Questions tagged [economy]

Questions relating to the politics of economic theory or economic policy of any country or the international community. General economic questions can be asked on Economics.SE https://economics.stackexchange.com/

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103
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21answers
24k views

What is the capitalist answer to automation?

While we are not currently at total automation, we are inching closer. An Oxford Study from 2013 indicates by 2033 upwards of 45% of our job force could be automated. This automation, causing a ...
102
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19answers
13k views

Why hasn't competition between health insurance providers led to lower prices for consumers?

In the US, a common argument I've seen against a universal healthcare system is that removing the ability of private health insurance companies to compete will give rise to a natural monopoly in the ...
98
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26answers
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What is capitalism's answer to constant economic growth hitting the limit of the planet's finite resources?

We keep hearing a lot about economic growth in the media and this answer shows us why it is so important: Therefore, we have three options: A constant increase in unemployment. (Generally ...
97
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11answers
32k views

Why is globalisation so disdained?

From what I can tell via the definition of the word on Google, globalisation seems like a fairly reasonable course of action. Trade makes everyone better off in the long run, and it isn't as if we ...
82
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4answers
17k views

Is there any record of Trickle Down Economics improving the economy?

Since the senate passed the tax bill this month that's left me confused. I try to look at both sides of partisan politics rather than joining one team and hating everything about the other. Now to ...
77
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17answers
19k views

What ethical (if any) or economical arguments are offered in defense of the inheritance tax?

Although I am normally quite supportive of higher taxation, I've never really felt comfortable with the inheritance tax. I see no reason why the government should tax the money a parent wishes to ...
61
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17answers
22k views

Why would the government force its population to save for retirement?

Here in Denmark we pretty much have "forced" retirement saving. Almost everybody in regular employment pays about $15 a month plus 12% of their monthly salary into a pension fund. [1] You can save ...
60
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10answers
16k views

What will happen if China stops loaning money to the U.S.?

US's external debt to china is a staggering 1.1 trillion US dollars and according to many economists, it's highly unlikely that U.S. will be able to pay back the entire external debt to China in the ...
56
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3answers
14k views

What is Canada's case for applying tariffs on US dairy?

Donald Trump has been making a lot of noise the past few days about Canada's protection of its dairy industry, and cites that practice as the justification for the steel and aluminum tariffs he has ...
52
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4answers
18k views

Why has Venezuela's economy collapsed when Cuba's has not?

Cuba and Venezuela seem to share a lot in common. Both are effectively Socialist dictatorships. Cuba's government has been Communist for many years, while Venezuela has been socialist for much less. ...
50
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13answers
13k views

What are the downsides of being a debt-free country (no foreign national debt)?

I was only a child when the Romanian dictator, Ceaușescu announced that all of the country's foreign debt had been paid: Romanian leader Nicolae Ceausescu announced this week that his country, ...
50
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3answers
8k views

Do separatist nations inherit any national debt?

Do separatist nations inherit any national debt? For example, given Spain has a debt level of £1.1 trillion at the time of writing, if Catalonia becomes an independent nation is there any legal ...
47
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5answers
8k views

How is Japan able to sustain a large debt as a percentage of GDP, while Greece could not?

Japan is currently the nation with the highest debt as a percentage of GDP - at the time of writing it stands at over 250%. Greece, currently the second most indebted nation, went through a decade-...
46
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3answers
12k views

During the COVID-19 pandemic, why is it claimed that the US President is making a trade-off of human lives for the economy?

This question posted recently makes a lot of assumptions, including the US President is currently making a trade-off of human lives for the economy or Trump's pro-economy death-permissive ...
46
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8answers
23k views

Is it possible to be a socialist and a capitalist?

I don't know how to label my economic belief system, and it's frustrating when getting into discussions with other people. I believe in Capital. I believe that people have a right to earn more than ...
44
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10answers
22k views

Why don't countries like Japan just print more money?

Modern Monetary Theory says that a sovereign countries will never go bankrupt. It can just print more money. Of course, printing more money would lead to inflation. But some countries have the ...
43
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10answers
15k views

How is Russia able to maintain the 2nd most powerful military in the world at a fraction of the cost of the US & China?

The 2020 Military Strength Rankings list Russia's military as #2 in strength: United States Russia China However, their defense budget rankings show that Russia's only #8 in spending: United States ...
43
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8answers
7k views

Have any countries that are currently in lockdown published a detailed long-term exit plan?

Currently almost every country around the world is in a state of lockdown. However all of them seem to be in a state of 'indefinite' lockdown, with no long-term plan published anywhere. Has any ...
42
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3answers
10k views

Why did the World Bank set the global poverty line at $1.90?

In early 2019 Bill Gates tweeted an infographic during the 45 meeting of the World Economic Forum at Davos that showed that the proportion of people living in poverty had decreased from 94% in 1820 to ...
40
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9answers
4k views

Why is economic growth considered so essential, even in rich countries?

Whenever economic growth as a percentage of BNP drops close to zero, economists speak of a recession or even a crisis. In political debate, the focus is quite often on economic growth; in most ...
39
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6answers
12k views

Why does Spain's government want to increase the minimum wage by such a large percentage at once?

According to the BBC, Spain wants to increase the minimum wage by more than 20%: Spain's minimum wage will jump by 22% in 2019 - the largest annual increase in more than 40 years. It means ...
39
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1answer
4k views

If the US switched to the metric system, what would the net 20-year economic savings be?

If the United States were to adopt the metric system of units, as commonly used in all other advanced industrial economies, there would clearly be switching costs for the economy as a whole, and there ...
38
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9answers
9k views

How could the free market limit the effects of net neutrality's repeal?

How could the free market limit the effects of net neutrality's repeal? Specifically, how will consumers' internet access be protected without government regulation?
38
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3answers
9k views

What was Eisenhower's warning about?

Eisenhower in his farewell address warned the American people about the United States Military Industrial Complex and its emerging power. According to Wikipedia The US spends more on the military ...
36
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3answers
10k views

Why does Rome municipality seem to have a hard time maintaining the city?

I have recently visited Rome for about a week and the city looks as if the municipality has serious issues maintaining the city. Many monuments are well maintained, the public transportation is quite ...
34
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8answers
9k views

How do governments keep track of their issued currency?

If a government issues currency and it ends up in bank accounts abroad, what stops banks from making a 'mistake' during a transfer, accidentally duplicating the currency? Is there some central ...
33
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5answers
11k views

If the eurozone budget deficit limit is 3%, why is the European Commission telling Italy it must revise its 2.4% deficit budget?

The BBC reports that the European Commission has told Italy to revise its budget, saying that the draft presents particularly serious non-compliance with Eurozone rules. Yet the maximum permitted ...
31
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11answers
14k views

Why did Berlin freeze the rent prices as opposed to letting the market set the price?

This EuroNews article tells us about the Berlin freezing of rent prices: Berlin is freezing the rents of 1.5 million apartments for the next five years starting this Sunday in a controversial ...
31
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21answers
14k views

How does Capitalism facilitate happiness? [closed]

I would like to preface this with the disclaimer that I am fresh to Stack Exchange, so any pointers on what may have been a better Stack for my question, or simply how to better frame it, are greatly ...
29
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10answers
11k views

Why do farms need subsidies? [duplicate]

The title is slightly misleading, farms need subsidies because it's difficult to make them financially viable, but... Why do farms in developed countries require state subsidies (CAP in Europe, I ...
29
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9answers
6k views

Why is the lack of seasonal agricultural workers considered a problem given the high unemployment rate in every Western country?

Currently farmers in Western countries are warning governments that without foreign workers their fields will be impossible to harvest: “We are in need of a lot of foreign workers,” Eystein Ruud, a ...
29
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4answers
16k views

Who was the last US President to oversee a reduction in debt?

As of 2012, the United States currently has ~16 trillion in debt. The last five presidents have all added to the overall debt*. Who is the last US president to decrease the total amount of debt ...
26
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1answer
8k views

Do POWs typically get paid for their prison time?

The recent release of Craig Bergdahl has me wondering about the status of prisoners of war from a strictly economic standpoint. When a soldier is POW, he is clearly not in a position to be able to ...
25
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11answers
5k views

Why did some US institutions not migrate their very old software systems to use somewhat newer ones?

This article shows us that some US institutions rely on very old systems (written decades ago, which is very long in IT time perspective): New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy says that the state is looking ...
25
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10answers
4k views

How do leaders choose between lives and money?

Amid the current pandemic many governments imposed heavy social restrictions in an attempt to flatten the curve and thereby save lives, and those restrictions take their toll on the economies. For ...
23
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13answers
7k views

Why not have a wealth dependent income tax?

Usually states implement a progressive tax. So people with a higher income have to pay a higher tax rate. However I think that this is not helping much to distribute wealth more equally. Instead I ...
23
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3answers
7k views

Did Germany profit from the (third) Greek bailout?

From an article published in June 2018 on thelocal.de: Berlin has been one of the main lenders to Greece during its debt crisis. While conservative parties warned that supporting Greece would come ...
22
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4answers
12k views

Can Brexit be undone in an emergency?

In case Brexit has already happened, can it be reversed after a short time? Legally, the answer is no, I think. But I can imagine a situation where, during the first few days after Brexit, all ...
22
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6answers
19k views

Does currency exist in communism?

I've thought about this before, but never heard any explanation as to how this works. My understanding of communism is: Everyone works. Everything is rationed out equally. Since there is no ...
22
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4answers
4k views

How does the credit rating of a country affect its populace?

I am coming from a UK perspective; we lost our AAA credit rating in 2013, and dropped again in 2017 after the referendum on European Union membership. It was reported last week that we are set to be ...
22
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8answers
6k views

Why do the USA and the European Union treat GMOs so differently?

According to the sources cited within this paragraph, there is a scientific consensus that "currently available food derived from GM crops poses no greater risk to human health than conventional food, ...
22
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7answers
5k views

Why fund the research in pure mathematics?

I post this question on politics.se, as suggested by this answer of Bjørn Kjos-Hanssen. The research in pure mathematics has (generally) no other choice that being funded by public organizations ...
22
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2answers
4k views

What have been the arguments against VAT in the US?

The majority of countries in the world have implemented a Value Added Tax (VAT) - sometimes called a Goods and Services Tax (GST) - why hasn't the US? EDIT - I would assume that if a VAT were ...
19
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3answers
6k views

Does the US government have any planning in place to ensure there's no shortages of food, fuel, steel and other commodities?

Every time we go shopping store shelves are full of food, gas stations are stocked up on gas, car dealerships have no shortage of cars, etc. But who is ensuring that all of the complex processes ...
19
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5answers
3k views

How would the trillion-dollar coin save the United States' economy?

Recently I read in a news post that the Treasury Department is able to order the coinage of a coin made of platinum with a value of 1,000,000,000,000 USD, or 1 trillion US dollars. You can read about ...
19
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3answers
3k views

Dealing with crime in cryptocurrency based economies

Most cryptocurrencies are anonymous where the origin of coins is not known and transactions are also anonymous (this may not be 100% true but lets assume perfect anonymity). The society prevents ...
19
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2answers
2k views

Why did local authorities in England and Wales stop building homes?

From the 1970s–1980s, UK government local authorities stopped building homes: (Source: BBC News) Or, with raw figures from the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government spreadsheet, ...
18
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5answers
4k views

What are the consequences if a country decides to selectively cancel debt?

(Not sure if this should be on the Economics SE; however I am interested in both economic & political consequences) Trump threatens new tariffs on China as US mulls retaliatory action over COVID-...
18
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3answers
8k views

Why do some countries forbid working on Sunday rather than strictly regulating it?

According to this source, Poland will gradually forbid commerce on Sundays: Poland’s ruling party approved a law that will gradually impose a ban on Sunday shopping, meeting the demand of its ...
18
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2answers
5k views

If SWIFT is headquartered in Europe, why does the EU need to create a SWIFT alternative to be able to do transactions with Iran?

If SWIFT is headquartered in Europe, why does the EU need to create a SWIFT alternative to be able to do transactions with Iran? It seems that the U.S. has significant control over SWIFT although ...

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