A University of Florida economist said the reason many Americans are financially strapped is simple: Prices are rising and wages are not.
David Denslow, who works for UF's Bureau of Economic and Business Research, said that overall, the retail price index has increased in the past five years about 2 percent to 2.5 percent. This index indicates what people pay for food, housing, medical care and other goods and services.
He said that during the 1990s, prices rose about the same, but pay was keeping up. These days, it's a different story.