I like to think of education and "hard work" as a path out of poverty...The rags to riches stories still resonate. Mr. T who started out with only one million and changed that into billions. Or Hillary Clinton who was "broke" upon leaving the White House. Yet there are certainly wealthy people who actually go broke, and immigrants who start out with literally nothing. Like Vietnamese boat people or other refugees. It would be interesting to see how they are doing over time. Some of them are not literate in any language, etc. I think education, if one has the opportunity to access it, can be helpful. Believe it or not, I have known poor people who live lives that are okay. But they had access to religious community, or family, or societal supports. Some were elderly and lacked resources. Not to minimize the pain of poverty, it is also sad to worship the Almighty dollar.