There is nothing new in all of this. The desire to rise economically, and the the thought that one could, started way back at the beginnings of the Industrial Age. Before that it was Master and Serf - or whatever term you wish to use to describe the Landowners and those that had no land.
Come the Industrial Revolution, the flock to the cities, and the cleverest - and generally more unscrupulous - of those who saw the opportunities, quickly worked themselvesd into situation where they could become wealthy.
The 'rat race' to the top continues. Maybe it will never stop.