The theft of a decade: How the baby boomers stole the millennials’ economic future - AEI

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Event Summary

On May 21, Joseph Sternberg of The Wall Street Journal visited AEI to discuss his new book, “The Theft of a Decade: How the Baby Boomers Stole the Millennials’ Economic Future” (Public Affairs, 2019). In his remarks, Mr. Sternberg focused on what he believes are the two central questions in this debate: What has happened to millennials over the past decade, and who is responsible? He then proceeded to lay out his argument that the policy choices of baby boomers have created a real problem for millennials entering the job market today.

After the speech, Mr. Sternberg joined AEI’s Ramesh Ponnuru and The Century Foundation’s Conor Williams to discuss his remarks and the prevailing themes in his book. They talked about the long-term effects of the Great Recession on millennials, how the “success sequence’” (i.e., graduate from college, get married, get a job, have kids) is not working as well today as it did for previous generations, and whether these problems should be evaluated through a generational lens.

Following the conversation, Mr. Sternberg took questions from the audience, who asked about the student debt crisis, whether the policies discussed truly constituted as theft, and possible explanations for millennials’ increasing disenchantment with capitalism.

— David Wilde

Event Description

Millennials complain that the job market has never fully worked for them, that they are crushed by student debt, and that paying for their parents’ old-age entitlement benefits will bankrupt them. But are these complaints justified? Joseph C. Sternberg weighs in this debate in his new book on millennials in the post-2008 economy — and finds that baby boomers have mortgaged their children’s future to pay for their own economic comforts.

Please join AEI for a discussion with Mr. Sternberg and an expert panel on his new book, “The Theft of a Decade: How the Baby Boomers Stole the Millennials’ Economic Future” (Public Affairs, 2019).

Join the conversation on social media with @AEI on Twitter and Facebook.


Agenda

8:45 AM
Registration

9:00 AM
Welcome and introduction:
Ryan Streeter, AEI

9:05 AM
Remarks:
Joseph Sternberg, The Wall Street Journal

9:30 AM
Discussion

Participants:
Ramesh Ponnuru, AEI
Joseph Sternberg, The Wall Street Journal
Conor Williams, Century Foundation

10:00 AM
Q&A

10:15 AM
Adjournment


Event Contact Information

For more information, please contact David Wilde at [email protected], 202.419.5209.


Media Contact Information

For media inquiries or to register a camera crew, please contact [email protected], 202.862.5829


Event Speaker Biographies

Ramesh Ponnuru is a visiting fellow at AEI, where he examines the future of conservatism with particular attention to health care, economic policy, and constitutionalism. He is also a senior editor for National Review, where he has covered national politics and public policy for 18 years, and is a columnist for Bloomberg View. A prolific writer, he is the author of a monograph about Japanese industrial policy and a book about American politics and the sanctity of human life.

Joseph Sternberg is a member of the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal, where he writes the Political Economics column. He joined The Wall Street Journal in 2006 as an editorial writer in Hong Kong, where he edited the Business Asia column. He also has been a writer and editor at The New York Sun and The Public Interest.

Ryan Streeter is the director of domestic policy studies at AEI, where he oversees research in education, American citizenship, politics, public opinion, and social and cultural studies. Before joining AEI, he was executive director of the Center for Politics and Governance at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Streeter has had a distinguished career in government service, which includes being deputy chief of staff for policy for Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, special assistant for domestic policy to President George W. Bush at the White House, and policy adviser to Indianapolis Mayor Stephen Goldsmith. Outside of government, he has served as a senior fellow at the Legatum Institute and as a research fellow at the Hudson Institute. He is the author of “Transforming Charity: Toward a Results-Oriented Social Sector” (Hudson Institute, 2001); the editor of “Religion and the Public Square in the 21st Century” (Hudson Institute, 2001); the coauthor of “The Soul of Civil Society: Voluntary Associations and the Public Value of Moral Habits” (Lexington Books, 2002); and a contributor to the Stephen Goldsmith book “Putting Faith in Neighborhoods: Making Cities Work Through Grassroots Citizenship” (Hudson Institute, 2002). In addition to his many television and radio appearances, which include BBC News, CNBC, and Fox News, Dr. Streeter’s articles have been widely published in outlets including National Review, The Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, and The Washington Post. He has a Ph.D. in political philosophy from Emory University, an M.A. from Northern Illinois University, and a B.A. from the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago.

Conor Williams is a fellow at the Century Foundation, where he writes about education, immigration, early education, school choice, and work-life balance challenges for American families. He is an expert on American educational inequity, English learner students, dual immersion programs, urban education reform, and the history of progressivism.

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