The Unique Characteristics and Limitations of “Facts”

By September 1st, 2013

                                                         AVAILABILITY OF MACK W. BORGEN’S BOOK

THE RELEVANCE OF REASON  – The Hard Facts and Real Data About the State of Current America

                                                                        – Business and Politics –

(Brody and Schmitt Publishers, an Imprint of Summerland Publishing)(2013)

 The Relevance of Reason – Business and Politics is the first book in Mack W. Borgen’s seven-book The Chance of a Lifetime series. You are invited to get a copy of The Relevance of Reason – Business and Politics which is now available by just clicking or You may also order it directly from my publisher’s website at 

Please also remember to ask for The Relevance of Reason at your local bookstore, and if you would be willing, I respectfully ask that you tell your friends about The Relevance of Reason and post/reference/like it on your social media accounts. THANK YOU.


                                           The Unique Characteristics and Limitations of “Facts”

Part of the reason for the seeming subjugation of reason in our national conversation lies simply in the first fact — that the world is complicated. Worse than that, facts themselves possess certain unique characteristics and are subject to their own unique limitations — possibly the worst of which being that they can be hard to find.

Their use can at times almost be risky since facts alone rarely tell the story. Fact alone rarely explains history. Facts alone rarely point either with certainly or with clarity to any set of answers. To the contrary, facts can be almost chameleon in nature. While on the one hand they can be raw, hard, powerful and convincing. On the other hand, if misused, they can also be merely the convenient tools of demagogues.

Another characteristics especially, for example, in our contemporary debates and discussions characterized by rigid team politics and us/them thinking, facts are routinely dismissed or wholly ignored due solely to the identity or the purpose of the speaker. By another line of attack, in the context of our American conversation, facts are sometimes discarded as dated, old, yesterday’s news, and “oh, so 5 minutes ago.” The entire power, persuasiveness, and utility of facts can be contained by the assertion —  true or otherwise — that the subject has already been addressed or that the facts have been overtaken by intervening events or by a new stream of facts —- of which, in this accelerated age of Big Data, there are many.

But the stubborn and uncompromising and overarching reality is that facts must remain the place to begin. Facts, just like the application of reason, must remain central to our discussion and the basis for societal decisions.

Adapted from Borgen, M., The Relevance of Reason – Business and Politics, pp. 4-5. All rights reserved. Please order your copy today. See above.

Facts of the Day

 R&D to GDP Ratio

 Total (All Sources) R&D As Percentage of GDP – United States Compared With Other Countries

      As a rough measure of a country’s interest in and commitment of its relative assets to research and development (R&D) and to innovation, the total expenditures as a percentage of GDP is a meaningful, albeit rough, measure.

                                    Total R&D Expenditures As Percentage of National GDP (2008)

Ranking     Country     R&D As Percentage  of GDP     As Percentage of Average of Top 3 Countries’

                                                                                                                 Percentage  of 4.04% R&D:GDP

1.            Israel                                             4.86%                                                          N/A

2.           Sweden                                          3.75%                                                          N/A

3.            Finland                                         3.50%                                                           N/A

4.            Japan                                            3.44%                                                         85.1%

5.            South Korea                                3.21%                                                           79.5%

6.            Switzerland                                 2.90%                                                          71.8%

7.            Taiwan                                          2.77%                                                           68.6%

8.           United States                         2.76%                                                       68.3%

9.             Denmark                                     2.72%                                                           67.3%

10.             Singapore                                    2.68%                                                           66.3%


18.            Canada                                         1.84%                                                           45.5%

Borgen, M., The Relevance of Reason – Business and Politics, p. 220, citing data from The Economist: Pocket World in Figures, 2012 Edition. All rights reserved.  Please order your copy of The Relevance  of Reason today. See above.


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