Overview and Introduction

The Social Agenda - Political Reform

Introduction to Efficacy and Integrity in Government

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25 June 2019

25 June 2019

25 June 2019

Data-driven visuals that help explain a complex world

25 June 2019

25 June 2019

25 June 2019

25 June 2019

  • Liberal in-fighting back in spotlight as political 'class of 2019' given orientation
    25 June 2019
    Liberal in-fighting back in spotlight as political 'class of 2019' given... you can only achieve the deputy leadership of the Liberal party by a ballot of the... how electorally popular he would be in NSW, Victoria and South Australia?".
  • Peter Dutton, Julie Bishop differ on deputy offer
    25 June 2019
    ... you can only achieve the deputy leadership of the Liberal party by a ballot of the... “I was thinking of the party and thinking that perhaps it's time for new... how electorally popular he would be in NSW, Victoria and South Australia?”.
  • Is the holy war on industry super really over?
    25 June 2019
    The biggest prosecutor of the “culture war” on super is of course Hume's own Liberal Party, which has... to be falling in Australia, and a 2017 McKinsey report showed Australian construction was an “outperformer” on productivity.

25 June 2019

25 June 2019

  • In One Chart: A Decade of the U.S. Trade Deficit with China
    20 June 2019

    Since 2010, the United States and China have had the world's largest economies by GDP. But one interesting difference is that the U.S. is the world's biggest importer while China is the world’s biggest exporter. The U.S. is currently China's biggest trade partner, but recent talks about tariffs have highlighted the imbalance of imports and exports between the two countries. As economic tensions continue to rise, here is a look at how the trade deficit between the U.S. and China has changed over the past ten years.

    • Every year from 2009 to 2018, the U.S. has imported more goods from China than it exported to China. 
    • Over the past ten years, the trade deficit has almost doubled.
    • For every year except 2016, the total volume of trade between the two countries has steadily increased.
    • Percentage-wise and in gross numbers, the trade deficit grew the most between 2009 and 2010, during the Great Recession.

    This visualization is based on the U.S. Census Bureau's International Trade Data, which provides monthly reporting of the nominal value of imports and exports between the U.S. and China. In the visualization itself, the blue boxes represent the value of exports from the U.S. to China, while the pink boxes represent the value of imports from China to the U.S. The gray boxes with the negative number at the end represent the deficit, which is calculated by subtracting the exports from the imports. Each box in the visualization represents $10 billion. All values are expressed in USD, and these numbers have not been adjusted for inflation.

    U.S. Deficit From 2009 to 2018

    2009: $227B
    2010: $273B
    2011: $295B
    2012: $315B
    2013: $318B
    2014: $344B
    2015: $367B
    2016: $347B
    2017: $375B
    2018: $420B

    With the ongoing trade war, both the U.S. and China are levying tariffs on imports of each other's products. For U.S. consumers, this means that certain products manufactured in China are now more expensive to buy. The intention is to deter consumers from buying products made in China. The tariffs have affected products including consumer items, medical equipment, and agricultural products like soybeans. Despite these tariffs going into effect on both sides in late 2018, imports from China increased and exports from the U.S. decreased that year. With the G20 summit coming up later this month, President Trump and President Xi Jinping are expected to meet and discuss the current trade situation.

    What do you think about the balance of trade between the U.S. and China? Please let us know in the comments!

    Data: Table 1.1


  • Visualizing The World’s 100 Most Valuable Brands in 2019
    17 June 2019

    Think of your favorite brand. If it’s a Big Tech company, like Apple or Microsoft, it may be worth something! That’s the takeaway from Forbes magazine’s latest list of the world’s 100 most valuable brands. For this annual report, Forbes estimated the contribution of each company’s earnings from its brand, for companies with a significant presence in the United States (See the complete methodology here).

    • Only three companies have brand values over $100B -- and they are all in technology.
    • Six of the top seven most valuable brands are in tech.
    • Apple’s brand ($205.5B) is worth nearly four times more than the most valuable non-tech brand, Coca-Cola ($59.2B).
    • The list of the five most valuable brands is unchanged since last year, and those companies are all in tech. 

    Our visualization uses a bubble chart to compare valuations of the top 100 brands. The size of each brand’s bubble is proportional to its brand valuation. Colors indicate which of the 18 industries the brand belongs to. Use the legends below to look up the scale of the bubbles and the color used for each industry.

    Among the top ten most valuable brands, there are only two changes from last year -- see our visualization of 2018’s brand list here. First, McDonald’s made the list at number 10, replacing AT&T (now at number 11). Second, Amazon and Facebook switched places for 2019 at ranks 4 and 5, respectively. It was not Facebook’s best year -- more on that later.

    The World’s Top Ten Most Valuable Brands in 2019

    1. Apple (Technology): $205.5B 
    2. Google (Technology): $167.7B
    3. Microsoft (Technology): $125.3B
    4. Amazon (Technology): $97.0B
    5. Facebook (Technology): $88.9B
    6. Coca-Cola (Beverages): 59.2B
    7. Samsung (Technology): $53.1B
    8. Disney (Leisure): $52.2B
    9. Toyota (Automotive): $44.6B
    10. McDonald’s (Restaurants): $43.8B 

    Brands with the Biggest One-Year Gain in Value

    1. Amazon (Technology): +37%
    2. Netflix (Technology): +34%
    3. Google (Technology): +27%
    4. Adobe (Technology): +27%
    5. Gucci (Luxury): +24%

    Given those minor changes in placement from last year, the biggest takeaway from this Forbes data is the continuing dominance of tech companies in brand value. Among the top 25 most valuable brands, 11 are in tech, 3 in automotive, and only 1 in financial services.

    This disparity in value between “tech and the rest” only continues to grow, with four of the five top-gaining brands since last year coming from tech. Amazon in particular had a noteworthy year, with the biggest gain in value among all brands. Its gain was enough to unseat Facebook (who fell 6% in value) to take the number 4 spot. Facebook, for its part, was one of only two tech companies (along with Huawei) to lose in brand value since last year, likely due in part to its ongoing controversies over user privacy.

    At the top of the tech chain remains Apple. With a valuation of over $200 billion, it remains by far the top brand in the tech industry, let alone the overall marketplace.

    There are signs of life, however, in the brand power of non-tech companies. Iconic brands Disney and Coca-Cola haven’t given up their top 10 spot yet, and Gucci’s brand value increased by over 24% last year. Not bad for a brand founded nearly 100 years ago.

    Do you see the trend of tech companies gaining in brand value continuing? How long can Apple dominate? What brands do you find surprisingly under- or over-valued? Leave a note in the comments or send us an email and tell us your opinion at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

    Data: Table 1.1


  • Visualizing the Wealthiest Billionaires Around the World in 2019
    13 June 2019

    Becoming a billionaire is about as probable as being struck by lightning (i.e. NOT likely). If you live in North America your odds of becoming a billionaire are one in 785,166. Your odds of being hit by a lightning bolt are one in 750,000. If you defy the odds, you become a member of an elite clubwith less than 3000 members worldwide. While there are thousands of billionaires, each country has just 1 richest billionaire.  

    • The average net worth of the 73 listed billionaires is $14.8 billion
    • Jeff Bezos, wealthiest billionaire in the world, has a net worth over 10x the average at $149.7 billion
    • Most common sources of wealth: Banking/Finance/Investments, Diversified (large conglomerates with multiple divisions) and real estate
    • 5 of the 73 listed are women

    Our graphic takes data from the most recent Forbesbillionaire list. The graphic shows the one richest person from the 73 countries listed. The image further groups the billionaires by their respective region (Americas, Asia, Europe, Africa), highlights the source of their wealth (i.e. Banking, Diversified, Mining etc) and their estimated net worth figure. Find out who your country’s richest person is below.

    Top 5 Richest Billionaires By Wealth and Country

    1. Jeff Bezos - $149.7B, U.S.
    2. Bernard Arnault - $89.3B, France
    3. Amancio Ortega- $63.7B, Spain
    4. Carlos Slim Helu- $60B, Mexico
    5. Mukesh Ambani - $52.9B India

    The list of billionaires is impressive with many of them touting international celebrity status. Looking at the makeup of these individuals based on their geographic location also highlights some interesting takeaways. Here is a breakdown of what industries created the most wealth in each region:

    • Americas - Banking is the dominant player for wealth creation with over $306 billion of wealth created
    • Europe - Retail focused with many iconic brands (Nutella, RedBull, LVMH, ZARA etc) with $433.7 billion of wealth
    • Asia - Real estate is the wealth creator of choice with $271 billion of wealth
    • Africa - Commodities (Cement, Foodstuff, Diamonds etc) with $43 billion of wealth

    While knowing how billionaires become rich is interesting, knowing how they spend their wealth is more insightful. Philanthropy of the world's wealthiest is big business. Some have been generous giving away nearly 1% to 2% of their net worth to date. The most generous are committing to giving half, if not all away.  

    The Giving Pledge founded by Bill and Melinda Gates, is an organization that seeks to convince the world's wealthiest people to give away half of their wealth to philanthropic endeavors. To date, 204 people have signed the pledge from 22 countries. Notable signers include Richard Branson, Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and others. In terms of the wealthiest from each country, none are on the list with the notable exception of Mackenzie Bezos. Bezos, the ex-wife of Jeff Bezos, has a net worth of $36 billion and has committed to the Giving Pledge.

    The Giving Pledge has notable billionaires but none that top the wealthiest list from their respective countries. The pledgers tend to be couples and from North America which has the greatest concentration of billionaires in the world. The U.S. has more billionairesthan China, India and Germany combined. As the world’s billionaire population becomes more global, one would hope that philanthropy also follows suit.  

    Thoughts on billionaires, their wealth or their philanthropic habits? Share with friends and leave your comments below.

    Data: Table 1.1