Saturday, January 10, 2009

Why can't big John read?

Greg Toppo, writing in USA Today, reports on a "long-awaited federal study" that found "an estimated 32 million adults in the USA -- about one in seven -- are saddled with such low literacy skills that it would be tough for them to read anything more challenging than a children's picture book or to understand a medication's side effects listed on a pill bottle."

Hmm. That explains how George W. Bush was able to fool enough people to become president and why so many people continue to believe so many wrong things: that Iraq had WMD's; that Sarah Palin is a really smart person; that the Bible is inerrant and literally true; that auto workers make $73 an hour; that the New Testament book of Revelation tells about the end-times; that creationism explains how life began; that Intelligent Design is intelligent; that global warming is fiction; that Elaine Chao was a great labor secretary; that 100 years from now people will think George W. Bush was a great president; that homosexuality is a choice; that Ann Coulter is a nice person; that FOX News reports the news; that waterboarding is not torture; that the Iraq war was a success; and ... well, you can add to the list ...

One out of seven - about 14% - of adults (that's the big people) can't read well enough to understand a newspaper article "or deconstruct a fuel bill."

Why can't big John read? Dunno.

The research findings are here.

Toppo's article is here.

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