- File Size: 6836 KB
- Print Length: 394 pages
- Publisher: Hachette Books (March 7, 2017)
- Publication Date: March 7, 2017
- Sold by: Hachette Book Group
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01HZFB7GI
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,836 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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A Generation of Sociopaths: How the Baby Boomers Betrayed America Kindle Edition
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"Informative, provocative, and entertaining reading for those interested in political economy and U.S. social and economic history."―Booklist
"Gibney lays into the 'Me' generation for cashing out their children's future and leaving the planet looking like a rock star's hotel room.... Timely."―Esquire
"A Generation of Sociopaths is a polemic, but what a polemic: filled with data, rich in anecdote, deadly serious yet wickedly funny."―Alexandra Wolfe, author of Valley of the Gods
"The core of Gibney's argument, that the boomers are guilty of 'generational plunder,' is spot-on. He accuses them of 'the mass, democratically-sanctioned transfer of wealth away from the young and toward the Boomers,' and he's right."―Dana Milbank, Washington Post
"Remarkable .... Impressively weighted with hard numbers and specifics, the volume serves as both an indictment of and rebuttal to a Woodstock Generation that has gleefully celebrated themselves for decades while gradually running the country into the ground ... Gibney paints a persuasive and frequently hilarious portrait of the Me Generation."―Men's Journal
"Like Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Bruce Cannon Gibney's A Generation of Sociopaths proceeds from a deceptively simple premise: that the gains made by the American middle class in the period after the world wars of the previous century were a fluke.... A damning, searingly relevant indictment."―The Globe and Mail
"[Gibney] has a wry, amusing style and plenty of well parsed statistics to back him up ... Read A Generation of Sociopaths and hope for the best. Gibney is more optimistic than those who predict an imminent third world war, than the scientists who warn of sudden climate shifts and the end of antibiotics, and even - in one sense - than the evangelicals who believe in the Rapture. He also has a better sense of humor."―Jane Smiley, The Guardian
"[Gibney] maintains that the Boomer Generation, privilege incarnate, exhibit all the traits associated with that clinical pathology: 'deceit, selfishness, imprudence, remorselessness, hostility, the works.' He argues the case well."―Toronto Star --This text refers to the hardcover edition.
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In the 60’s, the democratic and republican party ideologies and core constituencies flipped, echoing positions formed in the Civil War. Is that more of a causal mechanism to the dysfunction we’re seeing now?
The author makes it sound like all our problems go away when boomers start dying out. I don’t think it’s that simple. In fact, I know it’s not.
Yes, the boomers do seem collectively sociopathic, but going back to the Civil War for a second... This is a country whose prosperity was founded in many ways on enslaving other humans while waxing poetic about enlightenment ideals of equality. It was a country founded by anti-monarchists who thought nothing of claiming a continent from current inhabitants to install themselves as non-royal landed gentry. It is a country that tossed its constitution out the window in the Second World War out of fear of an ethnic minority. It is a country that almost came apart at the seams due to greed less than a century ago.
From that standpoint, the boomers are not fundamentally different from generations prior or next, and our problems don’t end when the last boomer dies.
Bruce Gibney does an excellent job defending the title. He shows how Boomers inherited a fantastically wealthy country, and have, through a whole variety of methods, looted the patrimony left to them, and now expect to suck on Social Security and Medicare until they die, leaving behind misery.
He points out, with carefully researched data, exactly how the Boomers did this, what institutions they have corrupted, and the nasty hangover that awaits the country because of them.
If you are under 50, especially if you are WELL under 50 (in your teens even); do yourself a favor and read this book. Learn who you are up against.
Top international reviews
Gibney shows that the boomer generation has benefited itself in every aspect of life, from economics, defence, education, environment, taxes, and planning for old age. And it does so by passing the costs down to future generations. In respect of tax cuts during the boomer-controlled years, for instance, Gibney says: ‘There was some sense in cutting taxes during a recession, but how the taxes were cut was illuminating – from a Keynesian perspective, the best cuts would be the cuts that led to the fastest spending, not the fastest squirreling away of retirement funds by older Americans’. The cut in estate duties came at a time when the Boomers’ parents had ‘one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel’. In other words, the Boomers were ready to inherit the full estate – without tax.
Countries that were awed by the superficial growth of the Boomer years and copied their policies are now seeing the same inequality gap, and the same bleak future for their future generations. Gibney explains how the Medicare system set up by the Boomers is intended to benefit the Boomers as they grow old and infirmed, and in need of continued health benefits – benefits paid for by a shrinking trust fund because the income from the younger generation cannot match the cost that the Boomers will incur. The ratio of workers to retirees is shrinking.
Another sinister phenomenon created by the Boomers is the twin terror – the closure of schools and the opening of prison doors. Gibney tracks the rise of private, for profit schools whose aim is to create profit, not raise education. That is why the creature known as the ‘adjunct professor’ is proliferating as long-service professors are dwindling in numbers. Adjuncts are cheaper, but they are also less likely to get tenure because ‘Boomer professors are determined to die in their endowed chairs’. The net result of the long chapter, ‘Detention, after-school and otherwise’, is that America is having too many ‘badly equipped students and an explosion of debts’. All that is linked to the Boomer ‘creation of an unforgiving penal state, furnished with intolerant laws and panoptic enforcers to supply the inmates. For many, schools are just the waiting room before formal incarceration’.
If you enjoy this book, you might like Joseph Sternberg’s ‘The Theft of a Decade’.