In the purely fictitious land of Fiddledeboox, the Minister of Finance emerged from a top-level meeting. Reporters had gathered to hear his announcement about either an increase or a decrease in either wages, subsidies or tax levels.
It was widely known that this Minister [M] told the truth to reporters [R] only once in every three statements.
M: Well, I can tell you that it's about subsidies.
R: Are they going down again?
M: Nothing is going down.
R: So it's good news for the people?
M: Of course. Either subsidies are going down or there will be a wage increase.
While others jostled to ask the next question, one logically minded newshound was already leaving with the hot headline news.
From the Minister's three statements above, can you also deduce the truth?
Answer:It was a tax increase.
Remember that only one statement can be true.
If (1) is true then either (2) or (3) will be true as well. So (1) is a lie.
If (3) is true, either (1) or (2) would be also true. So (3) is a lie.
If (2) is true, it must be either wages or taxes going up or (1) would be true. It cannot be wages, making (3) true, so taxes are increasing.
There are other ways of deducing this gloomy news.
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