Mapping the world's opinions

Welcome to Economics

This is a place to read about and contribute to economic discussions. Discover the controversies surrounding the world of banking, wealth, inequality, and business.
Welcome to Economics
Welcome to Economics
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Do tech monopolies stifle or spur innovation?

A technological monopoly occurs when one company exclusively controls the right to sell a service or product. A company that holds a technological monopoly is free to set prices as high or as low as they want, due to the lack of competition in the given field. This debate is centered on the role of the government in the economy and whether tech companies have an incentive to self-regulate their in...

Economics , Technology

How will coronavirus change the world?

As coronavirus spreads, the possibility that it will have a severe and lasting impact on our world increases. But how will covid-19 impact the different facets of our existence and society? After the coronavirus pandemic is over, will we go back to life as normal? Or will things never be the same?

Economics , Health , Politics , Science , Society

Is free software better quality than closed software?

There is no singular way to define the quality of a software; there are many ways to define it. It could be defined by user satisfaction, the efficiency of the code, or the software's technological impact. With this in mind, how does free software compare to closed software?

Economics , Technology

What are the options on a second Brexit referendum?

Theresa May’s Brexit deal contains little to please Brexiteers or Remainers. As it stands, it will be very difficult for Brexit to end in a way that is satisfying for anyone. Should there be a second referendum on Brexit, so that people can vote with a better understanding of their options?

Economics , International Relations , Politics

Is diversity critical to a business' financial success?

Research proves that diversity (gender, ethnic and social) can improve work place culture and productivity. Some argue that workplace diversity can increase growth or revenues, by increasing the comfort of workers and ensuring different views are represented. But diversity really have that much of a baring on a business' success?

Economics , Ethics , Gender , Politics , Society

Is socialism ethical?

Socialism is the political belief the government should redistribute wealth to close the economic gap in society. Many argue that this is a far better way to live, as all citizens can life with the secure knowledge that they will be protected by the state. But is it ethical for this to happen because the state took money away from another citizen?

Economics , History , International Relations , Philosophy , Politics , Society

Mapping the world's opinions.

Is there too much money in football?

From humble beginnings, football has exploded into one of the most-watched sports in the world. Far from being just a game, football is now a multi-billion dollar industry. But does compromise the integrity of the game? Would football be better if there was less money involved?

Economics , Sports

What are the positions on gun control?

There are more than 300,000,000 guns in the United States. Guns have claimed the lives of more American citizens than all the wars since the American revolution put together. With guns holding a unique place in the American psyche, should there be measures in place to limit gun ownership? What should these measures look like?

Economics , Ethics , Politics , Science

Will coronavirus herald the end of capitalism?

The US is already experiencing record unemployment, and stock markets are crashing all over the world. The economic impact of coronavirus is already huge. Does this mean the end of capitalism? Or are we reading too much into this economic shock? Previous economic crashes, such as 2008, made no change at all to the global capitalist economy, so why would coronavirus?

Economics , Politics

Is the Met Gala distasteful?

The first Monday in May is a huge part of the fashion social calendar. Every year, the Met Gala is thrown at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to benefit the Costume Institute. The event raises huge amounts of money, but is it just an excuse for capitalist worship of excess?

Economics , Fashion , Society

Is Bitcoin the future?

Since its inception since 2008, the world has looked at Bitcoin with cautious fascination. In 2013 Bitcoin started to generate interest as investors and buyers explored the possibility of Bitcoin emerging as the predominant international currency. The bursting of the Bitcoin bubble several years later did much to dampen its outlook but is Bitcoin the future of money?

Economics , Society

Should corporations have "morals"?

With BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Volkswagen’s emissions scandal, and Apple’s ‘batterygate’, there is no shortage of corporations behaving in a morally reprehensible way to cut costs or increase profits. Should corporations have morals? Are business ethics important? Is it a firm’s collective responsibility to behave in an ethical way?

Economics , Ethics

Should the wealthy pay more taxes?

Western societies have become more economically unequal, with a small minority holding the majority of the wealth while public services continue to decline. The back drop of austerity has made this inequality even starker, leading many to question whether the richest should be paying more to help fund public services?

Economics , Ethics , Society

What is the future of the European Union?

In recent years the European Union has faced a litany of challenges, from the Eurozone crisis, the migrant crisis, and Brexit, this has led many to speculate whether the days of the European political and economic union are numbered?

Economics , International Relations , Politics

Will coronavirus destroy the global economy?

How will the coronavirus pandemic affect the global economy? The virus is fast spreading across continents, causing major corporations to close their offices and airlines to go bust. The virus has already been blamed for the record-breaking one day fall in the US economy. What's next?

Economics , Health , News , Politics

Were there any positives to European Colonialism?

European empires from the early modern period to the twentieth century dominated much of the globe. Scholarship on Imperialism has focused on the destruction and exploitation that these European colonies wrought on their subjects and territories. However, were there any positive results from this process?

Economics , History , International Relations , Politics

Should the Fed remove the mandate on sustainable maximum employment and focus solely on price stability?

The Federal Reserve currently has a dual mandate: (1) price stability; and (2) maximum sustainable employment. The original purpose of the Federal Reserve system, signed into law in 1913 by then President Woodrow Wilson, was to essentially provide effective management of the national currency and provide oversight of the banking system for nationwide financial stability. However, in 1977, the Fede...

Economics

Are vaccines safe?

Immunisation is the process whereby a person is made immune or resistant to an infectious disease, typically by the administration of a vaccine. "Anti-vaxxers” have firm convictions about vaccines’ harmful effects and many people believe their children have been harmed by vaccines. Others have ‘vaccine hesistancy’: they are not inherently anti-vaccine, but are concerned or confused by the mixed m...

Economics , Ethics , People , Religion , Science , Society , Technology

Is political correctness detrimental to society?

Although founded on the idea that everyone should be treated with dignity and respect, political correctness is frequently used to dismiss opinions as racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic, transphobic and misogynistic. What is the real impact of political correctness? Does it foster harmony, or is it a weapon to stifle debate and dismiss controversial opinions as invalid?

Economics , Ethics , History , People , Philosophy , Politics

Do deficits matter?

For decades, politicians and economists have condemned deficits as evil. Today, there is a lively debate about whether deficits matter and whether there are advantages to running them. Most notably Modern Monetary Theory encourages the government to run deficits in order to achieve its objectives of full employment and investment.

Economics

Is growth investing superior to value investing?

Investors in stocks are often divided into two camps: value invests or growth investors. Over the past few years, growth as an investment factor has vastly outpaced the value factor. This has led to renewed calls of "the death of value investing."

Economics

Is private equity good for the economy?

Private equity firms have been called "locusts" by the German chancellor Angela Merkel but proponents argue that private equity investors make companies more efficient, create economic growth and provide good economic returns to investors.

Economics

Is shale oil a sustainable business model?

The drilling of shale oil has been hailed as revolution that has brought cheap gas and oil to American and made America a net exporter of oil and natural gas. However, there is serious debate as to whether shale is a sustainable business model given the high number of bankruptcies in the sector.

Economics , Ethics , Politics

Should central banks target 2% inflation?

Inflation targeting went from being a radical view to the new orthodoxy of central banking. After most central banks have adopted it in practice, they have almost all converged on 2% as the right inflation target, although some emerging market central banks have higher inflation targets.

Economics

Is gold a good investment?

Is gold a good investment? Will it lead to capital preservation and help and investor realize a return on investment? The question is polarizing, with some investors known as "gold bugs" being obsessed by it and others being completely dismissive of gold as an investment.

Economics

Should healthcare be free?

Access to healthcare is essential for our quality of life and longevity. However, healthcare doesn't come cheap. Should individuals be forced to pay their own healthcare costs? Is healthcare a marketable commodity or an inalienable human right?

Economics , Health , Politics

Should we break up the Big Tech companies?

The Big Tech companies - epitomized by the big four of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google - have grown to become some of the largest and most powerful corporations in the world. This prominent status has attracted intense public scrutiny of Big Tech's sometimes controversial business practices. Various public officials, politicians, and regulatory bodies have expressed concerns about the potentia...

Economics , Technology

Is college education worth it?

The ever-rising costs of a university degree, coupled with increasing numbers of unemployed graduates, has left the latest generation of students pondering over whether a college education is worth it. Do the benefits of a college degree outweigh the costs?

Economics , Education , Society

Should abortion be legal?

Throughout the world, abortions and a woman's right to have them remain taboo. As abortion is illegal in many countries, women sometimes going to extreme and dangerous lengths to obtain them. Going beyond whether or not terminating a pregnancy is right or wrong, what are the pros and cons of abortion? And should abortion as a medical procedure be legal?

Economics , Ethics , Gender , Health , News , Philosophy , Religion , Science , Society

How should the West deal with Vladimir Putin?

Russian President Vladimir Putin has been in power for two decades. In that time he has rebuilt Russia's military, imprisoned and killed political opponents at home and abroad, annexed Crimea, gone to war with Georgia and Ukraine, deployed troops to Syria, and plundered the country. An increasingly authoritarian figure, Putin continues to divide Western countries, how should they deal with him?

Economics , International Relations , Politics

What are the advantages and disadvantages of globalization?

For its proponents, globalization improves citizens' lives via the unbridled distribution of jobs, capital, and technology across international borders, promoting peace through deeper economic ties between nations. For its detractors, the globalized movement of goods and people has fueled inequality, led to the destruction of the environment, and created a race to the bottom, keeping workers' sala...

Economics , International Relations , News , Politics , Society

Is inflation understated?

The Consumer Price Index is a measure of the change in prices consumers pay for different goods over time, and is often used as a benchmark for inflation. However, the inflation levels it suggests are not without controversy, and are often accused of being over- or understated. So what is the truth? And why would it be either?

Economics , Politics , Society

Should recreational marijuana be legal?

Following a public outcry over the case of Billy Caldwell, a 12-year-old boy with epilepsy who was prohibited from bringing back a life-changing supply of cannabis oil from Canada, the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes has now been made legal in the UK. Unsurprisingly this has re-ignited the ongoing question: should we legalise the recreational use of cannabis?

Economics , Ethics , Health , Politics , Science

Should you go vegan?

Consuming meat is a big part of some diets around the world, particularly in western food traditions. However, with production being land and resource intensive, and with a number of environmental and health impacts to consider we must ask, should we be going vegan?

Economics , Ethics , Health , Politics , Society

Should we stop eating meat for the environment?

Several forms of pollution - e.g. deforestation, eutrophication of water, leaching of nitrates, antibacterial resistance, release of ammonia, nitrous oxides and methane in the atmosphere - are associated to livestock production. Should we stop eating meat to prevent major environmental pollution?

Economics , Ethics , Health , Nature , Society

What are the pros and cons of monopolies?

The word monopolies has negative connotations in economic history, but recently monopolies have been praised by people such as Warren Buffett and Peter Thiel. The arguments for and against are not new, but now they have better empirical support.

Economics , History

Did Alexander Hamilton's financial plan put America first?

Of all the founding fathers of the American nation, Alexander Hamilton remains one of the most enigmatic and controversial characters. In his role as Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton submitted a financial plan to Congress designed to reduce the national debt by creating a national bank and encouraging economic diversification and the establishment of a manufacturing economy. But more than 200 y...

Economics , History , Politics

Does ending climate change mean the end of capitalism?

Scientific consensus suggests we are experiencing a climate catastrophe. Many see Capitalism's drive for growth and accumulation as being incompatible with a finite planet. Do we need a new system to sustain human life?

Economics , Nature , Politics

Should UK students be charged university fees?

Just over twenty years ago, higher education was free in the UK for any student who secured a place on a university course. Flash forward to today and students graduate with an average debt of £50,000. Critics claim this is wildly unfair and inhibits social mobility. Others claim that high fees improve equality. With both sides aiming to reduce inequality, why do the positions on implementing fees...

Economics , Education , Ethics , Politics

Will Medicare for all work?

Medicare is currently a program that provides healthcare support for millions of Americans. It is seen by many as a vehicle that could be expanded to help extend coverage to all Americans. But should this be done?

Economics , Health , News , Politics , Society

How should we address homelessness?

Homelessness is on the rise in a number of major cities around the world, like San Francisco, USA and London, UK. The human cost and tragedy of homelessness is shocking, and disappointing that it is happening in some of the richest cities in the world. There are many ideas about what could be done. So approaches would best address the problem of homelessness?

Economics , Ethics , Society

Will AI take our jobs?

Since the dawn of the information age, society has worried about artificial intelligence replacing human labour. We are now seeing rapid advances being made in this technology that makes the question of critical importance. What will the future of automation look like, and will AI take our jobs?

Economics , Science , Technology

Should Catalonia become independent?

The demand for Catalan independence has risen greatly in the past few years, to the disappointment of the Spanish government. Is the Catalan drive for independence justified?

Economics , Ethics , International Relations , Politics

What are the views on the US - China trade war?

Donald Trump's protectionist economic policies led to the introduction of tariffs on $250 billion of imports from China. President Xi Jinping responded with tariffs of his own, affecting some $110 billion worth of US-made products. As the two global economic behemoths enter a trade war, what are the implications for both economies and the rest of the world?

Economics , International Relations , News , Politics

Does the school system benefit girls more than boys?

Girls outperform boys across all subjects, in all age groups, and across all racial groups. They secure more university places and suffer fewer disciplinary problems. By contrast, boys are overrepresented in programs for students with special educational needs and account for around 93% of suspensions and disciplinary actions. Is the modern school system designed to benefit girls more than boys?

Economics , Education , Gender , Society

Is social media outrage a positive force in society?

The age-old maxim goes, "if you're not outraged, you're not paying attention". This has never been more applicable. Nothing drives social media engagement like outrage and social media platforms have embraced models designed to inflame and spark anger. The success of positive social and political movements like #MeToo and the Arab Spring largely stem from social media outrage but is it a positive ...

Economics , News , People , Philosophy , Politics , Society

Will the future of transportation be electric?

There is a push towards the usage of electrically powered cars. A few governments envision in the coming year to prohibit sell or even circulation of thermal cars. However electric car still is a niche market Will ti ever become viable

Economics , Politics , Science , Society , Technology

Is Universal Basic Income a good idea?

Universal Basic Income (UBI) is a type of program in which people receive a regular sum of money without the requirement to work for it. Does UBI make sense?

Economics , Politics , Society , Technology

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