To this I say:
You might not be 'into' stocks, but if you work for a corporation, the person making decisions about your job likely will own stocks. Wall Street is important even if you try to avoid it.
So, ordinary workers need to acquaint themselves with the basics of the stock market.
Real world applications of this even if you DON'T own stock:
1) Be able to gauge and understand the health of the company you work for---don't be the last one to jump a failing ship. Why is this so important? Because if you can read the balance sheet, you can make your own estimation of the company's financial health, not rely on the spin from the corporation.
2) Use larger trends such as housing prices and financial numbers to decide where to re-locate. See a city popping up repeatedly on the news with tales of new jobs and wealth gains-- consider moving there!
3) Be the star of the next dinner party. (On this one I'm kidding. Finance bores people to tears)
So, you want to learn the basics. What now? I suggest CNBC. It's free and covers the major business news of the day. If you want to know more, head to Amazon and buy a book on investing. Begin the process of learning.
Next Finance Topic: Starting a 401k and/or individual brokerage account.