That was my father's generation. Both my parents dropped out of high school, but later got their GEDs. My father became a general contractor and my mother was the admitting clerk in the night ER. I had a solid middle-class upbringing, and now how have inherited my parent's house and their two cars.
One of my friend's fathers, who was in the Navy during WWII ("the Navy was four years of my life wasted"), got an two-year technical degree, went to work for Sears...and got the steady raises, the middle-class home with a two-car detached garage...and all the rest (Sears is now owned by K-Mart).
I and my friends kept our end of the bargain, but the government didn't keep theirs. Inflation, war, taxes, exploding deficits, exploding government, exporting middle-class jobs, declining wages, importing Third World criminals. And lying about every bit of (I haven't believed a word the government told me since high school).
Wages stopped going up in January, 1974 and if they had continued to go up as they had during the '50s, the average yearly salary would be about $100,000. And the dollar has lost about 98% of its value the last century.
God, I hate liars.