The problem is that government does a pretty lousy job of “making sure everybody’s got a shot.”
Think about it; we spend about $600 billion on public schools, more per pupil than any other country except Switzerland, and the results are consistently disappointing as a whole: “14th out of 34 OECD countries for reading skills, 17th for science and a below-average 25th for mathematics.”
The federal government spends about $18 billion per year on “job training” programs, but the GAO has concluded that the data on the effectiveness of job-training programs collecting federal funds is either outdated or nonexistent: “Little is known about the effectiveness of employment and training programs because, since 2004, only five reported conducting an impact study, and about half of all the remaining programs have not had a performance review of any kind.” James Bovard laid out the repeated failure of most federally funded job training programs since 1962.
Most of our anti-poverty programs have made no real dent in the problem, despite the fortunes spent on them: “The Census says 46 million Americans remain mired in poverty, and this is greeted as good news, because demographers had been expecting worse. About 15 percent of Americans are poor. That is the same ratio as in 2010 — and slightly higher than in 1966, despite the $16 trillion Washington has spent fighting poverty since Lyndon Johnson declared war on it.”