"Hard work leads to success" is a myth perpetrated by the rich. It is used both to denigrate those who are not rich and to rationalize their own success. They think: If someone is poor they must be lazy, stupid, have bad genes, or not have "a good work ethic". Of their own success they think they did it entirely on their own without any help from family, friends, political connections, government. The reality is just the opposite. The poor are poor because they didn't have opportunities that many enjoy such as education, health care, a decent place to live and the support of family and friends. They may have health problems that keep them in poverty. The reality is that you can't support yourself (let alone a family) on minimum wage jobs (even two or three jobs) no matter how hard you work. The rich, OTOH, forget about the fact that they grew up well fed, had decent housing, good education opportunities, access to health care and strong support from family and friends as well as government. As a result, as adults they had access to good jobs, financial resources (loans and subsidies from family, friends and government). They benefit from government tax subsidies, favorable regulations, sweetheart government contracts. Trump is a great example. He grew up privileged with millions of dollars of loans from his family and invested in real estate which was very profitable because of government subsidy and loan programs. He went on to other investments and proved to be a terrible businessman going bankrupt multiple times (bankrupting his investors and the government but never himself).