Is the maxim "Work hard, be thrifty, don't borrow" from Benjamin Franklin's Poor Richard's Almanack consistent or inconsistent with with attitudes displayed in the United States today?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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There are three parts to this axiom, only one of which is consistent with American attitudes today.

American society today is clearly consumeristic and built on debt.  We are not particularly interested in thrift any more.  Instead, we use home equity loans and credit card debt to pay for all the material things that we want.  We have RVs and jet skis and boats and expensive cell phones.  For many, these things are paid for by debt (as is practically everyone’s home and car).

However, hard work is still very much a part of American attitudes.  As can be seen in this link, Americans work more hours than average for the rich countries of the world.  In addition to actually working hard, Americans revere hard work.  We believe that work is an obligation and a positive good, not just something that we do as little as we possibly can.

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