Individualism making the middle class stronger and advancing to middle class sounds like great libertarian theory.
It does fly in the face of a few facts however. The American middle class made it's most rapid gains, built a launching platform for it's offspring into many areas of work/ social status that now has it's children vilifying it's creator.
Back when industry made America the leader in durable goods it was the rise of the factory floor worker from disposable parts to stable worker and thus eligible for house and vehicle loans that earlier tenement workers could never hope to obtain. The average factory worker couldn't go to the boss and get better conditions, safer methods, better pay and stable hours, medical when hurt- it took the entire factory floor demanding those things and fighting, bleeding and being scabbed before a massive new group of Americans could count on more than the sun rising tomorrow.
Individuals could rise quicker do to connections, good ideas, or inventing the next must have widget but not the massive numbers needed to create a middle class.
Now with the shift to salaried white collar worker the focus for some is on individual achievement over group accomplishment which has turned a few heads away from solidarity, which beat communism in Poland, to thrice deny strength in numbers. There is no I in team therefore these guys will not be team players.
From what I've seen of corporate inner workings is the need is now more than ever for teamwork over individual stars.
I'd say the lack of funding for team sports in schools and the concentration on computer games that compartmentalize off people is what is driving this new 'it's all about me' mentality...