We're Turning Into a Nation of Dunces We'd rather watch reality TV than think or get an education By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Aug 7, 2010 11:41 AM CDT 103 comments Comments We're no longer a nation of thinkers. (Shutterstock) (Newser) – Stats showing that the US has fallen to 12th among developing nations in the percentage of young people with college degrees has Bob Herbert very worried. It's yet another sign of how a nation that once led the way in education is now heading in exactly the opposite direction. Nobody wants to think anymore or put forward the "heavy social and intellectual lift" necessary to solve our problems, let alone have an intelligent discussion about them. It's a lot easier to watch reality TV. "When this is the educational environment, you can say goodbye to the kind of cultural, scientific and economic achievements that combine to make a great nation," writes Herbert in the New York Times. "We no longer know how to put our people to work. We read less and less and write like barbarians. We’ve increasingly turned our backs on the very idea of hard-won excellence while flinging open the doors to decadence and decline. No wonder Lady Gaga and Snooki from Jersey Shore are cultural heroes."