The greatest harm has been as a result of the ignorance of our better-off, largely the result of the short-comings of today's media.
As difficult as things can be for low-income workers, they are among the better off. A minimum wage income, as modest as it is, is roughly double our former welfare aid. It's true that many of them are teetering up on a tight-wire with no safety net below, one job loss from losing everything with no way back up, but they can afford adequate food and shelter for now.
I'm much more concerned about no-income people in a nation that is brutal to its "surplus population" -- those who aren't of current use to employers. We have stripped them of the most basic human rights (per the UN's UDHR) of food and shelter. We know that not everyone can work (health, etc.), and that there aren't jobs for all. The US shipped out a huge share of our jobs since the 1980s, ended actual welfare in the 1990s.
I guess that's the most important point. Knowing this, we still decided that those who aren't of current use to employers don't qualify for fundamental human rights. Human worth itself is determined by economic status. What does this say about this generation of Americans?