America, uniquely, has always been a middle-class country — no aristocracy, no peasantry, and later, under industrialization, to the great frustration of Marxists, no proletariat. Americans were always of the middling social orders. This was the thesis of Harvard Prof. Louis Hartz as he explained in the middle of the last century why we had always had centrist politics.
The Puritans of New England and the Quakers of Pennsylvania came from the rising middle class and early capitalists of England, Scotland and Wales. The more socially exclusive Cavaliers, who led the founding of Virginia, Georgia and the Carolinas, were not aristocrats in English terms but merely squires. Succeeding waves of immigrants — even down to today’s Vietnamese and Hispanics — have been thoroughly middle-class in their aspirations.
In 1860, the U.S. Census recorded 3,953,760 slaves out of a total U.S. population of 31,443,321. One out of every eight people living in slavery doesn't count as a "middle-class country".
The Chinese laborers who built the transcontinental railroad and worked the California gold mines? Whose wives were turned back by anti-Chinese immigration laws? Totally not allowed into the middle class. But they never amounted to even a single percent of the U.S. population until this century, so their experience must not count?
While that's the article's greatest sin, the author does himself no favors by bringing up the increase of tattoos as an example of how the middle class is abandoning its values.