In 1973, average rent in Texas was about $100 per month.
If you take that $6850, subtract 20% for taxes, insurance, and retirement, and divide by 12, you earned about $450 a month, You earned four times your rent.
In 2022, earning $60,000, subtract 30% for taxes and the ridiculous insurance costs we now pay, you're taking home $3500 a month.
Pretend the modern young professional has no student loans, which can be up to 20% of your take-home pay every month, too. For sake of argument.
Median rent in Texas is over $1000 for a one-bedroom apartment. Average rent in most metro areas is much higher - closer to $1800. Young people are spending half their paycheck on housing. You can say "just buy a house" but there is no inventory because it's all being bought up, and banks won't grant loans to most young lenders since they don't have enough income due to skyrocketing home prices. A typical three bedroom home in 1973 cost $30,000. Add a zero to that today.
Do you see why people want to be paid more yet, or should we compare cost of living too? Gas prices? Shall we discuss those student loans?
It's not a "fat paycheck" by the standards of inflation and modern society. When people can graduate college in virtually any other field and earn a minimum of $75k annually - when people can earn more money being bartenders than they can as a band director - there's a significant pay gap, and that "huge paycheck" is worthless.