An Alabama mother with two adult offspring became widely known on the internet after voicing her concerns over the economic challenges faced by her millennial and Gen Z children.
Jessica McCabe was a guest on "Fox & Friends" on Tuesday, speaking up in defense of her worries following criticism from some on the web.
"It's not 1988 anymore," she stated. "We have to, as parents realize that the economy has changed. I understand inflation, prices always go up. But I think that lately, the wages are not keeping up with how big the inflation has gotten. And we have to listen to our children."
A video posted by McCabe on her TikTok account has drawn over 11 million views and continues to gather attention.
"I am so tired of feeling helpless as a parent," she expressed in the video. "Yes, my kids are grown adults. My oldest is 28. My youngest is 25. And I thought by teaching them what I learned, which is, you work hard, you get a good job, you're going to get the things in life that you need. Alright, worked for me. Why wouldn't it work for them? Because it doesn't. Because the world has f-----g changed."
"Yes, I understand. Struggling is a part of life. We all struggled. But there's a difference between struggling and drowning," she continued.
McCabe's alarm regarding whether the American dream remains feasible for younger generations, especially considering the current state of the U.S. economy, was also noted.
"The reason why I made the video is because I was so frustrated. I went out yet again with my son to go trying to find an apartment he can afford," she recounted.
@that1crazy72 Its no wonder there is a mental health crisis amoung the younger generation..and to make matters worse most cant afford to get treated and if they do they are told to “get a better job” what happened to the middle class just wanting to make w decent living? #housingcrisis #mentalhealth #americandream #rent #longervideos #howtoretire ♬ original sound - That1crazy72
"Half the places I felt like I should have been condemned, that he could afford. And the other half, they're running four times your rent. They want you to show that you can have like four times that. So it was getting frustrated," she told the "Fox & Friends" presenters.
The mother from Alabama highlighted various problems affecting the U.S. economy, encompassing escalating inflation, stagnant wages, and the housing market's challenges.
As per the June consumer price index (CPI), prices surged 3% annually, just under the 3.1% increment projected by Refinitiv economists.
Even though inflation has retreated from a 9.1% peak, it continues to surpass the Federal Reserve's 2% target rate.
Other sections of the report indicated a more gradual decline for inflation. Core prices, leaving out the unstable calculations of food and energy, ascended 0.2%, or 4.8% on an annual basis. Both statistics are less than what Refinitiv economists anticipated, but core prices still exceed the Fed's objective.
Americans persist in feeling the financial squeeze due to inflation's continuous effects, compounded by sluggish wage growth.
U.S. wage expansion has sharply declined over the previous year, expected to revert to pre-pandemic levels by early 2024, as shown by fresh data from Indeed.
The wage tracker, centered on pay for job ads listed on Indeed, revealed salaries were up 5.3% in May in comparison to the same month the prior year. This figure is a considerable drop from January 2022, where wages increased about 9.3%, hinting at less competition among employers for new recruits.
Based on the ongoing trend, wage growth will probably settle back to its pre-pandemic scope of roughly 3% to 4% later this year or early in 2024.
"It is frustrating because he went to college and I understand that most places want experience, you know, even though you have a college degree. So the first job that he got right out of college was only paying $19 an hour," she explained, adding that her son later got a raise to $22 an hour.
McCabe's worry also extended to how the American dream is growing progressively hard to achieve for the younger generations.
According to a fresh survey from NORC – University of Chicago, nearly 25% of Americans consider the American Dream "out of reach," an increase from 18% in 2022 to 24%.
"I hear all the other Gen Zs and millennials in my comments saying that they finally feel seen because I think us as Gen-X we forget that it's not the same as it is now for our kids," McCabe observed. "And we think what we did is that they should be able to too."
"We need to be their advocate. I didn't have kids to watch them suffer their entire life."
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