American past is the key to understanding its present and potential future.
It is true for the most societies built in the similar manner and on the similar key elements - various people united by one goal have a better life. A mix of traditions and cultures has created a unique culture of consumption. A saying of the old man, Poor Richard that sounds like "Many Estates are spent in the Getting, Since Women for Tea forsook Spinning and Knitting, And Men for Punch, forsook Hewing and Splitting" (Franklin) can shed some light on the life of colonists in 1757.
People who have some free time start to think about their life in different light. Thus, people argue everything they would never even think about in circumstances that presuppose life that is more complicated. In other word, people become lazy and reckless.
Poor Richards notes that people are not happy with taxes and do not understand why they spend money.
They do not understand that it is important to be diligent and passionate regarding duties and work they perform regardless of the nature of this work - "so with Diligence shall we do more with less Perplexity." (Franklin). The old man states that only hard work and discretion with money can bring peace to people's souls, minds, and pockets: "Tis easier to suppress the first Desire, than to satisfy all that follow it." (Franklin).
It correlates with modern work ethics and perception of money. Modern people want more money for less (surfing Facebook all day long) work and say they are underestimated by superiors. They spend money they do not have to buy things they do not need in order to impress people who care so little about them. The world of mindless consumption and total overestimation of one's own significance without appropriate reasons is a logical development of that Colonial America.