Jorge Villalba was a construction
r when the housing market began slowing in 2005, so the Glendale resident
changed jobs and decided to invest in his future
by going to college.
So far, the investment hasn't paid
Villalba, 34, owes $158,000 in
student loans for his four-year degree in multimedia, 3-D animation and graphic
design at ITT Technical Institute. He isn't earning enough to keep up with the
payments, so the amount keeps rising with interest.
He figured he'd get a great job
and pay off the loans.
"It hasn't happened that
way," said Villalba, who is married with two young children but can't
afford to move from their cramped one-bedroom apartment.
Sept 5, 2015
Harvard Business School is in a
privileged position to explore this issue. On Wednesday, it will release a
report based on a survey of its alumni — a notably well-heeled set — about
their concern over America’s lack of shared prosperity. While it offers a case
for optimism, it also suggests that executives’ enlightened self-interest is
probably not enough to bring about social change.
executives care about such things. Two-thirds said it was more important to
address poverty, inequality, middle-class stagnation or economic mobility than
to stimulate economic growth.
The sociologist Max Weber
classically argued that the Protestant Reformation had a peculiar effect on
American work. At the dawn of the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther
preached that hard work in any occupation was a meaningful duty — a calling
from God. John Calvin took this idea a step further, arguing that people should
avoid socializing while working, as attention to relationships and emotions
would distract them from productively fulfilling God’s will. Over the
generations, these Calvinist teachings influenced Protestants, who came to view
social considerations as inappropriate and inefficient in the workplace.
Protestant men were especially susceptible, as they were expected and socialized
to focus on productivity. For much of the 20th century, American workplaces
were largely designed by Protestant men.
Yet in recent years, America
has become noticeably less Protestant, dropping from roughly 70 percent in
the 1950s to 57 percent in 1985, 49 percent in 2005, and 37 percent last year,
according to Gallup. The proportion of Protestant chief executives has
Friends at Work? Not So Much
New York Times
SEPT. 4, 2015