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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22
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1answer
2k views

Does the U.S. government spend four times as much on welfare as it would take to eliminate poverty by giving the necessary cash?

According to this article by Peter Ferrara, the U.S. spends more than four times as much on welfare as it would take to simply cut every person under the poverty line a check large enough to bring ...
19
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1answer
2k views

Was the Vatican bailed out from bankruptcy by private interests in the 1980s?

I read an article years ago about the Vatican City going bankrupt and subsequently being bailed out by the CEO of a large sneaker company (Nike, Adidas or Reebok, etc. - I can't remember which). I ...
0
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1answer
219 views

Can MSG be made from petroleum [closed]

Once again a famous article on how bad is Nutella was shared to me. Thankfully, from Skeptics we can disminish the main argument of the claim which rely on the fact that MSG is bad (but as shown here, ...
10
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3answers
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Does pumping gas when the tank is half full and on the low flow setting provide an economic benefit?

There is a chain post making the rounds in my social networks. It asserts that gasoline vapors can affect how much fuel you actually get. To minimize the amount of vapor passed through the nozzle/...
43
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1answer
6k 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 ...
12
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2answers
12k views

Is the US $20 bill the most counterfeited?

In a comment on "Is it illegal to refuse US currency for a purchase?", @Dan Neely said I don't think the main reason many businesses ban $50/100 bills is that they'd deplete their ability to make ...
81
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1answer
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 ...
13
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1answer
717 views

Have the Clintons received $153 million in speaker fees?

The Hill reported in an article entitled, "Clinton promises to release Wall Street transcripts if opponents do the same". Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, have racked up $153 ...
66
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1answer
9k 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 ...
15
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2answers
8k 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 ?
20
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2answers
654 views

Do certain Indian beggars earn in excess of INR 50k per month?

The below image has been circulating on Facebook on and off, it says that rich beggars earn 50-130k per month Is this number substantiated by any concrete data? For context, 1 lakh = 100k 1 Crore(...
2
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1answer
731 views

Has the US given more aid to the average Israeli citizen than the average American citizen?

From an article entitled, "U.S. Aid to Israel: What U.S. Taxpayer Should Know", by the Washington Report on Middle Eastern Affairs, Since 1949 the U.S. has given Israel a total of $83.205 billion. ...
8
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1answer
632 views

Has the average standard of living in the United States decreased in recent years?

I have seen many articles claiming that the standard of living in the United States has decreased over the last 15-30 years. (I understand standard of living to be the ability of workers to buy the ...
5
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1answer
1k 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 ...
18
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1answer
3k views

Is the pharmaceutical industry the most profitable business in the United States?

The Russia Today article Pharmageddon: America’s bitter pill claims The pharmaceutical industry remains the most profitable business in the US. More success and financial gain for the companies ...
14
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2answers
4k views

Did US President Bill Clinton pay down the national debt by $223 billion in 2000?

CNN has this statement about the Clinton Surplus: President Clinton announced Wednesday that the federal budget surplus for fiscal year 2000 amounted to at least $230 billion, making it the largest ...
5
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1answer
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How much does an ISP pay for traffic?

The announcement of the german ISP Deutsche Telekom to throttle flatrates in the future, with the lowest limit being 75 GB per month, caused quite a media echo in Germany. One claim from a small ...
-3
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1answer
536 views

Is Wazzub a legitimate business opportunity?

Wazzub is a yet to be launched (at time of writing) web homepage, with advertising. In order to recruit new members, they are offering a MLM-style payout to early adopters who recruit other users. ...
9
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2answers
669 views

Is Singapore the most expensive city in the world?

According to this article, Singapore is now the most expensive city in the world Can that be true? I haven't been to Singapore for about 10 years but last time I was there, whilst it wasn't third ...
7
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1answer
394 views

Did Libyan brides get a USD 90000 dowry from the government?

This pro-Gaddafi source used in this answer makes the claim that, amongst other benefits Libyan citizens get from the Gaddafi government, Libyan brides get a 90000 USD dowry from the government: ...
2
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1answer
275 views

Does government funded R&D promote economic growth?

In Matt Ridley's latest book he repeats a claim originally made by Terence Kealey (my highlighting): In 2003, the OECD published a paper on ‘sources of growth in OECD countries’ between 1971 and ...
4
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1answer
335 views

In literate countries, does more education lead to more economic growth?

In Matt Ridley's latest book he makes many challenges to widely accepted ideas. He challenges the widely held idea that more education is good. For example: Is there any evidence that it was ...
35
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2answers
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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 be ...
15
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3answers
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If you raise taxes, will the rich leave the country? [closed]

I often see/hear this argument used as an argument against raising income tax, at least here in the UK. The argument being the rich will leave, taking their cash out of the country, resulting in ...
5
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0answers
324 views

Is the optimal temperature for human productivity 13°C? [closed]

A recent study attempting to quantify some of the economic costs of a warming climate argues that the optimal temperature for human productivity seems to be 13°C. As the Washington Post reports: ...
3
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0answers
149 views

Is it true that the amount of debt is (always) equal to the amount of credit? [closed]

I recently noticed critics of our financial system state that the amount of debts is always equal to the amount of debts. Is this true? I have so far only found German-language sources for this claim, ...
17
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1answer
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Does the Australian government spend more on welfare than on defense?

Is it true that the Australian people spend more on welfare than they do on defense? This was claimed by Joe Hockey: Each year, the Government spends more on welfare than we spend on the education ...
17
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1answer
3k views

Is extreme poverty in the world getting worse?

In a recent Guardian article Jason Hickel argues that the west needs to de-develop in order to have any hope of meeting the UN goal of eradicating world poverty. He specifically says: Growth has ...
6
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2answers
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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 ...
20
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1answer
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Did the United States annual free tax credits paid to illegal immigrants quadruple to 4.2 billion in 2011?

In Donald Trump's Immigration Policy for the 2016 US Presidential Election campaign, he claims: The costs for the United States have been extraordinary: U.S. taxpayers have been asked to pick up ...
23
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1answer
2k views

Does the UK government have only 300 staff investigating tax evasion of £70bn+ vs 3250 staff investigating benefits (welfare) fraud of £1.2bn?

The following graphic is doing the rounds on Facebook: Is it true? Does the graphic give an accurate representation of the comparative headcount/effort/resources that the UK government (as a whole) ...
40
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1answer
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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 ...
8
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2answers
2k views

Would the United States lose its title as the richest country if we exclude top 5% wealth holders?

I read this claim in Quora: The "richest" country in the world (the u.s.) would assuredly lose that place if you excluded just the top 5% of wealth holders Is this claim true? Is there any ...
4
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0answers
201 views

Can the world economic crisis affect Brazil that much as stated by our President? [closed]

So, as most of you probably know, Brazil is in a deep economic crisis. (I'm a brazilian, but I'm linking a outsource media for reference). One of the consequences of this crisis, is the Brazilian ...
11
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1answer
7k 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. ...
4
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0answers
361 views

Was it common in the USSR for an enterprise to buy steel knives so to melt down them for steel?

This article claims it was common in the USSR if an enterprise needed steel, to buy say knives or other steel goods and melt them for steel. In general, control by the ruble was designed to ...
4
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0answers
286 views

Did only 9700 women reply to messages on AshleyMadison.com? [duplicate]

From Gizmodo.com: Yet another field, reply_mail_last_time, showed a similar disparity. This field contained the time when a member had last replied to a message from another person on Ashley ...
3
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1answer
737 views

Does sealing electrical outlets reduce heating costs?

I stumbled upon this blog post which claims that installing foam gaskets and plugging your electrical outlets with plugs will reduce your heating costs by reducing air leakage. Is this true?
39
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2answers
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 ...
9
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2answers
1k views

Do teachers make more per hour on a career basis than doctors?

This site, shared on facebook many times, as well as linked in many places, claims that, because of the immense amount of debt and training doctors must undergo, an American physician, when you divide ...
4
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0answers
306 views

Is America's prosperity the result of slavery? [closed]

It has been claimed (see below for example) that America's relatively high prosperity is the result of slavery, which enabled the development of American capitalism, by using slaves as, well, capital, ...
14
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0answers
562 views

Are beggars in the Nordic countries cities typically part of organised networks?

In Sweden and other Nordic countries, the presence of beggars on the streets is a relatively new phenomenon, with many beggars originating from new EU member states. There are frequent claims that ...
47
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2answers
96k 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 ...
16
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3answers
8k 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 ...
29
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1answer
2k views

Do performance incentives work for knowledge workers?

In this animated video of his talk, Dan Pink claims performance incentives do not work, and can actually lead to worse performance. In summary, he quotes two studies (which he unfortunately does not ...
68
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3answers
16k 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 ...
3
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1answer
384 views

Can credit cards be cloned remotely with an RFID reader?

This news story from "13 Investigates" shows Walt Augustinowicz (an RFID expert, and seller of RFID proof pouches) who has a portable reader than picks up credit card details while they are still in ...
21
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2answers
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 ...
2
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0answers
244 views

Is about 50% of world population middle class? [closed]

According to this news more than 50% of people would be middle class: http://www.economist.com/node/13063298, the news is from 2009 so maybe now it would be around a 48% or the like considering there'...
242
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1answer
98k 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 ...