> On waiting to be hired: if market doesn't need my skills I can either wait for market to change... or I can work on my skills.
True. However, it is impractical to learn many valuable skills from a library (particularly a busy library where regular access to a computer is unlikely). A library is really good at one thing in particular - teaching you to think. It's not so good at teaching you to weld, to be an EMT, a dental assistant, or even to be a secretary. All of things require either a employer willing to teach you as they pay you (which is sadly uncommon anymore), or some form of formal education (which costs money).
I'm not saying that you should give up and not work on your skills, I'm just pointing out that it's not that easy.
> Parent post concludes with similar thought as yours: maybe he was just luckier at birth. Being better educated, feeling smarter and more driven might all be consequence of that.
It probably doesn't hurt. It's also easy to look on hardships you have not personally endured and say "If you only did this..."
I grew up in a developing country in a small town, I had to drop out of high school since it was becoming unaffordable, with access to a small library where most of the books weren't even in English. I learned electronics from those books, but most of it covered PNP transistors which were rare instead of NPN transistors which I could easily strip from old broken radios. I learned about computers from those books, and taught myself programming, where the books were mostly about the Commodore 64 and I was learning BASIC while the world out there was using PCs with C and Pascal. I taught myself enough to assemble my first PC from broken parts, and developed enough skills to allow me to move to a city, then to move to the UK, and other countries.
Was I lucky, or better educated? I also have that question of why do people who live in developed first world countries with free high school education and large libraries (containing books in the best language for information, and computers) don't see themselves as extremely lucky already. Why, with the massive head start they have that I didn't have, don't they go and make something of themselves and their lives?
Because they don't have destitution motivating them to grab on by the skin of your teeth to any income whatsoever.
But, I want to note, that's a good thing. One of my college classmates is a severely messed-up person from being raised by abusively money-hungry and careerist upwardly-mobile parents from India. Having the fire of destitution in your belly is how you breed Goldman Sachs investment bankers, not good citizens of a developed society.
I agree that it can be a really bad thing. Just as your upbringing can influence you to become curious, willing to learn and self-motivated, it can also teach you the wrong kind of motivation. I have seen people come from a background where wealth was considered more important than anything, where opportunism and exploitation are acceptable means to a materialist goal, and saw these people turn out as criminals and con men.