cover image The Theft of a Decade: How the Baby Boomers Stole the Milennials’ Economic Future

The Theft of a Decade: How the Baby Boomers Stole the Milennials’ Economic Future

Joseph C. Sternberg. PublicAffairs, $28 (288p) ISBN 978-1-5417-4236-9

Wall Street Journal editor Sternberg provides a riveting account of the economic fallout of the 2007–2009 Great Recession, which drastically diminished the financial outlook for an entire generation of Americans. Sternberg demonstrates how this recession affected the employment options of the then-youngest American workers, as entry-level job openings constricted and older Americans were forced to put off retiring, preventing younger workers from advancing into higher-level positions. He argues the student debt crisis is largely a result of baby boomers encouraging youth to think of college as an “investment,” despite strong evidence from economic studies that this is not always the case. He also narrates in detail the history of home ownership in America, culminating in a critical analysis of the irresponsible mortgage lending practices that fed into the crash. Sternberg’s account is distinctly nonpartisan, critiquing both Reagan-era supply-side economics and the Affordable Care Act’s lengthy delaying of the taxes that are meant to pay for it. Sternberg carefully guides the reader through a rather labyrinthine thicket of complicated terms and numbers in largely accessible fashion. This is a must-read for cash-strapped millennials seeking to learn precisely how employment, investment, taxation, and the government’s social safety net programs have changed drastically over the past generation. [em]Agent: Zoe Pagnamenta, Zoe Pagnamenta Agency. (May) [/em]