Prof. Brinkley should, perhaps, have decided whether or not the country ever did accept a work ethic, before claiming it was over-thrown; furthermore, by his own account, a craving for monetary rewards is not inconsistent with not following the Puritan ethic. Finally, as regard's the professor's skill at empirical, social observation, surveys of college students over the last decade have consistently revealed that making lots of money is the major goal of a clear plurality, far out-ranking such trivia as form deep friendships or formulating a sensible philosophy of life - rankings reversed in the 1960s, when Generation X's despised parents were the ones being surveyed. None of this should be surprising: currently America awards a quarter of its bachelor's degrees in ``business.''
Cf. Derek Bok, The Cost of Talent.