What utter bollocks
The game is rigged. Period. The powerful always do whatever they can to reinforce their power and the rest can go hang.
While there are people who rise up from poverty to wealth, they are the exception, not the rule. The rule is no matter how hard you try, without the right connections and some luck, you are going to eventually hit a wall. A wall put there by the powerful.
In all of history, the "middle classes" as we know it today are an aberration. Some type of feudalism has always been the norm. These days, it's a type of modern corporate feudalism.
Then there is the luck factor. Don't think for one moment you can ignore this very powerful influence. Without luck, your brilliant idea and heart attack level of perseverance will mean nothing.
Last but not least, there is the Marie Antoinette syndrome. The rich and powerful eventually blame the not so fortunate for their unfortunate circumstances. This always causes a backlash that deprives the oh so smart and witty of their power and to lose their heads.
Thus it has ever been since recorded history.