In A GENERATION OF SOCIOPATHS, author and venture capitalist Bruce Cannon Gibney advances a powerful, data-driven and sure-to-be controversial argument: by recklessly enriching themselves for decades at the expense of other Americans, the Baby Boomers (born between 1940 and 1964) have been a scourge to American prosperity. Their behavior has been so extreme it can rightfully be labeled sociopathic.
The American Psychiatric Association defines sociopathy by a number of symptoms and criteria including, 1: “lying, deception, and manipulation for profit or self-amusement,” 2: “Blatant disregard for the safety of self and others,” 3: “Displaying a pattern of irresponsibility,” and 4: “Lack of remorse for actions.” Combing over decades of data, Gibney shows how each of these items can be clearly mapped onto Boomers.
The Boomers inherited one of the most prosperous economies in history. Upon their arrival in Congress, the C-suite, and the voting booth, the Boomers proceeded to swiftly knock America off its path. The most powerful generation in decades, Boomers relentlessly pursued (bipartisan) legislation whose primary objective — far from investing in the future — has been the systematic transfer of wealth from the young to the old. They achieved their sociopathic goals — at the expense of the rest of us. Had American policies continued on their successful mid-century path, Americans could be doing incredibly well, with median family incomes 75% greater than they are today. Instead, Americans are earning less than they could and should be while shouldering huge loads of debt, our infrastructure is the laughing stock of the developed world, and the environment is vulnerable to a long menu of catastrophes.
A GENERATION OF SOCIOPATHS exposes how Boomers created an efficient, bipartisan machine for generational expropriation and social abuse. Gibney, whose 2011 essay “What Happened to the Future?” captivated the investment industry, bases his arguments on data rather than ideology. In the tradition of books like George Packer’s The Unwinding, A GENERATION OF SOCIOPATHS confronts widespread feelings of American malaise. Rejecting conventional theories, Gibney shows how — rather than simply Red vs. Blue political gridlock or the 99% vs. the 1% — our problems boil down to this: a generation of Americans who hijacked the economy in their own self-interest. A GENERATION OF SOCIOPATHS is poised to become a landmark book about the American economy and policymaking.