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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10
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2answers
2k views

Does nearly half the world's population live on less than $2 a day?

This UN page about 'Hunger', for example, says, Nearly half the world’s population, 2.8 billion people, survive on less than $2 a day. Quotes like this are shocking; but practically, I don't ...
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3answers
15k 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 ...
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1answer
488 views

Is this graph of changes in real wages since the recession correct?

This chart has been doing the rounds lately. It seems to be based on a TUC (UK trade union) analysis of the 2016 OECD Employment Outlook publication (Figure 1.6). But that particular figure shows ...
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1answer
540 views

Are there 80,000 unoccupied residential properties in Melbourne, Australia?

There have been a number of claims that there are many unoccupied properties in Melbourne, Australia, and that this causes a meaningful difference in the price of rentals and purchase. For example, ...
121
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1answer
24k 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 ...
7
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1answer
441 views

Has a carbon price lead to a 8.6 percent drop in electricity demand in Australia?

In a press release China’s pilot carbon trading market taps UNSW expertise (press release is by the UNSW, which is my employer) Minister Combet highlighted the benefits to date of Australia’s ...
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1answer
1k views

Are there members of Congress who have tried to seize 401k plans?

In February, the White House released its “Annual Report on the Middle Class” containing new regulations favored by Big Labor including a bailout of critically underfunded union pension plans ...
3
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0answers
261 views

Can 3D ocean farms provide food and biofuel far more sustainably than other sources?

This article in The Nation contains an excerpt from “Ecological Redemption: Ocean Farming in the Era of Climate Change,” a lecture by Bren Smith given at the Thirty-Fifth Annual E. F. Schumacher ...
5
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0answers
189 views

Is austerity effective at boosting an economy's growth or reducing a country's debt? [closed]

Some governments currently have austerity policies, which involves large cuts in public spending. The claim made is that this is necessary to reduce the country's deficit, and boost the growth of the ...
21
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2answers
6k views

Is Sweden's economy deteriorating fast?

I am rather surprised to read this article: Sweden to become a Third World Country by 2030, according to UN In 2010 Sweden had the 15th place in the HDI rankings but according to UN forecasts, ...
3
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1answer
283 views

Could candy crush in-app purchases gross revenue keep over a million children fed in africa? [closed]

Discussing the mobile app in-app-purchase model, candy crush came up, and someone said the gross revenue of that app family alone could keep over one million children fed in africa. Some googling ...
32
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1answer
8k views

Did Henry Ford predict revolution if people understood the banking and monetary system?

Several sites claim that Henry Ford said the following: It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
221 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, ...
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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
7k 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
13k 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
721 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 ?
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2answers
665 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(...
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1answer
737 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. ...
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1answer
636 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 ...
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1answer
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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
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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
1k views

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 ...
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1answer
537 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
672 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
412 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: ...
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1answer
277 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
336 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 ...
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3answers
5k views

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 ...
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0answers
326 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: ...
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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
2k views

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 ...
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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 ...
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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) ...
41
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1answer
5k 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 ...
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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 ...
4
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0answers
363 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 ...
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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
745 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?
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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 ...
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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 ...