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Joseph C. Sternberg

The Theft of a Decade

How the Baby Boomers Stole the Millennials’ Economic Future

PublicAffairs 2019

New Books in American StudiesNew Books in EconomicsNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in PoliticsNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in Public PolicyNew Books in SociologyNew Books Network June 11, 2019 Ian J. Drake

Joseph C. Sternberg‘s book The Theft of a Decade: How the Baby Boomers Stole the Millennials’ Economic Future (PublicAffairs, 2019) is an analysis of...

Joseph C. Sternberg‘s book The Theft of a Decade: How the Baby Boomers Stole the Millennials’ Economic Future (PublicAffairs, 2019) is an analysis of the economic condition of the Millennial generation, which was as cohort of people born between 1981 and 1996.  This generation has experienced much trauma in the last decade, especially as a result of the Great Recession of 2008.  Sternberg reviews the economic health of this generation, covering issues such as home ownership rates, higher education, employment prospects, and consumption patterns.  He finds that although Millennials have many choices that make them the envy of much of the rest of the world, in the American context this generation suffers from bleaker prospects for wealth accumulation and security than any prior generation since the end of World War II.  Sternberg reviews the intentional and unintentional consequences of public policies supported by the Baby Boomer generation, such as investment, monetary, and housing policies at the national level.  He also reviews the lessons Europe and Japan have for how to respond to the political and economic problems presented by the demographic changes occurring as the Baby Boomers retire.


Ian J. Drake is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Law at Montclair State University. His scholarly interests include American legal and constitutional history and political theory.