There are questions that are closed, but have high votes, and multiple answers. Over time it would be great for us to review these with an eye towards an edit that could make them a good on-topic question, or an agreement to delete. These are the first 8 I am proposing for review.

If you feel they can be made a good question, go to it and edit, if not, please vote to delete. Answers to this post can comment on the process if it's not clear.

Note: The only criteria I used was to screen on closed questions with high votes. Votes do not necessarily mean a question is good or even on topic.

  • Something I have noticed: Some users are voting to reopen these questions you have listed, and some users are voting to delete. You should be aware that votes to reopen expire after a few days, but votes to delete never expire. I would ask that moderators keep that in mind; if they see a question that has one or two delete votes, but no reopen votes, it certainly does not automatically mean that there is no support for reopening.
    – Ben Miller
    Commented Apr 8, 2019 at 14:06
  • On the contrary, it is possible for many users to vote to reopen at various times, but never get up to five reopen votes within a few short days. And a few days after the last reopen vote is cast, the question will be back down to zero reopen votes, but those one or two delete votes will still be there.
    – Ben Miller
    Commented Apr 8, 2019 at 14:07
  • @BenMiller - I can check with the CMs on that. I’d agree that it would be biased towards closing if the process is that way. At least we are getting the issue some more attention . Commented Apr 8, 2019 at 14:35

2 Answers 2


My personal views - but I won't cast the first votes for these as they'd also be the last:

Worth reopening as it is, it's not that broad and has some reasonably focused answers.

Delete, it's not about personal finance and not rescuable.

Delete, it's too broad and not rescuable.

Reopen as is, it amounts to a question about the definition of "investment", and terminology questions are on-topic

Delete, it's fundamentally about politics/economics and not personal finance.

Delete, it's fundamentally about politics/economics and not personal finance.

I marked this as primarily opinion-based when it was closed, but now I'm not so sure. We do get a lot of "tell me how to run my finances" questions. Do we have a clear policy on them?

I'd reopen, the question seems fairly clear to me. Perhaps "What would have happened if I'd done what they asked?" would be a better way of phrasing it.

  • Thanks! This effort may not get any traction. 128 visits, but no comments, and just your 2 other answers. We seem to have good general activity, but little participation in the 'meta' type issues. Commented Mar 20, 2019 at 21:02
  • I disagree with some of your assessments. Can you explain your view further than simply “Off-topic and not rescuable”?
    – Ben Miller
    Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 3:20
  • @BenMiller I edited those two Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 6:43
  • @GaneshSittampalam For the progressive tax question, if we changed the title to “How is progressive taxation achieved with brackets?” (changing one word), would that make it seem less like a political question to you?
    – Ben Miller
    Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 11:28
  • @BenMiller not really, the fundamental point still seems to be this quote from the body: "Is there a policy reason why brackets are better than a smooth curve?". I can't see how the thrust of the question can be changed with editing. Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 15:07

Here are my views on the questions you have selected:

Reopen. (Agree with Ganesh)

Reopen. Participation in Multilevel Marketing companies is certainly on-topic for Personal Finance. A question about whether or not it is possible to find a good one would seem to be on-topic to me.

Reopen. This question has some great answers from some of our top users, who were able to answer the question in a few paragraphs, which indicates that the question is not too broad.

Reopen. (Agree with Ganesh) It was suggested in a comment on the question that it be closed as a "gambling" question, as questions about gambling are listed as off-topic. However, in my mind, the spirit of the "no gambling" rule is to disallow questions about the details of playing games like blackjack or poker, which some might consider to be "money" or "personal finance" questions if we didn't have this rule. The question we are looking at here is about how gambling relates to investing, and investing is on-topic on our site.

Reopen. This is not simply a theoretical question about economics. It is a question about how the income tax works.

Reopen. Another question about personal taxes, with great answers from some of our top users.

Reopen. It's not my favorite question, to be sure, but there are a lot of unbiased, general answers.

Reopen. (Agree with Ganesh)

I believe all of these questions should be reopened, but if they are not, they certainly should not be deleted. Their presence does not harm the site or the reader in any way, and perhaps one day five like-minded users will band together and click reopen.

  • You feel that all these questions need no edit to be reopened? That they never should have been closed? (in hindsight, maybe I should have started with lower voted questions to get a better idea of how you view these) Commented Mar 20, 2019 at 22:43
  • @JoeTaxpayer Yes, I do feel that all of these questions can be reopened without edits. My reasoning for each one is in the answer. And I’m not alone in this; many of those questions have answers from top users, and in my mind, an answer is a vote for “leave open.” Please don’t think I just blindly said “reopen” for all questions; I looked at each one individually before I wrote my answer. These are great questions to highlight; thank you for selecting them.
    – Ben Miller
    Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 3:18
  • The search criteria was for high voted questions. These were the 8 questions that were the highest voted, of all the closed ones, thus most likely for you to feel should be reopened. I get it. We've had meta discussions. One asking members, especially higher rep one, to not answer Off-Topic questions, another, talking about how high votes don't alway mean the question is on-topic, only interesting or popular. Still hoping to get others interested in this, and to help get these questions voted, either to delete or reopen. Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 9:37
  • @JoeTaxpayer There is a third option besides delete and reopen: leave it in place closed. This is a good option. It enforced whatever supposed on-topic rule you guys have in your heads when you voted to close, and yet doesn’t destroy the hard work of the members that wrote all those great answers that so many people found helpful. The questions are already closed; you guys have won the argument (at least for now). There is no need to kick us while we are down and delete. Why are you pushing so hard for deletion?
    – Ben Miller
    Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 11:22
  • Ganesh and I agree to 3 reopens. At a higher level, I’d like to see if these are naturally reopened. Do members in general care about this, or is it 3 of us engaging in this discussion? Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 12:07
  • If we don't already have one, I think we need a meta discussion about whether we want to have "leave in place closed" (and e.g. if we should use historical locks or something for them). Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 15:08
  • @GaneshSittampalam - agreed. Other stacks treat it as a staging area for the final reopen or closed. I tend to agree with that approach, but if members feel otherwise, let's discuss it. Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 20:47
  • @JoeTaxpayer I was actually a bit surprised to learn about that policy, as I've seen "historical locks" used for some old off-topic questions on SO. That said, I wouldn't want to see a steady stream of new bad questions. I'm guessing that the ones in your list are all highly voted because they happened to hit HNQ before they got closed. Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 22:07
  • @GaneshSittampalam - It seems to be that they treat it as "good practice" as opposed to a rigid policy. I posted the issue here for 2 purposes. To see Ben's criteria for a reopen (although, I should have been more random in my selection, I literally used a filter that he'd use to automatically reopen) and to engage the Money.SE community. Given Ben's rep, I'm ignoring his lack of mod title, and treating his input with the same respect we give each other. Meanwhile, I'll not delete any closed question with answers of any quality. Saving them for further review. Commented Mar 22, 2019 at 11:37
  • @GaneshSittampalam - We are in day 4 of this meta post, with no other participation than Ben's. One question put in reopen queue (the student loan q) has +3 votes to reopen. Any thought's on next step? Take conversation private? Mod private/ room private? Or launch new Meta question with a proposed process? Commented Mar 23, 2019 at 12:02
  • @JoeTaxpayer I think we need the meta question on policy, and see what comes out of that, if anything. Commented Mar 23, 2019 at 15:31
  • @JoeTaxpayer Previously, I voted to reopen some of the questions based on this post, but my reopen votes are no longer showing. Do they expire quickly? Commented Apr 4, 2019 at 13:26
  • @ChrisW.Rea Yes, reopen votes expire fast. And there is quite a long waiting period before you can issue another one. This makes it quite a challenge to get enough reopen votes to make a change.
    – Ben Miller
    Commented Apr 4, 2019 at 13:29
  • It would be nice if Stack Exchange gave each site control over some of these parameters... Commented Apr 4, 2019 at 15:46
  • @ChrisW.Rea - Yes, I don't know the time, but reopens expire, just like votes to close or delete. I'd be curious to see your opinion on the question here. (a) Do you feel that votes equate to 'on-topic', i.e. for the fact that this was screened on the top voted closed questions. And (b) that 'closed' should be treated as a long term status, not a short term time to allow members (OP or others, I don't mind) to edit to make on topic? The issue itself isn't generating much meta interest. Commented Apr 5, 2019 at 12:48

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