The Main Cause of U.S. Poverty and Crime?

Posted by on Jun 27, 2011 in blog | 0 comments

The Main Cause of U.S. Poverty and Crime?

Gary Sprunk, M.A. English Lingusitics, in an book review, recently made the statement, "Illiteracy is the main cause of poverty and crime." The most statistically accurate and extensive study of U.S. adult functional illiteracy ever commissioned by the U.S. government, titled "Adult Literacy in America," confirms the poverty portion of this statement. This was a five-year, $14 million dollar study using lengthy interviews of 26,049 U.S. adults statistically chosen to represent the entire U.S. population. The report on this study proves that the two least literate of five literacy groupings, equivalent to 48.7% of U.S. adults, cannot read and write well enough to hold an above-poverty-level-wage job — the most statistically accurate definition of functional illiteracy. The study also proves that 31.2% of functional illiterates are in poverty and that they are more than twice as likely to be in poverty because of their illiteracy as for all other reasons combined. Jonathan Kozol, on pages 5, 226, and 229 of his shocking book Illiterate America, documents the fact that up to 80 percent of prison inmates and the fact that 85 percent of juvenile delinquents are functionally illiterate. This is a strong indication that the crime portion of Gary Sprunk's statement is also true. Not everyone in poverty resorts to crime, of course, but poverty (whether caused by illiteracy or not) is an obvious contributor to the crime rate.

What can be done about it? Anyone who is genuinely interested in helping reduce poverty and crime can do nothing more effective than to help end English functional illiteracy, which is a much more serious problem than almost anyone realizes. The problem of illiteracy in the U.S. is largely a hidden problem because the media and the educational and political leaders do not know how to solve the problem and want to keep a problem that they cannot solve hidden in their own self-interest. It is primarily a hidden problem, however, because (1) illiterates are very good at hiding, as a result of having developed numerous coping methods to live with their embarrassing inabilities, (2) most families have more than one employed adult, and a literate adult can pull the family above the poverty line, and (3) low-income families receive help from government agencies, family, friends, and charities. No problem can be solved, of course, until it is understood. Your best chance at understanding the problem of English functional illiteracy can be found in this well-researched website (click on the highlighted words) which is both concise and complete. If you are at all compassionate about the serious problems of millions of English functional illiterates, you will want to read the breakthrough new book which details how — with just a few minutes of your time — you can help permanently end our provably serious literacy crisis.


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