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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
32
votes
3answers
13k views

Does the United States throw wheat in the ocean to keep the prices high?

In Iran, there is a wide-spread belief that the USA throws extra wheat it produces into the ocean to keep the prices high. The official website for the Iranian presidential office [Persian] quotes ...
32
votes
1answer
3k views

Organic food is worse for the environment because it requires more land than non-organic food

I've heard that organic crops and husbandry are worse for the environment than non-organic equivalents because in the absence of pesticides and fertilizers much more land is required for an organic ...
32
votes
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 ...
31
votes
1answer
7k views

Are there 24 empty houses “available” per homeless person in the USA?

I just saw this meme on Facebook: Since this question answered the ratio question, I would like to know if these houses are "available for" those homeless?
31
votes
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 ...
30
votes
1answer
4k views

Could McDonald's pay a $10.10 minimum wage with an increase of only 4¢ per meal?

This caught my eye and seems like powerful statement, if true. WARREN: During my Senate campaign, I ate a number 11 at McDonald’s many, many times a week. I know the price on that. $7.19. According ...
29
votes
3answers
7k views

Is empowerment of women a cure for poverty?

It is stated that giving women equality and control over their reproduction reduces the poverty in any community. Christopher Hitchens: "We already know the cure to poverty...it's quite simply, ...
29
votes
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 ...
29
votes
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 ...
28
votes
2answers
4k views

Are there more Greeks driving Porsche Cayennes than paying high-rate tax?

The following claim has been attributed to economist Professor Herakles Polemarchakis. A couple of years ago, there were more Cayennes circulating in Greece than individuals who declared and ...
28
votes
2answers
11k views

Do Greeks evade taxes by not finishing their houses?

I've heard this claim several times: Q: Why are there so many unfinished houses in Greece? A: as long as the house is not finished, they don't have to pay building tax for it. So the leave it ...
28
votes
2answers
2k views

Are Fair Trade products guaranteed to be 'fairer'?

I was wondering about Fair Trade foods/products (products carrying the international certificate) as I have never seen an actual policy or standards on how much farmers/producers get paid. Is there ...
28
votes
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 ...
28
votes
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 ...
27
votes
5answers
17k views

Do commercial airline pilots make around $19,000 - $25,000 per year?

I always thought pilots were paid well. I am currently watching the movie "Capitalism, A love Story," and Michael Moore interviews some pilots, in which the pilots say they make around $19,000 - $25,...
27
votes
2answers
74k views

Does Louis Vuitton burn all their unsold bags?

It first ran across the notion with this meme Every year Louis Vuitton burns all their unsold bags A google search yields lots of results but none of them seems credible. Snopes yields nothing. ...
27
votes
4answers
11k views

Is there a wealth gap in Boston where the median net worth of white households is $247,500 while the median net worth for black families was $8?

This quote—or some variant of it—has been floating around the news and social media world; this comes from Boston.com on July 26, 2019: According to a 2015 report by the Federal Reserve Bank of ...
27
votes
2answers
5k views

Was pepper once worth its weight in gold?

It's a frequent claim that common black pepper was worth its weight in gold in early modern times. Just yesterday I heard it again in a documentary about the Dutch East India Company's spice trade in ...
26
votes
1answer
19k views

Does the $20 bill predict the 9/11 attacks?

I am referring to claims such as those made at this site. Basically they claim that a certain folding of the bill shows burning images of twin towers. The new U.S. $20 dollar bill contains hidden ...
26
votes
1answer
7k views

Are the chances of dying on the way to get lottery tickets larger than the chance of winning?

I encountered the following claim: The chances of you dying on the way to get your lottery tickets is greater than your chances of winning Of course, whether is is true depends on the lottery, on ...
25
votes
2answers
2k views

Is Social Security headed for insolvency?

I can drag up a bunch of different articles either claiming that the US Social Security system is or is not headed for insolvency. The most recent reference to the concept was in a PBS interview with ...
25
votes
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 ...
25
votes
1answer
2k views

Are Fairtrade farmers paid worse than other farmers in the same regions?

There have been a few articles recently on the (in)efficiency of fair trade organisation Fairtrade. Here is an example from the Guardian: Sales of Fairtrade-certified products from Uganda and ...
24
votes
5answers
3k views

Is it cheaper to eat fast food?

I sometimes see claims that poor people become obese and develop "lifestyle diseases" (heart disease, diabetes, etc) because they cannot afford healthy food and are forced to eat fast food. Logically,...
24
votes
2answers
6k views

Do Americans use 500 million straws per day?

CNN claims that Americans use 500 million straws per day. Every day, Americans throw away 500 million plastic straws, enough to circle the Earth twice, or fill 125 school buses. Other sources ...
23
votes
4answers
6k views

Can we end poverty for $US175 billion per year?

A recent question brought up the claim that poverty can be eliminated for 175 billion a year. I found this claim To end extreme poverty worldwide in 20 years, Sachs calculated that the total ...
23
votes
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) ...
22
votes
1answer
2k views

Do typical modern pharmaceutical firms spend more on marketing than on R&D?

Developing new drugs is an expensive process. As a result the pharmaceutical industry spends a lot on R&D (15% of turnover is not unusual and is higher than most other major industries: see report ...
22
votes
3answers
3k views

Do automobile manufacturers make parts wear out and break easily, just so they can make more money?

It is sometimes heard that automobile manufacturers design low-quality parts that wear out or break easily, so that they can make money on the repair or replacement of these parts. I believe this to ...
22
votes
1answer
1k views

Was breaking apart coins for change ever a common custom?

Discussion at many online sites asserts that it was a common custom (e.g., in medieval or Roman times) to pay for a purchase with a coin and have the coin broken apart, with part of it returned as ...
22
votes
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 ...
22
votes
2answers
3k views

Does banning abortion significantly increase or decrease the number of abortions?

According to the following article, the oft quoted result that abortion is higher in countries where it is legal is misleading: The obvious problem with The Lancet study is that many of the ...
22
votes
1answer
896 views

Have airlines as a whole been unprofitable over their history?

I recently overheard a discussion in which it was claimed that the airline industry has generated more losses than profits when we take its whole history into account. This is basically a repeat of ...
21
votes
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, ...
21
votes
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?
21
votes
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 ...
20
votes
3answers
8k views

Does Turkey make the “structural steel frame” for the F-35 fighter?

In a tweet of Donald Trump (which was also carried without commentary in this regard by the Washington Post) he says So many people conveniently forget that Turkey is a big trading partner of the ...
20
votes
7answers
2k views

Can a society become unhappier with an increase in wealth?

People like to claim that less developed countries are happier, because they live the simple life and stronger family ties. We've all heard the saying: Money can't buy you happiness. Which is easy ...
20
votes
1answer
3k views

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 ...
20
votes
2answers
1k views

Do pricey medicines in the USA subsidise R&D for the rest of the world?

A recent (February 2018) report by the US government Council of Economic Advisors makes the following argument (my highlights): The United States both conducts and finances much of the ...
20
votes
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 ...
20
votes
2answers
663 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(...
19
votes
3answers
3k views

Can Microsoft's success be attributed to their abuse of a monopoly

Can the success of Microsoft be attributed to their abuse of their operating system monopolies of MS-DOS through the various versions of Windows (and other related monopolies such as the Internet ...
19
votes
1answer
43k views

Is Snopes.Com funded by George Soros?

Snopes is sort of notorious for being a relatively "bias-free" fact-checking site. However, I notice that in certain conservative circles it is written off as funded by liberals, most notably the ...
19
votes
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 ...
19
votes
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 ...
18
votes
2answers
1k views

Do small businesses create the majority of the jobs in America?

Do small businesses create the majority of the jobs in the United States? I guess it would depend on one's definition of small business, but stipulating that the definition is the one used by ...
18
votes
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 ...
18
votes
1answer
2k views

Does the UK send the EU £350 million a week?

I got this propaganda leaflet through my door today, this has been widely claimed by parties in favor of the British EU referendum: We send the EU £350 million a week - let's fund our NHS instead ...
18
votes
2answers
9k views

Is the income of the porn industry 50% of the revenues made on the Internet?

Yesterday a friend of mine told me that most of the money which is made in the internet is going to the porn industry. First I didn't believe any word and I was like "Hey, shut up! There is still ...