I was politically aware from about 1960 on. I lived through all those years and things are certainly much better now, especially if you were a person of color or non-majority sexual orientation. For most of those years people were often killed (by lynch mobs, racists, gay-bashers, or government) just for being non-white or non-straight.

Sure, union-member working-class people were a little better off when the union actually meant something. But union workers were not the bottom rung of society: Far from it. And all those lower rungs were much worse off than now.