Christ on a bike!!! This is not about scapegoating millionaires. It is about generational social expectations. I'm glad you have realistic expectations, I hope you pass them on. Most people don't. When people are told you have to be a college degreed, white collar, doctor/lawyer/accountant/investment banker/engineer making well into six figures to be a "success" and a "the purest form of american", and most people realize they aren't going to achieve that no matter how hard they try. People wonder why you have a generation(s) of work apathy? Maybe its because I saw this in the UK in the 70's and the emergence of the punk movement.
I did the same. In my 30's, I looked on it as a sacrifice. In my 40's I now see it was just a choice. It wasn't "noble", it wasn't "the right thing to do", it just is. If I had made a different choice my life would be different. Not better, not worse, just different. Good and bad are relative things and usually based on an outsider's view of something. I am happy where I am. That doesn't mean if I had made different choices, different work and/or school vs life trade-offs I wouldn't be happy with those.
I think people want to think of them as sacrifices because they do regret and guilt.
"Oh if only I had done ..fill_in_the_blank.. my life would be better." "Oh...I did (or didn't) do (x, y, or z) like I should have...and now my life is ruined. Oh woe is me. I made the wrong decision. Everything that is wrong in my life comes back to this bad decision....if only I could go back!! Mea culpa, mea culpa!" Its just nauseating.