1. The poor do not value education, hence they are poor: You see this all the time in poor neighborhoods, whether it is an inner-city ghetto or the redneck trailer park in the country. Folks like that don't need no book learnin' that's for sure! They don't need to speak English without some thick accent - inner city or rural country, either. They don't need to know how to spell or do math - right? The "smart" poor person who tries to study and get good grades is literally beaten down in school and after school and even at home by his parents. The message is clear - don't get above your level in life, or the crab-bucket mentality. Kids learn early on not to try to be "smart" - as a survival skill.2. The poor do not value literature and reading: When my Mother worked with head start to try to help poor families teach their children to read, she was appalled to visit some of the rural homes in our area. Trailer homes with several cars, snowmobiles, and pickup trucks parked in front of them would have a monster satellite dish, but nary a single book in the house, or even magazine, except perhaps TV Guide or the National Enquirer. She would give them a copy of Richard Scarry's Busy, Busy World, which was a great children's book. It would be the only book they had in the house. It was charming, though, how the adults found it interesting and would read it, word by word, with their kids. Never too late to learn!3. Lack of education perpetuates the cycle of poverty: You can argue all day long whether it is just native stupidity or lack of education, the net result is the same - the poor don't think a lot about their economic situation, how to improve it, or where their money is going. The middle-class person buys a house and a car, the poor person buys a trailer and five broken-down cars and two snowmobiles. Poor economic choices caused by either native stupidity or lack of education - it doesn't matter which. Emphasis is on status or perceived status, and not on long-term gains. (Sadly, the middle-class has fallen down this same rabbit-hole in recent years).
NOTE that this is not to say that you have no choices in life or that statistics and trends dictate outcomes. There are people born into poverty and stupidity who escape from their circumstances by applying themselves, often having to fight their peers and even their parents to make different choices in life. Choices trump statistics, every time.
But on the other hand it is idiotic to act shocked that most people don't make these hard choices.