No, jprivcha, it's not a myth. Look at, say, this 2006 study
, where they tabulate the percentage of personal wealth obtained through inheritance. In the top 1%, it makes up 17.4%. And that's the income group with the highest percentage of its wealth coming from inheritance.
Or, if you don't like the National Center for Policy Analysis as a source, Google's book project gives The Nonprofit Sector edited by Walter Powell and Richard Steinberg, which says
"the overwhelming majority of millionaire households (93%) having earned most of their net worth through their own skills and efforts during their lifetime (including investments*), it is important to note that even a small inheritance can provide seed capital for a business, or graduate education, the cornerstones of wealth formation."
* is a footnote which reads "These estimates are based on data from the 1998 SCF (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System 1998 ), which asked respondents detailed questions concerning inheritance. The current value of all the inheritances was estimated by adjusting the value of inheritances received for inflation and by assuming a real secular growth rate of 3 percent. This value was at least 50% of current total worth for only 7 percent of families whose net worth was $1 million or more."
Admittedly, neither of these are perfect metrics, but both support the notion that the majority of wealth in this country is self created. If you can give me some references supporting your view that most wealth in inherited, I'd be happy to take a look at them.