When I grew up in the 1970s in Birmingham there was a mixture of backgrounds. Mostly, though, the parents of my classmates were working people who truly believed that they were lucky to have survived the second-world-war. More significantly there tended to be a view that though the years immediately after the war had been tough, especially due to the continuance of rationing, things were getting better.
Though I know that things were difficult in the 1970s - there was the constant threat of terrorism as Birmingham had experienced so dreadfully in 1974 - and economically there were the problems caused by the huge spike in oil prices, few people, apart from the harbingers of doom, thought that we were living through anything but a temporary interruption to the post-war quest for prosperity.
In large part factories kept producing; despite the fact that whenever film of the 1970s is shown there are always the clichéd shots of workers at Longbridge voting to strike. Even though unemployment was increasing and we were told that we were uncompetitive there was usually little concern that things would continue to get better.
Harold Macmillan's 1957 speech when he announced that people had never had it so good seemed to have been borne a man out of touch with reality though many older people did indeed moan about how easy it was for young people compared to when they grew up.
So fast forward some forty years and let's reflect what the current situation is.
Those of us who grew up in the 1970s are now parents and we constantly worry about what the future will be like for us in older age, an increasingly unappealing prospect, and for our children.
And what is becoming ever-apparent is that the certainties our parents may have had for us, we cannot have them for our children.
We are certainly aware that children growing up in areas of social deprivation characterised by high levels of unemployment, poor housing and schools have the challenge of being able to break free of the endemic 'poverty of aspiration'; especially given that well paid careers don't tend to be largely available in such areas.
For those with connections and money there are usually no such concerns. As we regularly hear in the media, those who attend the 'best' school, assumed to be private, have greatly enhanced opportunities to enter the establishment and get the best jobs.
Though there are many notable exceptions, many with privilege tend to dedicate their efforts to ensuring it remains within their ambit. After all, if your family has spent generations getting to this point you have to be pretty brave to want to eschew it.
Though many have tried to create a far more egalitarian society the reality is that privilege and wealth is regarded by many as the dream to attain. I personally know of many hard-working people whose primary aim is to achieve the things that they were denied by access to decent education. Indeed, many spent small fortunes simply to be in the catchment areas for what are regarded as the sort of schools that will allow their children to gain entry to careers that they would never have dreamed of.
When David Cameron exhorts us all to work harder in order to achieve a better life for ourselves and, more particularly, our children, it sounds compelling. Therefore, a report being published today (Thursday) by a group established by him today will not make comfortable reading in that it essentially tells us that the children of those parents who do work hard and may be considered middle class should expect to be worse off in the future than their mothers and fathers.
The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission will contain the warning that the belief that it is only the poorest 10% who lose out is no longer correct and that a combination of accumulated debt from student fees and rapidly rising house prices coupled with a lack of jobs in which there is possibility to rapidly advance means that the children of today will no longer be better off than their parents.
This finding is really significant and ends a trend that has been going on for over a century; something that insiders in Whiltehall recognise as being a problem for a government that has argued that austerity is good in the long-run.
It has been widely leaked that the report will present the example of a grandmother in her 80s being able to enjoy better standards of living that someone in their 20s.
What we certainly know is that house prices are rapidly rising and though unemployment is falling the jobs being created are frequently poor substitutes for those that have been lost. The ONS statistics published on Wednesday show that part-time employment is increasing and it can be assumed that many who carry out o this work would much prefer full-time well paid careers with prospects.
There are no easy fixes here. However, let's not assume that young people are mugs. They recognise the flaws in the argument that stacking up a huge amount of debt in studying for a degree is probably not value for money and, perhaps that their ability to pay off the loan will be undermined by the fact that wages are not keeping up with inflation and cannot match hikes in house prices or rent.
The news that working people are increasingly only able to make ends meet by either using credit to resorting to foodbanks should surely make us realise that this was not the future we thought was possible.
There are inherent dangers is many start to feel that working hard and advancing in society is now effectively no longer possible.
It is highly probable that the next general election will be largely determined the votes of those who feel that despite their efforts and willingness to suffer austerity, they are part of the 'squeezed middle'.
However, I strongly suspect that voters will want more than platitudes and promises of jam sometime way into the future.