The only political question is the timetable to nihilistic ignorance and willful ignorance at the cultural level.
Looking at the latest OECD skills study (which includes everyone regardless of academic achievement) our literacy level among adults is 18th of 22 nations, and in our future trajectory, literacy among 16- to 24-year-olds is 20th of 22. In numeracy among adults, we are 20 of 22, and in the 16- to 24-year-old age group we are 22 of 22 (significantly lower than Italy and well below Cyprus).
Finally, in the proficiency of problem solving in technology rich environments our 16- to 24-year-olds are 19 of 19, well below Poland. For adults the same skills test yields a 14th of 19 (in the poorer performing nations education was very constrained years ago, thus our better standing). In general, we are severely bested by Estonia, the Czech Republic and Slovakia in all three of the tests.
The median in our culture already, so to speak, lies behind an “iron curtain” The drapes are getting thicker as we amble on (or jog, or sprint depending on the geographic area) towards a new emotionally charged dark age of culturally enforced ignorance and myth.
Our militaristic trajectory coupled with the nascent human generated 6th great extinction, the ever-accelerating climate change, and the extant shredding of the social safety net will not be a pretty sight. LS
Every two years the Jump$tart coalition gives national financial literacy tests to High School seniors. Since 30% of students do not complete high school, one may postulate that, on average, this third of America would do worse than average on this test. This 31-question age-appropriate multiple-choice test shows a financial literacy rate of 56% (F) in 2008. Less than 1% got an A or an A+. Additionally, the schools that give the test are self-selected which most likely skews the results higher. LS