Link; emphasis added.
Things, it seems, are actually getting worse. There's an argument to be made that it's always been the same: work hard, save, be frugal. But the sad truth is that rampant consumerism isn't the source of our postmodern Dickensian Hard Times. People are not making enough money to pay their energy, food, and health care bills.
A number of studies, including new ones by the Center for American Progress in Washington and by Demos, a progressive think tank in New York, have shown that Americans in this age group are faced with a variety of challenges that are tougher than those faced by young adults over the past few decades. Among the challenges are worsening job prospects, lower rates of health insurance coverage and higher levels of debt.
We know that the generation immediately preceding the Millennials is struggling. Men who are now in their 30s, the prime age for raising a family, earn less money than members of their fathers’ generation did at the same age. In 1974, the median income for men in their 30s (using today’s inflation-adjusted dollars) was about $40,000. The figure for men in their 30s now is $35,000.
Often saddled with debt, and with their job prospects gloomy, young Americans feel their government ought to be doing more to enhance their prospects. They want increased investments in education, health care and initiatives aimed at expanding the economy and fostering the growth of good jobs.
Let's squeeze the middle class just a bit more....