Australia / From the Founder
Facts are rarely as interesting as a good story
by Phil Ruthven AM, Founder IBISWorld
Sep 10 2019

Stories, myths, fairy tales, exaggerations, scuttlebutt and scandals seem always to be far more interesting than facts and reality. They get more airtime, more repetition and twists and often pass into folklore, even becoming truisms. Perhaps only heroic acts can match all these in popularity.

But our interest in myths and stories make us human rather than robots or humanoids. Therefore, to try to counter this trend would be frustrating and perhaps be labelled inhuman.

Then researchers, economists, actuaries and scientists come along—armed with facts, truths and breakthroughs—to make the economy grow and help us enjoy longer and more pain-free lives.

Spoilsports? Hardly, we have to be serious about some things, especially in business where wealth is created via thousands of goods and services each year. Businesspeople need to understand the importance of information and to value knowledge to be innovative, productive, competitive and profitable.

This takes the form of the Knowledge Pyramid, where the goal is to climb up the ladder from data to wisdom, up to unique intellectual property, and then to develop a vision and strategy to succeed.

The Knowledge Pyramid

However, in this newsletter, we set out to take a break from work and have some fun. So, we have created 22 statements and ask you to judge which ones are true or false. Here we go.

Which of the following are true?

  1. Housing affordability is at its worst, and unattainable for the young.
  2. The rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer.
  3. We are now working harder than ever, with not enough time for ourselves.
  4. There won’t be enough jobs in the future due to robots, technology and Artificial Intelligence.
  5. Divorce is on the rise.
  6. Marriages don’t last as long as they once did.
  7. Crime is on the rise, especially murders.
  8. Speeding on the road is the number one cause of road fatalities.
  9. We need a larger population to compete in a globalising world.
  10. Immigrants are taking our jobs.
  11. Australia will run out of workers due to the ageing population.
  12. We need to manufacture things to create basic wealth.
  13. We are too-highly taxed by developed world standards.
  14. Reducing expenditure is the only sensible way to balance the Federal Budget.
  15. Australia could become the food bowl of Asia by the end of this century.
  16. Nuclear power is the world’s most dangerous energy ever used.
  17. China’s population density is over ten times greater than in the UK, Italy or France.
  18. More than two-thirds of our inbound tourists, immigrants and trade are from Asia.
  19. 60% of Australia’s annual water supply is in the top one-third of the continent.
  20. The nation’s lowest paid jobs are in Hospitality, Retailing and Agriculture.
  21. Mortgage rates for housing are the lowest in the nation’s history.
  22. China overtook the USA economy in terms of volume in 2016.

Only five of the above statements are, in fact, true. If you would like to know which ones are correct, please contact your CRM at IBISWorld.