RedE, you say
The world is not a level playing field of equal opportunity for all.
I agree.

You go on
You seem to be ignoring the fact, and insisting that people have only themselves to blame for remaining in poverty.
I have never said "people have only themselves".
But any improvement must begin with an understanding of the full nature of the "self"--I call it the pneuma factor.

IMO, POVERTY-MINDED PEOPLE HAVE A SICK PSYCHE (the mind as intellect) AND, CONSEQUENTLY, they usually have UNHEALTHY SOMAS (physical bodies). BUT THE BASIC PROBLEM IS: THE HAVE NOT LEARNED HOW TO ACCESS THEIR PNEUMAS (their minds as human spirits, with the ability to develop a new image of the self).

PNEUMATOLOGY--AN ESSENTIAL SCIENCE/ART FOR HUMAN DEVELOPMENT Anyone who thinks the following is boasting, you can stop reading here.
Beginning in 1964, under the general heading of pneumatology, I taught, and still teach, people how to do this. BTW, I involved doctors, nutritionists and other therapists, especially experts dealing with addictions, involved in the healing arts. It was a HOLISTIC PROGRAM which went on the whole of my 40 year ministry.

Currently, in re-directment (I don't like retirement) as part of the FAMILY LIFE FOUNDATION'S PROGRAMS, I am still working with people, one a naturopath, some with very serious health and prosperity problems.

When I was an active minister with a parish--here I go telling stories again--in addition to teaching pneumatology, I visited many homes which, despite the fact there was no shortage of soap and water, were filled with children and adults living in filth and dirt. Until I, and some of my helpers, using the techniques mentioned above, got the people interested in turning on their pneuma factors nothing changed.

We helped people stop being poverty-minded and change their minds and make the choice to improve.

One more story: My assistant--I brought him as witness--and I visited an elderly gentleman who was a compulsive pack rat. He was an eccentric odd-ball. However, he had a job and worked as driving instructor. Because he never kept his car clean, he was always living on the edge, economically.

His three-room basement apartment, which we, as church do-gooders, had found for him, was so-filled with old papers--some even piled near his gas stove--that it was almost impossible to get in. It was also a dangerous fire hazard--which was why his land lady had called me.

As part of the pneumatology program, I spent hours getting him to change his mind. When he finally agreed, we helped him clean out the place.

My point is: he would have been on the street if he had not changed his mind--his pneuma. The world is filled with people who need to have new ways of thinking.

BTW, some of them are rich and powerful, physically, but have sick psyches and almost dead pneumas. They need help, too.

Of course the community--including governments, businesses and charities--has to play a role in dealing with poverty-minded people--and not just the somatological (physically) poor, but the psychological and pneumatological poor. We need to challenge such poverty-minded people--I am not talking about under-age children (pure pneumas, they will learn in their own way)--to get involved and be part of the solution, not the problem. Unless we do, nothing will change.