Thousands of Parisians marched last week to protest a litany of government policies, but one of the main reasons was a steady decline in their standard of living. As prices rise and wages stagnate, consumers in France and across Europe feel they're being pushed to their financial limit. There are two major problems facing Europeans: the first is wages and unemployment has been high so wages have stagnated and that means real salaries have declined. As a result working Europeans aren't equipped to deal with a big increase in essential items like food and oil. For example, a gallon of gas now runs to about $9.40. this economist says middle and low income earners have been especially hard hit. He sees the problem is likely to continue for the foreseeable future because banks are keeping interest rates high to keep salaries in check. He says governments across Europe can expect to see more social unrest. In the meantime, lower and middle class Europeans are cutting expenses as much as they can.