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Jobs in America: Puritan values must replace MBA values

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The Puritan journey to America was a masterpiece of organization. Two substantial earlier attempts had failed. Of the 144 people who had sailed for Virginia in 1606, only 38 remained alive by the end of 1607. Of the roughly 100 Pilgrims who had sailed on the Mayflower in 1620, barely half survived until March 1621.

By way of contrast, 200 ships brought 14,000 migrants to the Bay Colony of Massachusetts between 1630 and 1640 – and nearly all survived. Only one ship was lost at sea. This third attempt succeeded because its organizers had mastered the logistics of travel. In 10 short years, they also laid the social, legal, political, religious, and commercial foundations of the future United States.

The Puritans equated godliness with craftsmanship. From the outset, a willingness to become involved in menial tasks, to "get one's hands dirty," distinguished American society from older and more stratified European societies. Managers rose to senior positions only after demonstrating ability at lower levels. Puritanism is, essentially, an attitude of mind and an associated series of practices which, in the right circumstances, can be, and have been, transferred between races, tribes, nations, and even religions.

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