It was indeed about money. And as soon as the grievances being argued mentioned the compensation aspect - they lost a tremendous amount of support. Not intending to turn this into a political discussion, except to note that California has historically leaned much more left than right. Not only was this suit dismissed by Chhabria, it was dismissed in a manner that never allows the case (in current form) to ever be introduced again.
Having said all of this... the Tour disclosed revenues of over $973 million on its 990 Tax Form back in 2011. Some of those more intimately familiar with the Tour and the curious manner in which they report their revenues seem to suggest that the number was likely much closer to $2 billion. That's a pretty significant difference to say the very least, but we'll assume that an organization that is primarily compiled of business lawyers manning their most prestigious offices and outposts have spent much of their careers figuring out where to legally hide revenue without offshore account shenanigans that raise the brows of the feds to lunar levels.
Now, of course, that same year they contributed over $130 million to charity. So while we can safely assume that at least some of them are wealthy, selfish egomaniacs - the fact remains that they donate a lot of money to charity (at least compared to the ginormous revenue generating NFL, which claimed nearly $15 billion in revenue for FY2015).
But don't be surprised if the NFL's contributions increase considerably in the coming years, particularly toward the National Institutes of Health. They're going to do whatever they can to help offset the impending concussion PR nightmare in the coming years. Considering how much revenue they turn over (Goodell alone earned nearly $30 million in 2015) - you can understand why they're interested in maintaining appearances of albeit feigned concern.
Anyway... way off topic here.
Bottom line - the PGA Tour is making more than enough money to throw the caddies a pension bone of some sort. But then the problem becomes one of legalities... who qualifies? What about the guy who looped for 5 seasons before his player decided he can make more money and spend more time at home selling insurance back in his hometown? Does his caddie have an association that is looking after the pension he's earned for those 5 seasons? Better yet - does creating a pension fund for caddies suddenly (and legally) make them employees of the PGA Tour? Can a business or organization even set up a pension fund for non-employees? (I suspect someone with some legal experience might know this, but I don't...)
Needless to say, the PGA Tour could, at the very least, convey an attitude and provide an atmosphere that at least attempts to show that they certainly do give a flying **** about these guys. If they continue with the circa 1950's elitism that still, to this very day, exists... then they open themselves up for trouble down the road. Because we are in the midst of "restless" times, as you accurately described. I don't think those times are going to subside anytime soon. Lots of reasons for that too, not all of them illegitimate, although many of them seem to be fed by this what's-in-it-for-me express lane, brought to you buy the wonderful world of Social Media.
But treating caddies like real people, not outcasts... that's really not asking a lot.