Didn't we just have a Lead Contamination issue for years go unnoticed in a major city (Flint)?
Overall, this article is neither profound nor useful. The best descriptions of America that I've found are those that build off of the 9-subnations model (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Nine_Nations_of_North_Amer...). (There are more modern approaches, like "11-subnations"... but these models are much better)
This article oversimplifies the situation into the "two subnations" of "Rich and Poor". Which completely missed the problem and the current situation. The only part that I agree with in the article is that "Education" is the key to reaching the upper echelons of society, but the opportunity for Education differs grossly on a state-to-state basis.
After all, its the individual states that provide education for the citizens. The Federal US Government plays a very small role in Education.
The NorthEast states, with their emphasis on quality PUBLIC education, have better mobility than say the Southern states, which focus on Charter Schools, and Private Schools.
And that's fine. Each state should grow as according to their local politics.
True, there's a "Rich and Poor" dynamic going on but the situation is far more complicated than that. And any attempt to focus excessively on wealth metrics will miss the trees for the forest.
We have a collection of 50-mini governments that run the vast majority of our lives. There are over 50 educational systems (indeed: Regional accreditation for colleges is far more important than national accreditation), there are over 10,000 Police Departments (Not just Federal agencies like FBI, but then State-Police and then county Police... and sometimes even City-specific Police). Etc. etc.
In many respects, the USA should be thought of more like the European Union... but for some reason, people want to think of the USA as a single contiguous nation. It just doesn't work that way in practice however.