One in four Scots can’t read this

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Away with ye fancy “Hooked on Phonics” nonsense, laddie! Scotland is suffering from an epidemic of illiteracy that is affecting as many as one in four adults, the GUARDIAN reports.

According to estimates by the Scottish government, up to 1 million Scottish adults are functionally illiterate, 400,000 lack the basic skills to hold a job, and 1.2 million can’t calculate how much change they should get when making a purchase. This is the first ever attempt to measure illiteracy in Scotland (it’s unclear whether that’s because no one in Scotland could do the required math until now). “The problem has got to the stage where it has to be addressed,” said Henry McLeish, the Scottish enterprise and lifelong learning minister. “It is unacceptable in a modern society.”

In nearby England and Wales, there are laws requiring that adults be provided with a basic education, but in Scotland it is discretionary. The shortage of people who can even operate a cash register is apparently having a drastic impact on Scotland’s economy, which has about the same number of job vacancies — 120,000 — as it does people out of work.

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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