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CHAPTER 10 Knowledge Is Power

One of the primary elements of a true, functioning, representative democratic republic, like we aim for here in the United States, is that its citizens be well informed.

When Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to his friend J. Correa de Serra on January 28, 1786, and said, “Our liberty depends upon the freedom of the press and that cannot be limited without being lost,” he was assuming that Americans knew how to read their daily newspapers.

Not anymore. A 2005 study by the National Center for Education Statistics revealed that about 5 percent of the adults in the United States are not literate in English, meaning 11 million people lack the skills to handle many everyday tasks. Some 30 million adults, or 14 percent of ...

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