Try This on Your Favorite Curmudgeons
By Bryan Caplan
If your holiday season was anything like mine, you’ve heard some elderly relatives denounce the “kids these days.” “They don’t read the newspaper!” “They don’t know when World War II ended!” “How can democracy survive with this level of ignorance?!”
My latest response to these doom-sayers is to ask them two questions:
1. What year did the Berlin Wall come down?
2. What year did the Soviet Union collapse?
So far, I’ve found that despite their self-righteous daily newspaper reading, my older relatives can’t answer these questions correctly. Indeed, they can’t get within five years of the most important historical events in the second half of the 20th century.
Question: Can the curmudgeons in your family do any better? I’m very curious to hear your answers.