What do you feel is expensive there recently?
Pretty much everything. The costs of everything have been going up for years. Wages however, have not. If anything they have went lower and lower. The worker is in competition with the rest of the world as to who has a job and gets paid. There are more have nots than haves.
Our government typically lies to us all the time as far as accuracy goes about how many jobs are created per month, about the state of the economy, and how well off the citizens actually are compared to the rest of the developed world. Much of it is done so the politicians don't look so bad.
Mergers have eliminated many jobs. One company buys out another, waits a little while it compares what it now has with the two companies, and then lays off people that are redundant. One company wouldn't make that much difference but we have went through 20 to 30 years of this merger mania, where every company saw merging as the way to grow. The end result has been massive job loss within the national borders. This is not to take into account, job offshoring, nor moving completely out of the national boundaries to escape taxes.
Inflation is another our government ignores. For those retired, the government no longer makes up the difference that inflation has taken away from purchasing power. This means that the elders are getting poorer on a fix income that buys less and less. A way to demonstrate this loss of purchase power is that in 1970 my mother bought a new economy car for a cost of $2,000. Today an equivalent car costs around $14,000 to $20,000. It matters not if you are talking buying a new car, food, power (energy), rents, or whatever money is used for.
Medical costs are a prime one to question the value of. It has literally soared out of reach of the average citizen to pay for out of pocket. Drugs are one reason. Some of the drugs programs where you take x amount of drugs daily over a period of time to get well are now in the thousands on up to the hundred thousands for medicine. Some have no hope of paying these outrageous prices. Yet drug prices continue to escalate. I feel often that because the same drugs can be had cheaper in other countries the US is being gouged to support the rest of the world in most items. When the elderly have to pick between food and medicine you know it's went much too far. At the rate medical costs are rising, it will consume 1/5th
of the GDP within the next decade.
The same can be said for higher education. When I went to college, I didn't have the money to stay at the college. I bussed 50 miles every day there and back. I also worked every weekend and ever holiday to make enough money to pay for it. But the important thing here was it was doable. When I finished, I owed nothing. That's not possible today. The government has made arrangements with the bankers to make loans for education. As a result of there being more money available, all prices for education have shot through the roof. Universities are using the windfall to build newer buildings, hire rock star professors, and increase the benefits of the senior staff, which does not roll down hill to the average professor. What I could pay for with work isn't possible today because the costs have skyrocketed. Today a young person graduates with a debt the equivalent of what it costs to buy a house. When they get out they for the most part find that the jobs don't pay enough to pay the loans back.
The result of this has been the economy staggering along. It takes the consumer to power the economy through buying things. But when you have no money to spare, there is no discretionary income to spend. This has a direct result on the market and it is showing. No matter how you look at it, it is not sustainable over the long haul. The future does not look good from this aspect.