Here’s a good post from Don Boudreaux on earning middle-class prosperity. It’s a letter to Vince Vogel. In it, he writes:
You say that your parents taught you that “anyone that works hard and lawfully gets to enjoy middle class prosperity” and that “it’s a duty of government to help guarantee this [outcome].” With respect, my parents taught me differently. They taught me that, while anyone who works hard and lawfully improves his or her prospects of enjoying middle-class prosperity, no one is guaranteed any such outcome and, further, that the only agent responsible for my well-being is me and not the state or anyone else.
The rest of it is good, too.