For normal users, some files in /etc/skel have no read permission and some folders have no execute permission, making it hard to copy the contents without becoming root. Since there's no critical data in this folder (is there?) it might make life slightly easier to fix this some day. Meanwhile we users can runsudo chmod -R a+rX /etc/skel :)
I am running linux mint 17.1 rebecca, but I have found it quite different with other distros I am used to, in /home and /etc/skel there's no .bashrc I don't know if i mess up with something or it is by default in this distro so my question specifically, is it okay to have a system without that file or should I create one and how to create it?