Mankiw: Capital Gains vs. Ordinary Income, a little puzzle on policy.

If you have a job, the money you are paid for your work is ordinary income. If you buy an asset at one time and sell it later for a higher price, the profit you made from holding it is a capital gain. But is it really that easy? Consider five examples, and see if you can identify what is ordinary income and what is a capital gain.

Really great explanation. A must read.