Okay, I catch your drift. I agree with most of it. I think the thing that gets me to challenge you is:
and it's not all for lack of trying.
Those 100 or 1000 that don't make it "up", and here is where I agree with you, they DO try. Where I DISagree with you is that the main reason for them working hard but not making it, is due to their inability to know how to do it successfully. I've seen so many people come to Canada with money, invest that money to start a proven successful type of business (say, a convenience store or a construction company), and then a couple years later be flat broke and working in Walmart putting canned tomato soups on the shelves. A huge number of immigrants (and non-immigrants) end up flipping burgers or driving taxi cabs (or Uber, these days) for less than minimum wage.
The restaurant that my son-in-law worked as manager for is case in point. (And there are thousands of cases similar to this.) A very rich Chinese fellow came to Canada with money to burn from his parents still in China. He went to college to study IT, graduated, and bought himself a nice little Audi R8 for close to $300,000. He then went on a hunt to rent an established restaurant but couldn't find anyone who wanted to sell a good running one. (Duh...) So, he bought one from another Chinese fellow who was failing as a restaurateur. He hired my son-in-law to run it. The three of us went into the building and I turned around and walked right back out, coughing from the rotting stench. I went to Home Depot and bought a full face respirator so I could help with the renovations.
The place opened with great fanfare and, for about 5 months, my son-in-law worked (like any other restauranteur) very hard and putting in 18 to 20 hours a day. As I had taught him, he had the front of the place kept very clean and booming with clients. The staff were knowledgeable and friendly. (We all are still friends to this day.) I went about my own job. Then the place needed more investing and new things were installed. Cheap food supplies needed larger and larger storage area so my son-in-law's garage received a huge industrial freezer yet, as more stuff overflowed the freezer, the garage began reeking with rotting (whatever that food stuff was). Then, running out of space there, some was stashed outside in the back yard. Some was stashed behind the restaurant (jammed against the property's fence) and told my son-in-law that he was managing the business all wrong. He told me he had to do as he was told. Why not rent a refrigerated warehouse? I was referred to the Audi driving owner. I made my point clear, warning that the health department would eventually see the mess that the place was becoming behind the cash register. I asked how his accounting books were doing and was told that Chinese do not keep formal books like in the West. It's all kept in his head or on scraps of receipts. I told my son-in-law to quit. He did with a huge smile. The freezer in the garage and all the smelly stuff is all gone now. My son-in-law's new business (started with just a couple thousand bucks investing of his own money) was thriving and began to grow. His inventory (still no warehouse yet) was probably ten times what he invested until...
A year later, Covid 19 hit. The Audi driving owner is still driving the Audi. But there is a huge dent in the left rear quarter panel, three tires are almost bald while the right front is new but certainly does not match the left front.
My son-in-law's business is still strong enough to make his house and car payments because most of his work is done online. But, it's slowly dying off due to Covid Lockdown. A full year of this economic freeze has yet to kill his business because he is running it very well. But, it will die, eventually. I mean, come on! He can't leave his home to ship stuff and the shipping company is closed (like many others are.)
The restaurant was not hindered in any way other than the owner's inability to run a business correctly. That's why I told my son-in-law to quit. His import-export business was (and still is) run correctly (except no Western-style bookkeeping!) Nobody was hindering my son-in-law and the only help I was giving him was elbow grease to clear out his garage. I did fly him a couple times to Niagara Falls to pick up some freight, but he paid the fuel and services fees. And bought me my favorite hamburger lunch each time.
You are right, there is a rather limited space on the higher rungs of the money ladder. But, I submit to you, that that is due to so many people on that ladder's lower rungs that just can't climb higher with the feet and hands that they have. Strong feet and hands controlled by a smart head can get anyone up to the higher rungs. My son-in-law proved it, my father proved it, I proved it, and the Audi driving restaurateur illustrated why many people who have strong feet and hands but not so smart of a head will only stay on the lower rungs of that ladder.