I've admired Barbara Ehrenreich ever since I read about how she worked as a hotel-maid to experience & expose the actual social-class relations between Maid & Mistress. (Mistress expected Maid to tipple & steal, but not have a Ph.D!)
Generally, Americans don't want to admit that social-class position rules this society like any other; & so a great many Americans prefer to imagine they're 'middle-class' - a presumption that's now being relentlessly eroded.
Once Americans realize how & by whom, they should have an overdue re-awakening; but what they'll do about it (post FDR vs Reagan, Clinton vs Obama) remains to be seen. Meanwhile:
Many think Social Security & Medicare are the 3rd-rail. The Tea Party thinks it's levying totally unnecessary Taxes.
It's much more than that. It's also about the disparity of 'wealth' & where that puts each of us as members of a spectrum/hierarchy of classes (fiscal, material, occupational, technical, etc. )
Speaking of 'wealth', how many people admire Warren Buffet? Bill Gates? Because of what they do with their wealth? To & for...whom?