We run into this idea that "rugged individualism" is the "true" American way, and the only way to get ahead in life...
Yes, we should all work hard—and we do. Americans currently work more hours than citizens in other developed nation in the world. Unfortunately, our hard work isn't paying off with the current system and set of laws we have.
As Americans, what we truly need is paid family and medical leave, access to affordable housing, access to affordable childcare, good schools for all, affordable healthcare, public transportation and rural broadband. These policies don't discourage work—they give us a reason to work.
People want to work. It brings us fulfillment. But at the moment, working hard does not equal success. We must remove the barriers and put into law policies that lift families out of poverty, and make hard work actually count for something again.