Interesting historical perspective, and why statistics as a tool to form policy and public opinion may loose its effect in the time to come.
- the nation is a misleading entity to use; while some cities flourish and grow, other regions are hit hard; an average statistic does not catch this.
- while employment figures show who is in a job, it says little about how suitable it is, and thus, not if people are underemployed.
- increasing amounts of data is collected by private entities like Facebook, not open to public access.. and can be used to further own ends.
In theory, statistics should help settle arguments. They ought to provide stable reference points that everyone – no matter what their politics – can agree on. Yet in recent years, divergent levels of trust in statistics has become one of the key schisms that have opened up in western liberal democracies.