Working hard does not pay off. And certainly that’s not even a very smart way to live. Who wants to work in the first place? Earning money is not very rewarding if you need to spend 8-10 hours of most of the days exchanging your services in order to trade them later to something you desire or just plain simply consider as necessities such as food or shelter. There is a better word for this type of behaviour. It’s coping with life or merely surviving. Survival game is no fun.
We cannot survive alone—a society is a necessity for us. We need each other so that everybody has the things and services they desire and need. Everybody does something and altogether that’s the world we are living in. Unfortunately most of the people are just in the survival mode. And this applies to the developed world as well as to the rest of the globe. Most of the population are in economic slavery. They are burdened by their debts and obligations that they have created themselves in the first place. That’s voluntary slavery and the masters are impersonal: institutions (including governments) run and controlled by the very same people (or an elite ‘elected’ by the ‘people’).
Paid employment is not your ticket to freedom. You cannot earn enough to stop working and live with the fruits of your hard work. At least you have to sacrifice a lot to become financially independent. This seldom is possible when you’re still young to enjoy the pleasures of life. Financial freedom requires capital and that’s something that seems to be pretty hard to accumulate if you are starting from zero. The problem is not the accumulation itself but that you need so much capital in order to live nicely afterwards—and only with the proceeds of the principal.