A lot of the answer to this question is in Charles Murray’s Coming Apart (2010). In it he makes extensive use of Government statistics from surveys and economic analysis to trace the fortunes of working class and upper income community types from 1960 to 2010. There are four key founding virtues: industriousness, honesty, religiosity, and marriage. America had these in abundance from its founding up through 1960. After 1960 upper classes retained most of them, but the working classes experienced major declines. These were societal in extent; no blame assigned, it is simply what happened. The two classes have diverged strongly, and while the upper income class will be fine, without these virtues, working class communities that have come apart probably cannot be put together again.
Though he does pick the “virtues” that he chooses to study, the book is jammed with graphs and explanations of the data sources. To dismiss it you’d need to dismiss the validity of data that is from disparate sources that pre-date the book.
One big challenge is that the double income, university-educated, urban elites in WDC, SF, LA, and NYC have little knowledge of the experiences of those in “flyover country.” This leads to political polarization that is fed from different lived experiences, but I think the point of the book is that even if you removed politics completely from your view of this divergence, the four virtues are what are needed to get things back together. Government can’t do that on its own. These are values that people pick for themselves. Government policies have actually nudged people towards discarding these values, but there is no political will for the types of programs (or absence thereof) that would undo that nudging.