Economics

Curious about capitalism, the monetary system or white collar crime? Check out these articles. The Economics Channel defines and explores economic terms and controversies.


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?

We're not sure why Americans lose their minds at the thought of picking up flashy electronics at big discounts on the day after Thanksgiving. But it happens. Discover 10 fascinating and horrifying true-life tales that happened on Black Friday.

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?

Unlike dollars, pounds or yen, Bitcoin isn't backed by any government. It's a completely decentralized form of money. Is the world ready for virtual currency?

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?

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?

News about a hurricane or tornado far away impels us to want to help the survivors. But is there a right way and a wrong way to do this? Can a donation be worse than doing nothing at all?

The idea of minting a trillion-dollar coin to pay the U.S. national debt seemed intriguing, if far-fetched. Though it was nixed by the Fed and the Treasury, could it have worked – and why?

One of the subjects that comes into play when people discuss the legalization of marijuana is the cost. How will the law impact the economics of marijuana?

Who among us hasn't seen an Internet ad advertising a book or scheme to make lots of easy money? Some schemes are easier to see than others. Here are some ways to spot the scams.

Every now and then we read about the government going after a corporation for some crime. How do they decide who to prosecute and why?

In the grand tradition of retail, all is not always as it seems, and the doorbuster is no exception. Before you camp out for Black Friday, brush up on your retail parlance, and discover the shady side of deals "too good to be true."

The New Year may produce more than a hangover; America may be going over a fiscal cliff as well. How did the U.S. get there, and what can stop it?

Gas prices have been pretty volatile for the past few years. Is there anyone who has any control over how much you'll pay at the pump? Well ... kind of.

The relationship between taxes and social welfare programs drives the argument that taxes are essentially socialist, but is that really the case? What does it mean to be socialist -- and how does that definition change once one leaves the U.S.?

When George W. Bush signed two tax bills into law in both 2001 and 2003, he lowered tax rates for the vast majority of Americans as well as taxes on capital gains and investment dividends. So why are these bills so controversial?

The Women, Infants and Children program helps ensure that needy families are getting the nutrition they need. How do people qualify for the program and what does it provide?

Initially dismissed as an isolated, disjointed protest organized by leftist radicals, the Occupy Wall Street movement has gained traction all across the world. Who are these protestors, really, and what do they stand for?

According to conservative opponents to the Occupy Wall Street movement, only 53 percent of Americans pay income tax. Is this true -- and does it matter?

You've heard a lot lately about the super-wealthy 1 percent and the 99 percent fighting them for a sliver of the American economic pie. But do 1 percent of Americans really control a full third of all wealth in the U.S.? Yes ... and no.

Earthquakes, floods, mudslides and other events inspire people to help those affected by the disasters. Which monumental happenings truly spurred others into action?

During a recession, people are trying to find jobs and hold on to their homes. It's the perfect time for scammers to exploit the fears and concerns of those affected by the poor economic climate.

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?

If you ever get a chance to buy a blue-chip stock, you'd jump on it -- but what if you can't afford to buy all the shares you'd like? You can open a margin account and borrow the money, but be careful: You can go completely broke if things go south.

Some places rise in a blaze of glory, growing and flourishing to become the envy of the world. Other towns seem destined for success -- until their luck runs out.