Your mother was bang on target, but possibly was unable to carry the notion through to a logical conclusion.
Throughout time recorded there has always beem a majority who were poor as you defined..... unable to know any food of financial security, and equally there have always been those who stole and retained more spoils.
Once wealth and (by default) power had been obtained the invention of the 'middle classes' created a buffer zone between the rulers and the ruled, they formed a class one could aspire to join, and if you were supportive of the 'system' and willing to display your obsequiousness, then you could be allowed small middle class priviledges.
The current technology period created the ability for those who are not rulers, to see the disparity between the .001% and them, and note that in the current security conscious world, controlled by obedient governments who obey their true masters: i.e. corporations, which means that unlike earlier generations of serfs, this generation know it's nigh on impossible to grab something that will allow one to rise through the ranks, plus many are sickened by what greets them once elevated to the 'nuevo aristocracy' who control all the worlds finances.
The solution is a complete meltdown of resources and finances which leave everyone (except those protected by wealth and power) destitude and totally reliant upon a benevolent dictatorship which offers basic guaranteed living in return for a pledge of allegiance to the regime.
Rebellion will result in excommunication from 'society' (thus becoming an 'outlaw') and death on capture.
ISIS want this to happen, but then so do western power elites.
But statistics work both ways.... .001% may control 99% of the wealth, but there are 99.99% who they need, in order to feed from our wealth.
Their 'god' is consummerism, who like all false gods, needs worship and constant feeding, it's only weakness is this need for constant feeding.
When the crunch happens (and it will) knowing how to trust God and live under His protection will govern who survives and who takes the beasts mark.
None of us may get out of this alive, but how we deal with this will determine how we spend eternity.
If we stopped feeding their system when the cruch ocurrs, their machine will grind to a full stop in a matter of months, our society will collapse, but the recovery will be formed by the survivors who will create a meritocratic society, fit to run until power agglomerates again.