An unfortunate consequence I see when I read articles like this one is that spin quickly negates any interest in just stopping for a minute to consider the facts being presented. At a time of many advances, we suddenly see something moving backwards. It's an uncomfortable contrast regardless of why someone thinks it is occurring.
I think it's about peoples expectations. Once upon a time middle class was the norm. You had one car, a house, a telephone and radio (later TV) and a loving supportive family atmosphere and you expected to be treated fairly. If you were in the "lower classes" you didn't expect to be treated fairly so you fell back on friends and family and made the best life you could. The upper classes were as they are today. Now, the middle class and lower class are both in the same boat, except the middle class people are no longer treated fairly and that is the source of their despair. So there is a plague of street drugs and unusually high incidence of suicide among the poor whites who no longer see America as the land of opportunity. Just my opinion.