A time when a White Christian ostensibly heterosexual male could get a good blue collar job with a pension and pay for a house and own two cars.
This was a time when women and minority had relatively few rights.
There was no private right to contraception for unmarried people, African-Americans could not vote, Jews were not allowed into elite schools because of a so-called “Jew-Quota“, there was no such thing as an uncontested divorce, religion reigned supreme and African-Americans were not allowed into the professions or into many blue-collar jobs.
Abortion on demand was mostly illegal. If a woman became pregnant and didn’t want the child, then she had few options. Illegal abortions were available but they were dangerous. Men and women in bad relationships stayed in them because it was relatively hard to divorce and the consequences could affect their reputations. With so many denied entry into opportunities, things were good for those who could take advantage of them, mainly White Christian ostensibly heterosexual males. And for that smidgen of time, things were good.
Starting in the late 1960’s, White Christian ostensibly heterosexual males began having to compete for opportunities with women, African-Americans, and Jews.
Class right-wing racism, which was populist in nature, began joining the economic right beginning in the mid-1970’s when ideas from right-wing economists like Milton Friedman began gaining currency in the U.S., U.K.
From that point forward, the hollowing out of American began.
In return for lower taxes and fewer regulations, the rich overwhelmingly supported the Republican party while simultaneously supporting right-wing social issues that motivated its original populist base.
As Republicans supported more free-trade deals and other concerns of the rich, the jobs that supported the party’s populist base quickly disappeared. Leaving parts of the United States with few ways to make money.