Dear Time editors: firstname.lastname@example.org
Re: “Is college worth it?” Time Magazine, May 30, 2011, page 16
When you consider that 42 million Americans suffer functional illiteracy, i.e., they cannot read, write or perform simple math, and another 50 million cannot read past the 4th grade level—we’ve got a problem. At this time, 7,000 high kids drop out of high school every day. (Sources below) We feed 43 million Americans with food stamps. That’s a lot of dumb people.
If we expect to remain a first world country, we need college educated men and women to offset the lack of critical thinking, personal accountability, personal responsibility and intelligent citizenship lacking in over half of our population. A mind numbing half of Americans do not vote in national elections. Over 80 percent do not vote in local elections. Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin understood that for a constitutional republic to function, it needed to maintain an educated public. At the rate we’re going, we won’t have enough intelligent people to work jobs to pay taxes for all the empty brains vomiting into our society annually.
· The number of adults that are classified as functionally illiterate increases by about 2.25 million each year.
· 20 percent of high school seniors can be classified as being functionally illiterate at the time they graduate.
Source: National Right to Read Foundation
Where Illiteracy Leads:
· 70 percent of prisoners in state and federal systems can be classified as illiterate. [2.3 million Americans languish in jails]
· 85 percent of all juvenile offenders rate as functionally or marginally illiterate.
· 43 percent of those whose literacy skills are lowest live in poverty.
· 7,000 teens drop out of American high schools every day; one every 26 seconds
NBC anchor Brian Williams reported that 1.2 million teens hit America's streets every June unable to read or write. Detroit, Michigan epitomizes this country's educational dilemma: 76 percent dropout/flunkout rate. Dozens of cities across the country suffer 50 to 60 percent dropout rates.
CNN reported on August 30, 2010, "7,000 American high school students drop out every day; one every 26 seconds."
Another 43 million Americans subsist on food stamps! I cannot emotionally or intellectually get my arms around 43 million Americans sucking off the public taxpayer rolls. We’re talking about 42 million illiterates and 50 million nearly illiterates that almost cover one-third of the American population of 312 million.
This nation must take a hard and long look at its tendencies to create wars half way around the planet that cost taxpayers $12 billion monthly while our college costs soar beyond the average student’s abilities to pay. We must ask ourselves if we want a viable, first class civilization or an illiterate polyglot. We must come to terms with our waste, war and lack of concern for the future.
In short, we desperately need to educate every citizen to his or her highest level of intellectual ability. To fail in that endeavor renders the final equation of a country like Haiti.