I wanted to do an actual calculation on this to identify exactly the number of Americans who truly know what they’re talking about. Well, to identify an individual as “knowing what they are talking about” the person’s opinion must not be skewed by confirmation bias. Therefore, I have constructed a list of credentials and requirements that each person must adhere too.
1.) The person must not be religious. Religion tends to promote a subjective opinion based on inductive reasoning, whereas not being religious promotes an objective opinion based on deductive reasoning.
2.) The person must not be extreme in any political affiliation. When one considers themselves a devout liberal or a devout conservative, the information in which they spread could be easily misguided by political biases.
3.) The person must be highly educated. Regardless of how some people will feel about this one, getting a higher education teaches you an awful lot about important subjects. Most people that haven’t gone to college pretend to know about economics, sociology, history, financial accounting, political science, philosophy and criminal justice. However, those who went to college actually know about those things because they learned them. However, one must not just go to college, but excel in college and have a degree to prove they learned what they were taught. It is uneducated people who are likely to be more racist, less travelled and easily misguided by the biases of mainstream media, propaganda and conspiratorial nonsense.
4.) The person must be an expert on the subject. An expert, more generally, is a person with extensive knowledge or ability based on research, experience, or occupation and in a particular area of study. It is tough to determine just exactly how much experience one must have to be considered an expert considering different fields of study have different requirements. For example, it takes 13,000 hours of experience to be an expert on litigation, whereas it takes over 40,000 hours of experience to be an expert neurosurgeon. So what I did for my calculations was base it on the average hours, which is 15,000.
5.) The person must not be under the age 28. It is apparent that anybody under the age of twenty-eight has simply not lived long enough to know much about anything. Also, if you consider number 4 on this list, for a person to have 15,000 hours of experience given a 40 hour work week, the person would have to have worked at least 7.8 years, if they worked 1920 hours a year. For one to have a degree and have worked 7.8 years, than one must be at least 28 years old.
6.) The person must be self-employed, employed or retired. The person must either be working in the field for which they claim to know about or teaching in the field. One can’t claim to “know what they are talking about” if nobody has put trust in them to work or teach in that field. Therefore, I am statistically weeding out the unemployed.
7.) The person must not have Alzheimer’s or any form of severe mental disability that prohibits them from utilizing the full capacity of their cognition. In other words, depressed people, or those with bipolar disorder, may very well know what they’re talking about. However, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s, obviously impairs their judgment or ability to make logical sense of things.
Okay. Given the above conditions and requirements, let’s do the math. According to the most recent pew research data 15.8% of Americans are not religious. 7.1% consider themselves Atheist/Agnostic and the other 8.7% say they are nothing at all. Of that 15.8% of nonreligious people, 43% of them have a college degree, which brings our overall total to 7.6%. 69% of the nonreligious consider themselves Democrats and 10% of them consider themselves Republicans. All 10% of those who consider themselves Republican have claimed to be devout conservatives. Only 59% of nonreligious consider themselves to be devout Liberals. Therefore, 31% of all nonreligious have a clear an open political mind, 66% of which are also Democrats. However, not all of those with an open political mind have a degree. So 31% of 7.6% brings are overall total to 2.4%. Also, according to Pew Research Center, 45% of all nonreligious people in America are 28 or older. 45% of 2.4% is 1.1%
Now, let’s get in to the nitty gritty. I’m going to use the “real” unemployment rate because it will include those who left the job market and not include self-employed or retirees. The real unemployment rate is 9.9%. Which means that 90.1% would fall in as working, self-employed or retired. However, just because someone is self-employed, employed or retired, does not mean they worked 15,000 hours in the same craft. In fact, according to Marketwatch, the average time people work at a job is 4.6 years. So I did some heavy research here and found the number I needed. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the percentage of employed and self-employed Americans who have worked longer than 8 years in their field (even if at different firms) is in astonishingly low 21%, half of which are people age 55 and older. When you include retirees, the number jumps to 24%. 24% of 90.1% is 21.6% However, considering we want to calculate this specifically from the educated and nonreligious people over thirty, our overall percentage now falls to 0.24%
According to the National Institute of Mental health, only 1.1% of all Americans have a severe mental disorder. Severe, of course, referring directly to a mental illness that would have a negative effect on their cognitive performance. So when we deduct that percentage from our overall total, we arrive at this number: 0.0023736
The United States population is currently 318.9 Million people. When you calculate 0.23736% of 318,900,000 people you are left with a conclusive number. Only 756,941 people in America, actually know what they’re talking about. *Drops Mic*