Squeezed family incomes
A family of four who earned $10,000 in 1970 - about average for that time - needs $23,425 this year to have the same after-tax purchasing power, states the Conference Board.
Americans' budgets have been squeezed by increasing social-security taxes (up from 3.7 percent of the average family's income in 1970 to 6.7 percent in 1982). Higher federal income taxes have also contributed to the squeeze. The board reported though, that inflation was still the major culprit, reducing the dollar's purchasing power by 55 percent in the last 12 years.