Book Bits | 18 May 2019

The Theft of a Decade: How the Baby Boomers Stole the Millennials’ Economic Future
By Joseph C. Sternberg
Q&A with
A new book by Wall Street Journal writer Joseph C. Sternberg argues the economic practices of the baby boomers are imperiling the economic security of their children.
The baby-boom generation was born between 1946 and 1964; Millennials are defined as being born between 1981 and 1997, according to Pew Research Center.
The decade Sternberg refers to in the book’s title, “The Theft of a Decade: How the Baby Boomers Stole the Millennials’ Economic Future,” is the one following the global financial crisis of 2008.
He tells [WBUR] Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson he chose to focus on that decade in particular because it was the period when the largest number of millennials were graduating from college and entering the early stages of their careers.

No Longer Newsworthy: How the Mainstream Media Abandoned the Working Class
By Christopher R. Martin
Summary via publisher (ILR/Cornell University Press)
Until the recent political shift pushed workers back into the media spotlight, the mainstream media had largely ignored this significant part of American society in favor of the moneyed “upscale” consumer for more than four decades. Christopher R. Martin now reveals why and how the media lost sight of the American working class and the effects of it doing so. The damning indictment of the mainstream media that flows through No Longer Newsworthy is a wakeup call about the critical role of the media in telling news stories about labor unions, workers, and working-class readers. As Martin charts the decline of labor reporting from the late 1960s onwards, he reveals the shift in news coverage as the mainstream media abandoned labor in favor of consumer and business interests.

Everyday Chaos: Technology, Complexity, and How We’re Thriving in a New World of Possibility
By David Weinberger
Review via Forbes
Is the world too chaotic for any technology to control? Is technology revealing that things are even more chaotic and uncontrollable than first thought? Artificial intelligence, machine learning and related technologies may be underscoring a realization Albert Einstein had many decades ago: “The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.”
When it comes to employing the latest analytics in enterprises and beyond, even the best technology — predictive algorithms, artificial intelligence — can’t explain, and even reveal, the complexity and interactions that shape events and trends. That’s the word from Harvard University’s David Weinberger who explains, in his latest book, how AI, big data, science and the internet are all revealing a fundamental truth: things are more complex and unpredictable than we’ve allowed ourselves to see.

Priced Out: The Economic and Ethical Costs of American Health Care
By Uwe E. Reinhardt
Summary via publisher (Princeton University Press)
Uwe Reinhardt was a towering figure and moral conscience of health care policy in the United States and beyond. Famously bipartisan, he advised presidents and Congress on health reform and originated central features of the Affordable Care Act. In Priced Out, Reinhardt offers an engaging and enlightening account of today’s U.S. health care system, explaining why it costs so much more and delivers so much less than the systems of every other advanced country, why this situation is morally indefensible, and how we might improve it.
The problem, Reinhardt says, is not one of economics but of social ethics. There is no American political consensus on a fundamental question other countries settled long ago: to what extent should we be our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers when it comes to health care? Drawing on the best evidence, he guides readers through the chaotic, secretive, and inefficient way America finances health care, and he offers a penetrating ethical analysis of recent reform proposals.

Financially Forward:
How to Use Today’s Digital Tools to Earn More, Save Better, and Spend Smarter

By Alexa Von Tobel
Summary via publisher (Currency/Penguin Random House)
We live in a new financial world. Our wallets–like every other aspect of our lives–have gone fully digital. From mobile pay to on-demand everything to cryptocurrencies, technology is rewriting the rules for how we earn, save, spend and invest. Technology has made virtually every aspect of our lives cheaper and more convenient. Shouldn’t it do the same when it comes to managing our finances? Von Tobel says that it can. In this straightforward and jargon-free guide, she shows us how to use the simple tools found on any smartphone to put more money back into our wallets.