I designed some medical instruments and they were in use at a hospital in Youngstown. They were having trouble with them and required me to come and look at them.
When I arrived I discovered that Youngstown was an old steel mill town and although the mills had closed 20 years before, they still had something like 18% unemployment.
Strangely enough the motels and taxis were all run by East Indians.
While I was in the hospital discovering that they had an X-Ray machine on the same power line as my Respiratory Gas Analyzer (the kickback of the X-Ray was blowing up the power supply on my instrument) I noted that the doctors weren't just arbitrary (as they usually are everywhere in the world) but thought of themselves as the Dictators In Charge of The World.
In California, if a Doctor addressed a nurse or a workman like they did in Youngstown they would have a broken jaw and require plastic surgery themselves. Nowhere else in the United States did I ever see such disrespect for other people as I did in Youngstown. I suppose that's because there were so many people standing in line for so few jobs.
But aside from "The Ruling Class" the people there were pretty nice, the food was rather a great deal more fatty (and delicious) than a Californian was used to, and the bread was better than most places on the east coast.
You have to remember that Ohio and Pennsylvania were mining and steel mill towns and that unemployment has never completely recovered from its high of almost 100% employment.
You weren't being humiliated but in fact people were trying to be as good to you as they could. It's just that they're used to "poor" and try to avoid making it obvious where it might further degrade public morale.
Luckily, in the 21st century, I'm sure that things are still improving, but old habits are sometimes hard to break.
Hopefully after I retire I'll be able to tour the mid-west and east coast myself. There's a lot of country out there that has people you won't meet anywhere else in the world.