No, the american working class is getting worse off, Smid, while the landed gentry of every nationality is getting much better off. Your forgetting your class distinctions - a worker and an owner are two different species.
By international standards, the American worker is still quite wealthy, so I think the comparison with wealthy families prior to the industrial revolution is apt. Those class distinctions in the US are internationally just strata within the wealthy class - it's like in Pride and Prejudice
- Mr Bingley was wealthy, but Mr Darcy was even more so - both were in the landed gentry, though. By international standards, the American worker is wealthy, regardless of how they compare to Donald Trump.
Not at all! You completely misunderstand what is 'wealth' or who are the 'wealthy' - persons may have a relatively high income and still be poor people, Smid. One's class is determined by power and position in the social hierarchy, and these are determined by the relationship one has to the means of production. And owner is still an owner, and in an enormously more secure and enviable position, if he owns capital in Bangladesh than if he is a mere wage-slave in Ohio, even if the Ohioan makes twice the income. The Bangladeshi rentier may exact his pound of flesh from those under his control regardless of the vagaries of the marketplace, while the Ohioan will be laid off the moment his owners can get rid of him.
To use your literary example, neither Mr. Bingley nor Mr. Darcy were toilers - a toiler is always a poor in terms of class, whatever you pay him.