I grew up in an era where we were assaulted with images of what successful Americans looked like. The 80s were a decade of excess, even causal observers of history know that. Movies, and media from that time are overwhelming with stories of rich white Americans getting everything they want without regard. Even morality tales from the time, like “Wall Street” in the end, they are still rich white Americans with more than any of the rest of us could ever hope to have. You had to have a Lotus to win over the “Hooker with a Heart” and you could buy and sell human beings to satisfy the whims of children.
Add to this that there is a culture in America of defining ones identity by their work. A man isn’t a man, hes a “Steelworker”, or a “Salesman”.