The ‘Protestant Work Ethic’ arguably built American wealth and power and that excludes Jews and Catholics. Except that Jews and Catholics shared the view:
Self-sufficiency, honesty, hard work and ambition were the stuff of success. Acceptance of charity was a shameful admission of personal failure. That was the universal American view of reality. It lived in Germanic and to an extent, in English-speaking Europe too, deriving as it did from the Reformation.
A result was minimized government intrusion and maximum independence and ambition. If you knew that the government wasn’t going to save you, best be stirring, right? It underlay that “Golden City On A ill” we hear about so much. And contrary to present public school curricula, there was not only charity for the needy but insane asylums and poorhouses, back when government spent a lot less than it does now. But they were shameful, not enticing.
Today, economic consumption is our Holy Grail; Americans expect government to save them at someone else’s expense. Blacks and other minorities expect preferences over whites plus support that they have not earned. Whites too have become dependents somehow entitled to other folks’ money.
American society has turned 180 degrees at a very basic level. Amazing most young people, economic results have turned the same way. Young folk cannot understand this; it must be a result of some evil conspiracy by the Frightening Right Wing. Yeah …
Actually, it merely reflects that the erstwhile Jews and Catholics no longer depend upon themselves, but upon government, who has its only access to cash in confiscating theirs. Too few U.S. Jews and Catholics have figured that into their thinking, seems to us.
The current result is in front of us: The middle class is sinking back into its originating proletariat. Somehow it has failed to realize that the more the government takes, the less it retains. Slow learners …
A side effect seems to be that the nominal Jews and Catholics still faithfully support the politicians who have brought this about, but are only nominally Jews and Catholics anymore. And the “Protestant Work Ethic” is extinct. As will shortly be the American middle class.