This post by thecountessofclockwise makes a good point: not everyone who works hard is going to be rewarded for that hard work and your level of compensation for that hard work depends on your class and social privilege.
We all know that women’s hard work is not remunerated as well as men’s hard work. Same goes for Blacks vs. Whites, immigrants vs. citizens, unattractive vs. attractive, etc. Saying that success is the result of hard work suggests that success is solely determined by the individual. Anyone who is paying attention knows that’s not true.
My brother and father are both smart, educated men who work hard. My brother has a job that forces him to work 60+ hours a week. My father has been holding down two jobs and working 60+ hours a week for the past thirty years. My brother has described his highly-paid, white collar job as easy enough for a monkey to do. My father spends most of his spare time sleeping because he’s so tired from his physical, labor-intensive work.
My brother has an apartment in a posh neighborhood, drives a fancy car, and has savings and a 401K. My father doesn’t have health insurance, little savings, and no investments besides my parents’ home. If he were to lose his job (he’s already survived several downsizings) or be injured (::knocks wood::), my parents wouldn’t be able to afford the mortgage payments on their house. One bit of bad luck and they’d lose everything.
Both my brother and father have done everything ‘right’, but only one of them enjoys any real security and comfort. Don’t tell me that working hard is enough to be successful.