I think you've hit at the core of the problem. Individual responsibility. I remember having discussions with my Grandfather years before he passed away. I was in awe as he told me about his life, about lying about his age at 16 so he could get a job working on the railroad. He and my Grandma raised three sons literally on pennies a day. They did everything they could to survive but my Grandfather refused "handouts" from the government or anyone else. He viewed that as the ultimate failure. He then got a better job at an oil refinery and often worked two shifts. He was nearly deaf from being around all the loud machinery all those years. But then he smiled at me and said "Mike after all that, your Grandma and I don't owe anybody a dime. This house is ours, the boys all have their own families and I can play all the golf I want." Your life is your responsibility. When you shift responsibility to someone else, you have lost. That is what my Grandfather taught me and I hope that is what I've passed on to my sons.