The largest segment of the American population, the white middle-class, is predominantly peopled by those who went to school, finished school, and got a job afterwards. A smaller segment of that group continued on to some type of college/trade school and made an investment of time and money, in the hopes that it would pay off in the future with a better job and/or better opportunities. Many in the middle class then marry, have kids, and then teach their kids to follow a similar pattern that they themselves used to become successful in life (defined by any number of things, but certainly pertaining to being financially solvent). These people work hard, educate themselves and their children, live on less than they make, give of their time and money, and invest in the future. The socio-economic strata most populated by black America is the lower middle-class, and then the poor. People of this demographic do not place an emphasis on education. Instead of possessing the initiative to work hard and provide for themselves, they seek to establish a monthly income from the government, hand-outs from strangers, loans from family, etc. They then occupy the remainder of their time with leisure activities, all the while expecting someone else to work hard to provide for them and their families. Their children are not taught the value of hard work, how to save, how to live on less than you make, how to give, how to invest, etc. They are taught to live as though the world owes them something. They never experience the personal satisfaction of doing a month of hard work at a job they've schooled for, and then getting a good paycheck (much higher than what the government doles out). They never experience the thrill of having done something entrepreneurial and being rewarded with success. It's the absence of these kinds of personal victories and positive experiences that, when coupled with the observation that other people around them are experiencing success while they are not, create an attitude of self-loathing and pity which can erode a person's dignity and drive to excel. Rather than choosing the morally difficult action to face the reality of how their poor choices in life have brought them financial and social hardship, they choose to act in a manner consistent with how they've lived their lives thus far - they place the responsibility for their mistakes at someone else's feet. The greatest challenge to ameliorating the problems I've described above doesn't have to do with money, values, or behavior. It has to do with the influence that political correctness has had on our speech when it comes to being candid and forthright about our problems. If we can't call a spade a spade for fear of being labelled a "racist" or a "bigot," how can we expect to make any significant progress without fear affecting our actions?