On Saturday, Erika Rawes at USA Today's Wall Street Cheat Sheet engaged in some impressive gymnastics as she discussed the middle class and identified seven things its members "can't afford anymore" (the headline) or that "a larger percentage of people have trouble paying for" (the content).
It's a sloppy list. One of the items — debt — isn't a "thing" at all, but rather the result of buying too many "things" without paying for them. Rawes also managed to avoid citing any government policies or practices which might be contributing to the problem. It's not like there's a shortage of items in the past 6-1/2 years (since the recession as normal people define it began), or the past dozen (if you want to go back to where the housing bubble began to inflate in earnest), or even the past 25 (if you want to talk about roughly when the mad rush to have things made in Communist China began). One of the six legitimate "things" on the list is of far more recent origin (HT Political Outcast; bolds are mine):