I think you missed my point, Jean. I'm not comparing my friends (or the survey respondents in Harvard's study) to those who worry about homelessness, limited access to healthcare, or other real challenges due to their low incomes.
I am talking about financially stable people who want to feel superior to other people they know. Frankly, we already live in a world where the average global salary is FAR lower than what Americans make. Yet Americans don't feel economically secure knowing that other people elsewhere in the world earn only $1/day. They compare themselves to their neighbors, co-workers, etc.
Also, if you re-read that section of my essay, I said RICH people claim they're comfortable. My parents were not rich but technically, we were plenty comfortable. While my parents didn't take us on annual fancy int'l vacations, buy us designer clothes, or drive luxury cars, I was still a privileged child. I never worried about where I would sleep (as we had a stable housing situation), I always had food to eat, and I was able to see the doctor whenever I had a health concern. The rest of the world likely would say any child who has access to such things is fortunate.