is public transport less fuel-efficient than cars?

Someone who is opposed towards energy saving and climate change (I did not realise they existed until I met him) has told me that public transport (buses, trains and so on) are less efficient than ...
Thomas O's user avatar
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53 votes
3 answers
13k 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 ...
IMSoP's user avatar
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53 votes
2 answers
7k views

Does recycling create more pollution than it prevents?

My city, like many, has a recycling program, which I believe is supposed to reduce pollution and create some positive economic activity. But I've heard many people argue that recycling programs are a ...
Mark Rogers'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
52 votes
2 answers
112k views

Does UNICEF use less than 14% of the donated money for the advertised causes?

I have heard claims from several people in relation to the occasional donation my wife or I make: that some charities have so much waste in their organization, or use so much money to market their ...
RomanSt'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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50 votes
5 answers
20k views

Do 643,000 Americans go bankrupt every year due to medical bills?

I've been seeing a specific graphic circulating all over Instagram for the past few days. Here's Kim Kardashian posting it on her story. Two things seem odd about this graphic. The first is the 643,...
Rushabh Mehta's user avatar
49 votes
3 answers
11k views

Did only one banker in the US go to prison for the Financial Crisis of 2007-08?

In the movies The Big Short (2015) and Capitalism, a love story (2009), it is claimed that only a single banker, Kareem Serageldin, went to prison for the Financial crisis of 2007–2008, for which many ...
Quora Feans's user avatar
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47 votes
3 answers
25k views

Does the AMA limit the number of doctors to increase current doctors' salaries?

A suggested reason why doctors get paid so much more in the US as opposed to other developed countries is that the American Medical Association (AMA) artificially limits the physician supply in order ...
Xodarap's user avatar
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47 votes
1 answer
10k views

Is Donald Trump's ratio of bankruptcy to businesses consistent with the success rate of other entrepreneurs?

Closely related to this question: Did Donald Trump file for bankruptcy four times? Donald Trump has consistently claimed that filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy is not unheard of and 'only' four ...
dsollen's user avatar
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46 votes
1 answer
8k views

Is the presidential family net worth growth/loss portrayed in this infographic true?

Is the presidential family net worth growth/loss portrayed in this infographic true? (I am not asking about the other assertions in this infographic) I'm skeptical of the massive gains both the ...
SnakeDoc's user avatar
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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 ...
A E'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
6k views

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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43 votes
1 answer
8k views

Is "Earth Overshoot Day" a useful or reliable metric of humanity's effect on the world?

Apparently, we are rapidly approaching Earth overshoot day and that day gets earlier every year. The Guardian explains: Humanity is devouring our planet’s resources in increasingly destructive ...
matt_black's user avatar
  • 56.2k
40 votes
5 answers
10k views

Does China control 85% of the supply of rare metals used in lithium batteries?

A selected letter in The Guardian talking about electric vehicles claims: The rare metals in lithium batteries are produced only in inconvenient places. More than 85% of the world’s supply comes ...
the gods from engineering's user avatar
39 votes
3 answers
14k views

Was there no tax before 1913 in the United States?

This image claims that "Up until 1913 Americans kept all of their earnings". Up until 1913 Americans kept all of their earnings Despite this, America still had schools, roads, colleges, vast ...
Sakib Arifin's user avatar
  • 15.8k
39 votes
1 answer
13k views

Did Donald Trump get America's GDP growth to 4.2%?

In a recent tweet, Donald Trump wrote: “President Trump would need a magic wand to get to 4% GDP,” stated President Obama. I guess I have a magic wand, 4.2%, and we will do MUCH better than this! ...
DjangoBlockchain'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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38 votes
1 answer
4k views

Does Germany want their gold back?

There is a meme that is going around that states: The German government has been storing about half of its gold supply with the US FED, apparently in the NYC FED vaults. Germany decided to ...
Chad's user avatar
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37 votes
4 answers
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 accuracy ...
Sklivvz'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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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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36 votes
2 answers
30k 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 ...
thechimp'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
  • 463
36 votes
4 answers
18k 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. ...
Mason Wheeler's user avatar
36 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is there a gold stockpile at "Fort Knox"?

I heard an interesting conspiracy theory recently with the basic idea that there isn't a gold stockpile at "Fort Knox" (anymore or ever). With the level of security so great there and reportedly few ...
DuckMaestro's user avatar
  • 3,228
36 votes
1 answer
4k views

Does rubbing a rejected coin against the ticket machine make it likelier to be accepted?

When a rapid transit ticket machine in Germany refuses to accept a coin, I've often seen the ticket-buyer scratch the same coin on the machine's metal surface before re-trying it. Some scratch with ...
Anko's user avatar
  • 1,991
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
  • 3,439
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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