The FINANCIAL -- Can lies tell a deeper truth? Owing to political correctness, one might claim thus regarding the cement industry, but instead of giving you a ready-made answer on a silver platter this feature shall dive deeper and take a versatile approach in unveiling the hardships its stakeholders are facing at its core leaving the reader free to draw their own conclusions.

Having a big circle of friends is exciting and cool. It is exciting because it is positively correlated to the number of events and supras I attend, and it is cool because getting together with close friends gives us an opportunity to discuss questions like “what would we ask for if we had a Gini in the bottle?” and how would we change and mitigate the reality we live in? For instance, just a couple of days ago some friends and I we were discussing some interesting findings that I received from one of my sources, who has access to data of registered businesses (and who preferred to stay anonymous).

Any public opinion survey can easily show the top ten things that need to be changed in Tbilisi to improve the quality of life. These will most likely consist of basic things, and no one should think that those in charge have not had enough time to address them.

After 29 years in the survey business with access to rich data archives, I can confidently describe the dynamics of Georgian society in numbers and speculate about trends. In previous columns, I wrote about the evolution of positive attitudes towards the Georgian armed forces and how trust in political parties has dramatically declined over the last two decades. In this column I will present trust curves of two other important institutions: the press and trade unions. Why the press and trade unions in the same column? Simply because both are important pillars in any modern society that can sometimes be very useful in improving quality of life. And, you can see the drastic declines of both by glancing at Chart 1. 

Democracy’s need for political parties is fundamental is almost never questioned but some countries have figured out how to have democracy without political parties. These smart nations are the six Pacific islands of Nauru, Tuvalu, Palau, the Marshall Islands, Kiribati and the Federated States of Micronesia. I am sure that very few readers of this column have ever even heard of them. But we Georgians know them, at least Nauru and Tuvalu and not because our high school geography curriculum is biased towards the largest ocean. It’s simply because these two democracies (considered as such by reputable international organizations) decided to toe the Kremlin’s line and recognize occupied territories of Georgia as independent states in 2011.

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