If they couldn’t learn it in school while they were still somewhat malleable, why would they learn it as adults when they’re entrnched in their habits and vices? The few who do are the exception and not the rule. Welfare makes the American “poor” too comfortable in their “poverty” to want to exert themselves.
You’re right. But the terror of starving to death or being homeless is very motivating. People would pull themselves together and work hard and act properly if they knew there was no other alternative, no safety net.