We lived in a hiccup of history I think. I was born in 1946 and in reality it was the beginning of the explosion of the middle class. We would all go to college if we wanted to. My uncle did, he was the first in either family. Right out of the Army. My Dad learned to fly and bought his house on the GI Bill. He never graduated from high school, but ended up middle management in insurance, quit that and formed his own business (something he had also had shortly after he had gotten out of the Army). He had worked in a factory for about three days my Mom told me, but couldn't stand it.
I went to college, off my version of a GI Bill, a little stingier than the one my father's generation had, but still enough to take me through a good state school and with enough left over to party on. One brother went to college on loans and with my parents' help then joined the Army as an officer (I was in the Air Force, an enlisted man, I worked). He got out and we both went to good law schools at the same time. Both graduated the same year, 1983. But I do think that was right around the time things started to go really wrong. Or at least when I started really notice just how bad things were going. Reagan was in and I remember telling my girl friend that "They could run the country with 25% of us out of work, and they think it would be better that way." Of course the push had been on since at least Nixon, but it wasn't as obvious at least to me as it became with Reagan.
My third brother inherited the business, but the other businesses they sold the nuts and bolts to were going out of business themselves or in reality moving out of the country, so nobody to sell the nuts and bolts to and the business goes out of business.
My brother the other lawyer worked for high priced law firms on the wrong side, and maked major amounts of money and goes back into the Army and quits a colonel in the reserves and gets a job. Finally with a mercenary firm working for the government and becomes a vice-president, where he was until three days ago when he was laid off one year short of the time he could have retired from the Army.
Of seven nephews and nieces, three are without jobs and not because they want to be, one is still in school, so I guess she would count as not having job and two have jobs. Neither of my brothers have jobs nor do their wives, and they are all from six to twelve years younger than I am.
We came from a working family and we all worked (although to be completely honest I never really wanted to) from at least the time we graduated from high school and some of us sooner. We are all relatively intelligent (although again my brothers seem to think that we just need to be a little more self reliant and then we will get all the good things the republican Jesus promises). We are all fucked even the ones of us who still have jobs.