Written by Nathaniel Mannor
It’s no wonder why California is rapidly losing population: the homelessness crisis is still out of control, high gas prices due to inflation, CRT in public schools, and an overall harsh environment for people who refuse to comply. Unfortunately, our Democratic overlords declined to take their tyrannical heel off the gas pedal and rein in radicalism through all this. Now we’re seeing the price of this as California is now home to the nation’s highest illiteracy rate.
According to World Population Review, only 77% of adults are considered highly literate, and only 75% of people 15 and up can read at all. This means that 25% of Californians can’t even read this sentence. Niu Gao, a senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California, believes that the real culprit is a lack of government spending. Really?
Throwing money at a problem doesn’t address the underlying issues. We learned this from the War on Poverty when giving out free money didn’t raise poor people out of poverty. Instead, what would have worked is if the government encouraged poor people to change their lifestyle habits, mainly graduating high school, finding employment, and waiting until marriage before having kids.
California must use the same spirit of reform when dealing with the illiteracy rate, mainly through more libraries per capita. While we have the most public libraries in the country (1,130), we only have 4.5 libraries per 100,000 people, trailing the national average of 5.2.
Public libraries are essential to increasing literacy rates, especially among kids. They’ve helped children during the lockdowns when schools were closed and thus limited their time in class and facilitated development in minors to whom English is a second language. So if we want to combat our state’s abysmal literacy rate, California must build more libraries rather than seek more money for our failed education system.