Here in the United States, poor and marginalized people are forced to adhere to rich and privileged folk’s concepts of “being responsible”. But wealthy, privileged people are accountable to no one because of their standing.
Because we are sold the narrative that working harder and smarter guarantees economic success, we begin to believe that those who don’t have wealth are less than deserving (lazier), and even less intelligent. Meanwhile as those in power continue to fail at being truly responsible, we suffer.
One problem with this false notion of upward mobility is that privilege, oppression, exploitation, discrimination, etc. exist, and has created what we have now: A situation where those who are oppressed fight for their humanity and dignity to be recognized, while those who are in “power” truly believe that circumstances of need are created by lack of personal responsibility. (Paternalism and the ability to see their own individual personal vices)
This reflects in the creation of horrible, oppressive policies meant to shock us into picking ourselves up by the bootstraps (or maybe just to keep opposition at bay). The line is blurred (to me) in terms of whether this is willful blindness or cognitive dissonance. Even in the few instances where some degree of education would fix a problem, there is no intention to provide it because there is no incentive.
So what do we do about it?