The fact is, middle-class families have exhausted the coping mechanisms they have used for more than three decades to get by on median wages that are barely higher than they were in 1970, adjusted for inflation. Male wages today are in fact lower than they were then: the income of a young man in his 30s is now 12 per cent below that of a man his age three decades ago. Yet for years now, America’s middle class has lived beyond its pay cheque. Middle-class lifestyles have flourished even though median wages have barely budged. That is ending and Americans are beginning to feel the consequences.
The percentage of American working mothers with school-age children has almost doubled since 1970 – from 38 per cent to close to 70 per cent.
The typical American now works two weeks more each year than 30 years ago.
Personal bankruptcies rose 48 per cent in first half of 2007,