I’ve noted before that conservatives seem fixated on the notion that poverty is basically the result of character problems among the poor. This may once have had a grain of truth to it, but for the past three decades and more the main obstacle facing the poor has been the lack of jobs paying decent wages. But the myth of the undeserving poor persists, and so does a counterpart myth, that of the deserving rich.
The story goes like this: America’s affluent are affluent because they made the right lifestyle choices. They got themselves good educations, they got and stayed married, and so on. Basically, affluence is a reward for adhering to the Victorian virtues.
Wealth only frees the affluent from having money problems, yet it does nothing to alleviate having the same human problems as everyone else. It is only when the idealised wealthy of the middle class are used as props by middle class troubadours of the failure of the poor that we see the real character deficiency, and that is of feigned affluence of those making the arguments.