I haven't flown for a long time, either, but I possess as few things as possible by nature. Naturally when I travel, I only take what I feel is absolutely necessary, and that's not much.
First of all, I think you're fortunate to be able to fly. I wanted to visit my daughter this summer, but just didn't have the means. So, be grateful for your abundance. I also think you help the airline, whichever one it was, by filling out a "How are we doing?" or complaint card stating how you felt about the lack of space on the plane.
Whether those people paid baggage fees or not is irrelevant. The problem has more to do with the mass media and consciousness that seems to insist we have more than we need, whether it be cars, clothes, or whatever or we are a not a normal person contributing to the economic growth of our society.
Be proud of yourself for adhering wisely to the airline's allotment of carry-ons (a plane has weight limits for safety reasons), state your preference in a form of feedback so the airline can improve its customer service, and let God handle the rest. Eventually, maybe it will take several decades, people will mature and lose the sense of pressure to take 21 outfits for a 10-day trip that, in their present state, they probably won't even enjoy because of the stress they're carrying (another carry-on, an invisible one at that).
God bless you and take care!