It's easy enough to complain about Washington gridlock, but "every country has the government it deserves," said philosopher Joseph de Maistre. We're the ones who put the politicians in power, but when you look at the recent results of an international skills survey, it would seem we're not quite qualified to do so, writes LZ Granderson at CNN. For instance, we're 16th in literacy proficiency; lower scores there make people more likely to "believe that they have little impact on the political process," the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's report said.
For a more anecdotal look, how about those late-night talk show street interviews: "Many of those people who said they could name the president—but not the commander in chief—will soon be standing in a voting booth, armed with a ballot," writes Granderson. Yet a Gallup poll finds that education isn't among Americans' top five concerns for the country. How do we fix the problem? Early childhood education would be a start—but a survey last year (PDF) found us way behind on that, too. Click for Granderson's full column. (Read more LZ Granderson stories.)