A Wall Street Journal columnist delivers a brilliant narrative of the mugging of the millennial generation-- how the Baby Boomers have stolen the millennials' future in order to ensure themselves a comfortable present
The Theft of a Decade is a contrarian, revelatory analysis of how one generation pulled the rug out from under another, and the myriad consequences that has set in store for all of us. The millennial generation was the unfortunate victim of several generations of economic theories that made life harder for them than it was for their grandparents.
Then came the crash of 2008, and the Boomer generation's reaction to it was brutal: politicians and policy makers made deliberate decisions that favored the interests of the Boomer generation over their heirs, the most egregious being over the use of monetary policy, fiscal policy and regulation. For the first time in recent history, policy makers gave up on investing for the future and instead mortgaged that future to pay for the ugly economic sins of the present.
This book describes a new economic crisis, a sinister tectonic shift that is stealing a generation's future.
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. \n