Traditional American ethics is centered around the concept that how much you earn is indicative of how hard you work, and how hard you work is one of the primary ways to determine the wealth of your character.
Just because a bunch of Puritan masochists, some of which believed in flagellation (see The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne) and cruel and unusual punishment, wanted to outdo each other by working harder and then measuring their personal integrity on a scale of material gain does not mean that other Americans, myself included, have to do the same thing. Think that this node is a bunch of shit? Listen to an American talk about character and morality. Listen to the adjectives. The same words used to quantify money are used to attempt to quantify right thought and right action.
more is not better. This node intentionally left short.