The "have vs have not" discussion is not about the dissatisfaction from having only basic cable when other people get to have HBO, it is about the "haves" who can almost literally buy elections, design their own regulations, and even engage in rent-seeking endeavors to force the public to buy their product, and the "have-nots" who don't even have time to think about their own disenfranchisement because they are literally struggling to keep paying basic needs such as shelter and food. To be honest, this is more of a concern for exploited workers in "developing" countries, but workers in the US have been watching their standard of living decline to the point now that they are becoming focused on maintaining a standard of living that keeps them employable. That is, they may have clothes that aren't rags, they may have convenient access to restroom and shower facilities, they may have enough nutrition to barely maintain sufficient health to do their job, and they may have transportation to and from their jobs, but there isn't any money left from their pay after a week of work. They are literally working for the sake of work with little or no joy, no expectation of a better tomorrow, no expectation that their kids will be better off, and worse, they fear that pushed just one notch further they will be sucked into the inescapable void of homeless and government dependency. Many Americans, unfortunately, are already dependent on government programs even though they work almost full time, or two or more jobs that combined exceed 40 hours each week. There are Americans who "admit" to having a drug addiction they don't even have because otherwise they would be denied the aid they need.
You cannot force shame of dependency onto an entire population, deny access to the paid ears of their elected representatives, and then blame them for not taking "personal responsibility" for their circumstances after they played by the rules, worked hard to succeed at their jobs, lived frugally, pursued higher education, served their country with honor, saved and managed their own retirement accounts, only to be forced to empty those accounts to pay for food on today's table and today's rent. The only option left for them now to take "personal responsibility" is to take to the streets in a Bastille Day type fashion to correct a dysfunctional society. Recalling the Reign of Terror in France, I don't think that's how we would want to push the working masses to the brink.
Oddly enough, many of the problems that are threatening working people could be corrected with either a laissez-faire free market approach, or an effective Scandinavian-style social-democratic system. But what we have here today in the US is a neo-feudal corporate oligarchy empowered by urban Fascism. Try bettering yourself by selling fruit from a street cart in any American city and see how far you get with no more than an upfront investment that a working person could actually save from living a Spartan existence to be just barely employable over the course of three months. For the sake of a fair and rational argument on behalf of American workers, let's presume that no taxes are evaded and no labor or business laws have to be broken to succeed, as in the case of those who use the "if the illegals can come here and succeed" fallacy.