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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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11
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1answer
5k views

Does US Congress cost $30m per day to run?

What does it cost for The United States Congress to be in session for a single day? I recently heard a quote of $30 million, but did not see any supporting facts to back it up. What would the total ...
3
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0answers
276 views

Are the New York MTA's financial documents accurate?

I've read many claims that the Metropolitan Transit Authority of New York is low on funds and is in massive debt, but I've also heard several allegations of fraud, including claims of "keeping two ...
6
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1answer
496 views

Do Americans spend 9.14 billion hours on government paperwork every year?

Cass R. Sunstein, a former head of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs and the author, most recently, of "Simpler: The Future of Government.", has made this claim (The New ...
10
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1answer
1k views

Do women drive 80% of consumption?

The Men's Rights organization, Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW) have claimed (quoting The Observer Watches Blog) that: Consumption in the modern world today is driven overwhelmingly by women (80-91%,...
13
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2answers
2k views

Do casinos have a negative economic and social impact on the neighborhoods they are located in?

In a recent article of the Toronto Sun that discusses a proposed waterfront casino for the city of Toronto, the author Christopher Hume makes the following statement: Experience around the world ...
14
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2answers
2k views

Is Walmart the largest company in history?

I have seen a post going around on Facebook containing a list of "facts" about Walmart. Two of them seem like very large claims: Wal-Mart employs 1.6 million people, is the world's largest private ...
8
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1answer
2k views

Does the US have $54 trillion?

There's a viral video going around about the wealth inequality in the US. It claims the US has $54 trillion. It cites economists from Harvard Business school, but I didn't see where that particular ...
16
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1answer
1k views

Are Americans less prosperous and less educated than their parents for the first time?

In the movie Inside Job, Matt Damon makes the following claim: For the first time in history, average Americans have less education and are less prosperous than their parents. Is that true? What ...
6
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1answer
694 views

Do upper-income people in the US think they aren't upper income?

Andrew Gelman claims on his blog: Upper-income people still don't realize they're upper-income If people are directly asked whether they consider themselves to be upper income, do they underrate ...
58
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2answers
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 ...
14
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2answers
1k views

Do Kondratiev waves predict long-term economic trends?

Kondratiev waves are a model of long-term economic growth. Averaging fifty and ranging from approximately forty to sixty years in length, the cycles consist of alternating periods between high ...
12
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1answer
1k views

Was money invented because barter was deemed impractical?

When the history of money is described, very often the claim is made that people invented money because barter was impractical: a quick Google Search lists many places where this claim is made, e.g. (...
10
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1answer
1k views

Are Apple products sold at a premium price?

I have often heard people talk about to an Apple tax in reference to Apple products (especially their Mac products). This is one of many references to Apple having overly high prices compared with ...
19
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1answer
2k views

Does a customer have the legal right to receive change in whatever denomination they want if the cashier can cover it?

I am a cashier at a gas station in California and I recently had a customer put me in this situation. They prepaid for $50 in gas with a fifty dollar bill and filled their car. They had $19 in ...
4
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1answer
983 views

Does a tax increase on high incomes slow down economic growth?

The Republican party in the US has a position that that raising taxes on rich people leads to less growth. Is this true? For one example of the claim, CNN reported in August 2012: Republicans ...
14
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1answer
2k views

Is non-union labor more productive than union labor?

A claim was made today by an equipment manufacturing industry representative that in the last 10 years Non-Union labor had far out paced Union labor in productivity gains and that Non-Union Shops ...
1
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1answer
1k views

Did Americans coin the phrase “to make money”?

This claim comes from a work of fiction but it is often repeated as true by fiscally conservative individuals who respect the author. In Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, a character named Francisco gives a ...
10
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0answers
310 views

Glut of dolphin meat in Japan going into pet food?

Is there any truth behind the claim that Japan doesn't need all the dolphin meat it gets and the excess is being passed off to the pet food industry because there is little demand for the meat or they ...
8
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0answers
164 views

Are prices ending with 99 cents more likely to result in purchase decisions? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: The origin of “99 cents” "Psychological pricing" refers to the theory that certain prices are more likely to lead to a sale than others. In the United States, that ...
9
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1answer
687 views

Is the 2-3-fold rise in HDD price an effect of false shortage?

Beyond any doubt Thailand floods have affected HDD market. However, some analysts say that the effect on the market should be a 10-30% price increase. Meanwhile in the consumer market the increase is ...
17
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3answers
2k views

Is Social Security a Ponzi scheme?

Texas Gov. Rick Perry said at a September 7 MSNBC presidential debate that "it is a Ponzi scheme to tell our kids that are 25 or 30 years old today, you're paying into a program that's going to be ...
15
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1answer
2k views

Do countries deliberately avoid winning Eurovision?

Spanish singer told to lose Eurovision? claims that countries deliberately avoid winning the Eurovision Song Contest because of the expense of hosting it. It claims that: Montenegro, Andora and ...
3
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0answers
843 views

Would eradicating hunger worldwide cost about 30 billion US dollars a year? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Can we end poverty for $US175 billion per year? I have come across this claim several times. The Money required to eradicate hunger for everyone in the world has been ...
6
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0answers
470 views

Have western governments spent $100billion on global warming research and advocacy?

The author, Robert M Carter argues against Anthropogenic Global Warning and his book is called Climate: the counter consensus. In it he makes two related claims: that the cumulative funding on climate ...
7
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3answers
2k views

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 ...
36
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2answers
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 ...
13
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2answers
1k views

Does every act of piracy impact revenue by the current content price?

Many copyright owners claim that every time someone pirates content (e.g. a song, a film, software) that they have lost money. Some make a stronger claim: that every pirated download is hurting their ...
11
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1answer
887 views

Does using ethanol fuel save money, and is it better for the environment?

In the last couple of years, petrol companies have started offering petrol with 10% ethanol in them, presumably at a cheaper price than normal unleaded. However, I've noticed (although this is just ...
16
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1answer
991 views

Are elections bad for the economy?

Since 2008, whenever the possibly of an election is brought up, the Conservative Party of Canada repeats the same point: elections are bad for the economy. For example, here's an excerpt of Jim ...
10
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3answers
1k views

Are value-added taxes naturally progressive?

In The solution to income disparity? Consumption taxes, Timothy Taylor claims the following: Why are VATs and sales taxes so unpopular? One common critique is that they are regressive. ... But if ...
25
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1answer
2k views

Do tax cuts stimulate an economy?

Every election cycle, I keep hearing that tax breaks stimulate the economy. Are there any well-known studies or scientifically-backed examples from history that shed light on whether or not this ...
2
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1answer
389 views

Has the federal reserve issued 16 trillion dollars in bailouts?

I've seen this all over the internet, but it never got picked up by larger news websites. There is an article on business insider but I'm rather unsure about the reliability of that site. Basically ...
7
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1answer
811 views

Do Americans spend 49 billion dollars a year on pets?

I heard that people in Germany spend billions on pets and didn't believe it. But actually Germans spend around 3.3 billion Euro a year. The source seems serious. The only hint I found for US is this ...
11
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1answer
859 views

Do the rich in the US donate an average of 15 percent of their income?

Dick Smith in a recent rant about "selfish" rich Australians made a claim that: In the United States, the rich donated an average of 15 per cent of their income, Smith said. But in Australia it ...
9
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1answer
575 views

Did anti-discrimination efforts lead to the sub-prime mortgage bubble?

In this article on Bloomberg, it seems clear that the goverment is forcing banks to issue risky loans. Is the government really being this stupid, or is there more to it that this article does not ...
7
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1answer
603 views

Evidence for Bond Vigilantes?

In the last two years, economists and financial pundits have been arguing whether Bond Vigilantes (see also this question) exist, and if they do, if their actions are significant enough to pose a ...
3
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1answer
810 views

Was there ever a cannibalistic butcher/meat pie/restaurant… shop?

Has there ever been a real case of Sweeney Todd's (without the musical of course)? As it seems a really non cost effective way of running a shop, similar stories pop up in few different cultures (as ...
17
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4answers
4k views

Is bribery damaging to society?

Many commentators in the developed countries insist that bribery is a form of corruption and needs to be stamped out in developing countries, contending that it is bad for the people. The main ...
12
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2answers
1k views

Are food deserts a real phenomenon?

According to Wikipedia, a food desert is a low income area where people there cannot access high quality or nutritional food, due to either a lack of transportation or a lack of real grocery stores. ...
29
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1answer
2k views

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 ...
5
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1answer
357 views

Does the weather affect the selling of your house?

A realtor just told me that you're more likely to sell your house, and get a better price, if the weather is better. He said cold damp weather reduces the number of people looking and interest in ...
15
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1answer
733 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 ...
31
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1answer
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 ...
12
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2answers
731 views

Is global economic production sufficient to feed, clothe and educate everyone?

Is there enough food produced annually to provide a subsistence diet for the entire population of Earth? (Bonus points for data involving shelter, clothing or education.) This question was inspired ...