When the Soviet authorities during the 1940s exhibited the 1940 movie The Grapes of Wrath  as evidence of how miserable the poor were in capitalist America, it backfired. What amazed the Soviet audiences was that the Joad family fled starvation by car.
This passage – with original emphasis – is from page 54 of Deirdre McCloskey’s monumental and path-breaking 2010 book Bourgeois Dignity . Read it. Twice. Even thrice.