Do facts and figures matter? Did they ever? It seems that logical people project onto illogical people the same thought processes. This will never end well.
If you think that making decisions based on data is logical, rational and clearly the better way to arrive at a decision as opposed to deciding what feels right, you are very much in the minority.
I think this realisation can help people understand why the broader population reach conclusions that dismay and confuse these logical people, who were indoctrinated into elite opinions at university and have never questioned why the supposed benefits of many structural reforms didn’t actually occur outside of theoretical constructs of how the world has changed since they were first implemented.
There is a reason why most people ignore the self-appointed elites. It’s because most people simply don’t live in the bubble they inhabit. The cosy world where almost everyone earns reasonable salaries, has fringe benefits through work and frequent overseas travel is a world away from how most non-elites live their lives.
Using facts and figures to back up an argument is second nature to the educated. It’s simply an outgrowth of writng essays, writing briefing notes, writing emails, writing theses or academic studies; this way of consolidating thinking across a set of research sources is literally an alien form of thought for many non-elites.
It is all about the feels and emotions. It is all about the reckons. There is no space for facts and figures when across all socio-economic groups, the facts and figures are not taken into consideration at all outside of a small sub-set of people who genuinely care about facts and figures.
So why are we surprised when clearly logical solutions to problems are voted down, watered down by committee or watered down by the body politic by way of special interest groups elevating their reckons to the point where other people’s facts and figures are drowned out in a sea of reckons?