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Why America May Be On The Skids...And It Ain't Just The Economy

Updated on September 4, 2010

Open your mind as well as your heart

To increase awareness, increase reading!
To increase awareness, increase reading!

Are you part of the Mass Illiterati? (What does that even mean???)

“All great truth begins as blasphemy.” George Bernard Shaw

The gap between rich and poor in the United States continues to grow. And of course, the rich get all the blame and the poor get all the sympathy. Well, consider these revealing stats from the American Booksellers Association and then maybe you’ll reconsider where the true responsibility lies:

  • 80% of Americans did not, and will not, buy or read a book this year.
  • 70% of adults have not been in a bookstore in the past five years.
  • 58% never read a book after high school.
  • 42% of university graduates never read another book.
  • 14% of Americans go to a bookstore and walk out with a book; only 10% of that number read past the first chapter.
  • 43.6% of our population read below 7th grade level.
  • 50% of high school grads cannot read their own diplomas or fill out a simple employment application.

So, what does all this mean? A lot, actually, but I will make only one salient point. When you have a population that does not read, you have a population that can ultimately be led by the nose by the first clever fear monger to show up. Don’t believe me? Here’s a very short list of those mongers (in my humble opinion, of course):

  1. Limbaugh
  2. Beck
  3. Palin
  4. Rove
  5. Tate
  6. Gingrich
  7. And let’s not forget the reporter-dodging governor of Arizona, Jan Brewer.

If you are not continually informed, you have no informed opinion. And if that is the case, whatever opinion you have, it may be best to keep it to yourself.

Or better yet, read. And encourage your kids to read as well. They will make or break this country through the reading habits they do—or do not—develop now.

“The road to truth is long, and lined the entire way with annoying bastards.” Alexander Jablokov


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    • RichardSpeaks profile imageAUTHOR

      Richard Kent Matthews 

      8 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area

      tony0724: There was a time I thought that Olbermann and Maddow were sane voices for the Left. Not so much anymore.

    • tony0724 profile image


      8 years ago from san diego calif

      You forgot Ed Schultz , Olbermann and Maddow. But sadly most Americans do not read they are too busy watching " Jersey Shore " and dumb reality TV !

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 

      8 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Education is the key. Great blog! Thank you.


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