Re: My 2¢
"competing against your contemporaries you are competing with 60 years of back catalog"
It is worse than that as today people are paying lots of different fees: ISP's, mobile phones, computer games, alcohol, etc. So music has to fight against a whole lot of other things to get a share of the youth's limited money compared to 20+ years ago.
And the problem is it is much easier to get music without paying compared to the more tangible goods, not just file sharing but YouTube and radio, etc. You really need to have something very special to keep enough fans buying. Today it also seems most folk are contended with crappy compressed audio, so the benefits of selling a CD or FLAC track appeal to few.
I don't know what the answer is. Certainly it would help if buying music was easier by micropaying options per track, etc, and such a scheme would potentially help others to make a living without being whored by Google. But will it happen?