Yes. Hundreds of thousands of people manage to do this even with the additional hindrances of no tengo permiso de trabajo and no hablo Ingles. But I'm sure that those illegal Mexicans are suffering from privilege, unlike the white man born into a country where welfare benefits usually exceed the mean GDP/Capita of Mexico.
The book Scratch Beginnings is well worth a read: https://www.amazon.com/Scratch-Beginnings-Search-American-Dr...
I'm not even sure what you're suggesting though. It sounds like you're suggesting that we should continue shaming poor people as an effective means to prevent poverty. You don't think absolute desperation and lack of safety, security, health, and food, is enough of a motivation?
You think shaming works?
No, I think ignoring the cause of the problem is not a road to a solution.
Maybe a basic income system is necessary for our society to function in the future. There are a lot of indications that this is the case.
I have yet to see even a back of the envelope calculation suggesting these benefits will occur.
There are apparently good choices and bad - Erenreich illustrates how making the bad choices keeps you poor, while Shepard illustrates how making the good choices can you out of poverty.
Scratch Beginnings: Me, $25, and the Search for the American Dream
Get dozens of book recommendations delivered straight to your inbox every Thursday.