I suppose you could say that in a state like, say, Alabama, where I grew up, it's possible that the people who aren't on the dole see a larger proportion of people who are not employed or marginally employed. Instead of looking to systemic issues, like lack of proper education, there is a blame the victim mentality of "Why don't these poor people want proper education? Why do they prefer to live on welfare? Why don't they help themselves instead of having babies?"
Anyway, I've observed since living in more affluent areas that you just don't see the poor when you live in a nice place in the North, whereas in the South, even in the nice areas you still have a lot of contact with poverty when you travel around the state or through service workers.