Economic Concepts

Economic concepts are widely used but not always defined clearly. Read up on the nature of capitalism, learn how much power the Fed really has and more.

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UBI is 'basic' in that it meets your basic needs, and it's 'guaranteed income' in that you know that it's coming. Pilot programs want to test whether having UBI can change your life for better. And can we afford it?

By Dave Roos

Gas prices have plummeted across the U.S. since the coronavirus pandemic. That might be a good thing for your wallet, but is it good for the economy? It depends.

By Cherise Threewitt

Economics law says that demand goes down when price goes up. But Veblen goods work the opposite way – when price goes up, so does demand. How do these goods get so lucky?

By Dave Roos

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Good luck predicting the economic future; even the experts get it wrong. But there are sure warning signs to look for when a recession is ahead.

By Dave Roos

This economic policy has been embraced by free-market capitalists and demonized by progressive reformers. But what does it really mean?

By Dave Roos

As details of the huge tax incentives offered by many states to lure Amazon HQ2 became public, some residents of the rejects wondered if their states dodged a bullet.

By Dave Roos

Gas stations line the streets of America. But their prices vary as much as the cars we have to fill up. What's the deal?

By Carrie Whitney, Ph.D.

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Congress passed the new farm bill with a provision that will legalize hemp farming on an industrial scale. Could this be America's next gold rush?

By John Donovan

An inversion of the U.S. Treasury bond yield curve has predicted the last seven U.S. recessions.

By Dave Roos

Apple's historic valuation had us wondering what $1 trillion is worth these days.

By Dave Roos

Think "all you can eat" means you get more than you paid for? As one restaurant expert put it, "The house always wins."

By Dave Roos

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Some U.S. restaurants' experiments with dropping tipping in favor of higher menu prices did not catch on with consumers. Is there a profit point when it would make sense to drop tipping?

By Dave Roos

The online company has its fingers in just about every e-commerce enterprise; it's even caused many organizations to go out of business. Yet the U.S. government has not tried to stop Amazon's growth. Why's that?

By Dave Roos

Spending goes up on construction and repairs after a disaster. But experts say it doesn't make the local economy better.

By Dave Roos

We place faith in our money and financial systems. But have we put so much faith in them that we're not equate money and religion — or money to, ahem, our eternal salvation?

By Diana Brown

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Saying that all it takes to succeed in the U.S. is effort and personal responsibility is an oversimplification of the actual circumstances surrounding poverty.

By Dave Roos

Is adding up the inflation and unemployment rates the most effective way to judge our misery?

By Oisin Curran

Sure, ride-sharing is a big part of the collaborative economy, but other services, from health care to energy credits, are turning consumers into borrowers, too.

By Jason Hoch

The idea is that the government gives everyone a set amount of money, just for existing. Would it fly in the U.S.?

By Alia Hoyt

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Crowdfunding sounds like an easy way to raise funds for a project or product when a bank or family members won't help you out. But while some projects have raised millions, most have actually flamed out.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

Burger consumption can predict more than your chances of gaining weight. It can also determine currency equality. Meanwhile, men's underwear is a good indicator of the state of the economy. But how?

By Dave Roos

Since 1960, the U.S. Congress has voted to raise the debt ceiling 78 times. In times past, this was a routine assignment but not anymore. What is the debt ceiling, and why has it become so controversial now?

By Dave Roos

Inflation is often defined as too many dollars chasing too few goods. But what does that really mean? And how does it affect the price of goods?

By Dave Roos

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Just like the rest of us, superpowers can have trouble paying the bills. But instead of using a Visa card with a really high limit, the U.S. borrows money from its citizens. What it owes is called the national debt. Why does it matter?

By Dave Roos

Countries around the world, collectively, have run up at least $40 trillion in debt, but some are worse off than others. Which nations have the largest slices of that massive debt pie?

By Cristen Conger