I didn't say you had to learn them. I said they were there.
Sorry the likely case is you are backpedaling. The whole post, in fact the whole portion of this thread is about learning Chinese and you thought adding something that has zero to do with it was a good idea to throw in. That's what you want readers to believe? Let's look at your quote shall we?
About 2000 of them constitute (approximately) high school literacy. But there are about 50 thousand of them. Bad enough?
In order for your "they are just there" be what you really meant you would have had to switch from talking about words you need to learn for literacy to words that have no impact on literacy whatsoever in the space between the period and the word "but". Not to mention you are telling the reader that those two sentences are related by using a conjunction. Albeit one used with a period.
If your defense is really that you inserted a non-sequitor then perhaps there are some large gaps in your English education too? The more likely case is that you were trying to convince the reader that there are lots of characters to learn. Big numbers make your case better. Even though when it comes to talking about literacy (and I question that character counts are a very good way to talk about this) your big numbers are off by a fucking order of magnitude.
As for a simplified character vocabulary, take a trip to Taiwan, why don't you. See how that works out for you.
...and what? Taiwan officially uses traditional and colloquially uses simplified. Toronto, where I live is likely even more mixed. Unlike Taiwan there is no regulation on character usage (since Chinese is not an official language here). Original immigrants were mostly HK Cantonese speakers. To the point that many of my friends who speak Cantonese actually had to *learn* it because nobody spoke their native dialect. Today I see far more Taiwanese and Mandarin speakers. Lots of storefronts sport traditional signs but the goods inside are often marked with simplified charcters. Sing Tao Daily writes in Traditional BUT the advertisement inserts often have simplified and the entertainment sections will often have quotes from people using HKCS. Actually some of the things I've seen from Canton province are probably more interesting than Taiwanese stuff. Where people are using simplified characters but with HKCS. Taiwan does use variants that are rarely seen in the mainland (I mentioned da2 which I've seen in Taiwan and Japan but never in simplified - even though it's technically part of modern Chinese but ironically it contains two copies of the same radical which ARE simplified) - Anyway Taiwan probably has more spoken variants than orthographical ones.
Your experience is only your experience
While true, it ironically doesn't exclude that my experience probably exceeds your own in every way.