A common happenstance proves this. Think of homeless people who do not work, do not pay rent, etc. They sell no labor, they pay no taxes, they have no responsibility, yet they survive.

Is this a joke? Thousands of homeless die every year of exposure, disease and hunger. Many are only able to survive because they receive government benefits and some are lucky enough to receive charity. 20% of the homeless are under age 18 and 10% are veterans. Homelessness is not a “choice” for “carefree” freeloaders. It’s a product of systemic poverty, mental illness and circumstance which compounds itself. The homeless are considered virtually unemployable by the private sector which in turn leads to chronic homelessness and unemployment.

And, yes, I was paid by people who employed me, but they were not my boss. I worked for myself, using other people’s money (OPM) in order to become self-reliant.

Yes, so you were employed by people who owned capital, and utilized their (financial) capital to produce surplus value. That’s exactly what I suggested.

I’m confused. You espouse socialism/communism ad infinitum, then speak of your dream to become wealthy, a concept so antithetical to both systems??? What’s up with that?

I live in a capitalist economy. Why wouldn’t I do this? I don’t really understand the question.

I don’t agree that class distinction is either shrinking, or static.

The literature on this question is overwhelming. Class mobility has been declining since the advent of neoliberalism in the late 70s and early 80s. Here are 3 studies:

http://jhr.uwpress.org/content/43/1/139.refs

https://web.archive.org/web/20130525230108/http://www.brookings.edu/about/projects/bpea/latest-conference/2013-spring-permanent-inequality-panousi

Here is an article from the Economist about the popular misconception of social mobility in the US that you expressed. Studies show that social mobility is actually greater in European social democracies than in the United States:

So yes, government programs do have the potential to help humans excel. Moralizing about a “mindset” is going to have zero impact on systemic poverty, homelessness and class mobility.

Corporate accountant and former auditor with degrees in philosophy and accounting.

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