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.

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Why do Shriners drive those little cars?

It's impossible to keep a straight face when you see a grown man in a fez driving an itty-bitty car. But the Shriners actually do some pretty serious work.

10 Things You Should Never Buy Online

Online shopping offers plenty of amazing-looking deals. But you know how it goes: If something seems too good to be true ...

10 Online Scams That Target Small Businesses

Life's hard enough for a small business, and dishonest people looking to scam hard workers out of their profits only make things worse. Learn what the red flags are.

How much money do people accidentally throw away every year?

No one knows the exact amount of money lost or thrown out, but it's a lot more than you might imagine. One man made more than $20,000 picking up loose change every day for 10 years.

HowStuffWorks: HowStuffWorks and #GivingTuesday

Giving Tuesday is a day for giving back. Learn more about Giving Tuesday in this video from HowStuffWorks.

How Wine Fraud Works

Whether by tampering with the bottle or the liquid inside, wine fraudsters have fooled billionaires and wine connoisseurs alike into thinking an unremarkable bottle of merlot is really an exceptional vintage. Here's how they do it – and why.

How the Sharing Economy Works

In some places, people forgo buying stuff (like cars and tools) to rent what they need from complete strangers. That's the premise of the sharing economy, which already has some big players. How does it work, and is it here to stay?

Does a smartphone raise your risk of identity theft?

If smartphones were called computerized wallets, maybe people would be more careful with these devices that give thieves access to your bank accounts, credit cards and whereabouts with just one swoop. How do you protect yourself from identity theft?

Unexpected Connections: 10 Oddest Economic Indicators

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?

10 Black Friday Horror Stories

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.

How the Debt Ceiling Works

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?

How Bitcoin Works

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?

How Inflation Works

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?

What's the difference between the U.S. deficit and the national debt?

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?

10 Worst Things to Donate After a Disaster

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?

Why would the U.S. mint a trillion-dollar coin?

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?

Would legalization make marijuana cheaper?

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?

Is there an easy way to spot money-making scams?

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.

How can the U.S. government sue a business?

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?

Is there a dark side to 'doorbuster deals'?

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."

How the Fiscal Cliff Works

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?

Can the president control gas prices?

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.

Are taxes socialist?

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.?

How the Bush-Era Tax Cuts Work

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?

How WIC Works

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?


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