The American Enterprise

Prosperity vs. Sloth.(American people's tendency towards work and wealth )

Imagine you're a hard-working mid-level executive in a stress-packed job, and you suddenly inherit a few million bucks. What do you do?

Economists have discovered that recipients of windfalls (bequests or lottery winnings) use their new wealth to purchase a delightful commodity: leisure.

"What we found" says Harvey Rosen of Princeton, former chairman of President Bush's Council of Economic Advisors, "was that the more money you get thrown at you, the more likely you are to get out of the workforce. And, if you stay in the workforce, you work less."

Economists can be masters of the obvious, but let's take the finding a step further: In 1930, John Maynard Keynes wrote an essay, "Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren. …

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