Far too many people want to really believe the narrative that America is a country of meritocracy and egalitarian principles, of which the core of America is its vibrant middle class, which is the middle ground between those that have it all and those that don't have a damn thing. That middle class still exists, and while statistics can tell us all sorts of things, of which, some read such to contend that the reason the traditional middle class appears to be hollowing out, is really because so many of those are moving up to higher incomes; whereas others read the very same tea leaves as instead being that the middle class is under assault, in danger, and disintegrating, in which the present population growing into adulthood, have far less opportunity, far less security, and far more debt than any other generation of its age, so seen.
In point of fact, America has a huge and persistent problem with a rather uncomfortably large underclass of which as reported by 20somethingfinance.com, 55% of the American population are struggling in which, "36% are living paycheck-to-paycheck, 19% are actually worse off than that – accruing debt." At the same time, that there are so many that literally have nothing or are under constant stress in regards to timely paying their bills, as well as simply existing or not drowning, there is an elite upper class of the superrich that have enormous assets of unfathomable scale, and are basically untouchable; in addition, to those same superrich functionally running the government and its institutions for their benefit.
It would seem that the so-called dream in America, that all have a chance to succeed, is for huge swaths of Americans, an absolute lie; especially for all those unfortunate people that have little or no opportunity, little education, little or no assets, and little or no hope. Additionally, the police presence in poor communities isn't there to ameliorate the violence and despair that is so evident in those areas, but rather to let it be known to that population that the police are ubiquitous, legally protected, armed to the teeth, handcuff happy, and devastatingly lethal.
Yet, though America in many ways, is far worse off in the sense of the futility of so many being unable to lift themselves up by their bootstraps as compared to the 1960s, riots such as was seen in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York City, Baltimore, Washington DC, Detroit, and so on, is for the most part, not happening, currently. Perhaps, that could be plausibly explained by the growing acceptance and mainstreaming of things such as marijuana, pornography, and mindless entertainment of all sorts, in addition to the assistance by the government in providing food stamps and Section 8 housing; as well as just a more inclusive society in general, especially in being able to see different creeds, different races, and both sexes, strategically displayed in positions of authority or class.
That said, this persistent underclass of so many that lack both opportunity as well as hope, essentially means that these are our modern day peasants, sustained only by the escapism of drugs, drink, mindless entertainment, and sex; yet, seldom actually starving or going without the basic necessities of life. So too, all those that are gainfully employed but never actually getting ahead of the curve, don't seem to recognize that with their employment often being "at will," as well as working at non-unionized companies, that the game is fixed, so that, they too are left with apparently just drugs, drink, mindless entertainment, and sex for their satisfaction; never to get ahead, all because the comforts of the very, very rich is built upon the backs of those that are their peasants, in fit, form, and function, if not quite yet in name.