The story is good enough to repeat it.
When the movie "The Grapes of Wrath" came out it was shown in the Sowjet Union to demonstrate how bad the working class was treated in the US.
It was pulled soon after because the reaction was:
"Wait a minute !? They have cars?? When it does not work out in one place they can just pack their things and leave??? "
So, even then, being poor in America did not mean what it meant in other places.
"The American way of life, less shitty than most others" just does not have the same ring to it.