There is a large element of truth to your position, but you need to frame it in terms of probability, not absolutes.
"It ain't what they call you, it's what you answer to." - W. C. Fields
Just an example
A man has a skill and experience that allows him to make up to $20 an hour. He *chooses* to get drunk, drive, get disorderly and belligerent with authorities and gets himself thrown in jail. He finally loses his DL (unfortunately it takes three DUI's to get there) and cannot find work. He has a wife and three kids. He's f'cked himself over with the law so much he can't get in the military.
Some girl thinks dropping out of school is the cool thing to do. She chooses to get high, drink, get slapped in jail, and loses her DL. Fortunately for her she has ample people skills so she can work as a telemarketer. Not minimum wage, but working poor. She's married to the prick above.
That does not mean every individual struggling to make ends meet made a conscious decision to live that way, but most of the time they just let it happen to themselves and then wind up wondering how the hell they got into the ****.
At some point people either get it or they don't.
How to motivate people to try harder and move up in the food chain?