Yes or No…
Numbers (quantitative data sets) chosen to bolster one argument over another are one part of the face of the problem.
The face of the problem (Western decline) includes: Greed, jealousy, avarice, and any number of negative character flaws attributed to individuals which can also be used to describe a group. These usually manifest because of one group bias or another.
Further, biases usually cause the arguer to seek numbers that support (or obfuscate the underlying truths) their position on many topics of social concern, all of which, if argued successfully, increase the group’s hold on territory (geographical, theological, economical, and more), won in previous battles, whether those battles drew blood or not.
Here is a list of a few sample questions, with simple yes or no answers, that can determine an arguer’s likely choice and use of stats when they present their stance publicly.
Do they support inclusion of all people types? (are they social or anti-social)
Do they believe government has a role in a functioning society?
Does might make right?
Does consensus make right?
And many more. But I think you get the picture.
The problem is not in the stats used by any one group when seeking to “win” an argument over others. The problem, is not being honest about which of the many possible societal platforms the arguer(s) support.
Until we know whether a group advocates securing and maintaining a superior position over “others”, or, in fact are willing to be inclusive, we’ll continue to be subjected to the white noise of inconsequential facts from all points of view.