Ayodeji — I think you’re on the right track with this. I concur!
I have sorta mulled this for a while, since I quit my job (boring government PR), went back to school, and been living on the edge since as a freelancer/entrepreneur. I own very little, my finances and credit are a mess. I have no real assets.
Our structures and norms most definitely make it harder to not participate in the prescriptive paths. And I think one facet of our sociopolitical and economic framework is that in order for a small group of people to gain wealth, a lot of other people must give up some (small) bit (e.g. Apple, Google, Facebook) of their own wealth (or monetized digital footprint). Very little is “created.”
I always laughed when I lived in Italy when Italians would envy my ability to return to the states. They were sure the opportunities and lifestyle here are better (“American Dream” etc). I beg to differ. The hierarchies and discriminations are just better veiled.