I think the problem is that many of contemporary composers got lost doing soundtracks or experimentalism, in other words they are stuck. Composers today are paid to make 5 minutes long themes, or new age and world music, or they try to attract some academic interest doing experimental music. The situation of composers, like painters and all artists in general, has never been easy. So the problem is not their condition or salary, the problem is what people pay them for. Nobody pays them for symphonies, also what is the value of a symphony today? It's an outdated genre, let's face it. Yet there are not really new genres. I think if today's composers are not considered as good as past ones, it's because maybe they didn't really had a big chance to prove it (also, nobody really cares). How much can you prove with a 3 min piece for a spot? Music needs new directions without getting stuck in innovation for innovation's sake, in past times we had people like Beethoven showing the way to others, but today maybe there are not people who want to take that responsibility, so music is stuck in movie scores which can hardly prove the value of composers in my opinion.