Thursday, November 27, 2008

Does this surprise anyone?

US officials flunk test of Amerian history, economics, civics
The exam questions covered American history, the workings of the US government and economics.

Among the questions asked of some 2,500 people who were randomly selected to take the test, including "self-identified elected officials," was one which asked respondents to "name two countries that were our enemies during World War II."

Sixty-nine percent of respondents correctly identified Germany and Japan. Among the incorrect answers were Britain, China, Russia, Canada, Mexico and Spain.

Forty percent of respondents, meanwhile, incorrectly believed that the US president has the power to declare war, while 54 percent correctly answered that that power rests with Congress.

Asked about the electoral college, 20 percent of elected officials incorrectly said it was established to "supervise the first televised presidential debates."

In fact, the system of choosing the US president via an indirect electoral college vote dates back some 220 years, to the US Constitution.

The question that received the fewest correct responses, just 16 percent, tested respondents' basic understanding of economic principles, asking why "free markets typically secure more economic prosperity than government's centralized planning?"
For those needing a refresher course or two, we recommend remedial viewing of School House Rock: America Rock!

Happy Thanksgiving!


westportexperiment said...

Quite frightening. If this is democracy, stop this train - I want to get off.

ninepoundhammer said...

Frankly, since the Golf of Tonkin Fairy Tale (I mean, 'Incident') the President HAS had the power to declare war, at least de facto if not de jure. The Congress hasn't declared war since 9 December 1941.

U.S. history is not the only thing sadly lacking. We have forgotten our Church history, as well. The Faith of our fathers has become the faith of the last 50 years--which, in many regards, resembles historic Christianity only very little.

ninepoundhammer said...

I meant to write 'Gulf' of Tonkin. The other way makes no sense. :)