The welfare stuff is kind of hard to judge, though. Just in the past couple of years there have been huge changes to the availability, eligibility and immediacy of food stamps, so it's going to look very offset compared to data from the 70s. There's definitely an increasing gap between the haves and have-nots, though, but I think that's equally true of most Western societies at the moment (and arguably many Eastern ones). The poverty thing as well - I think my wife and I would qualify as "economically insecure" based on our income, but we're still driving a brand new 2013 Honda Civic without problems.|
The idea of the "struggling invisible poor whites" is kind of a misnomer too. They do exist, yes, and in frightening numbers, but the reason there's a greater alienation is that (blanket statements incoming) the minorities are more willing to try and do something about it, even if it means cash-in-hand labour day jobs they find by hanging around the back of hardware warehouses, whilst the poor whites are largely sitting inside watching Honey Boo Boo and the like, ironically supporting the shows that demonises them further, waiting for the government to improve things for them, again ironically, given that most "trailer trash" I've encountered are right-wing republicans.