This is it. You’ve nailed it exactly. The theme of “personal responsibility” as the basis for poverty and lack of ways to improve one’s situation is the most toxic idea. And it has been embraced by Americans for decades, maybe longer. It’s the flip side of the observation that those doing less well than you are somehow less human. It’s rooted in the same thinking that let this nation embrace slavery, then Jim Crow and now mass incarceration. It’s the poison at the heart of the American apple. Take a bite, and we all suffer.