The first average Americans to avoid the whole Puritan work ethic was apparently the early mob.
They largely worked around it by moving from legitimate hard work to illegal endeavors.
Protection, extortion, gambling, and racketeering jobs require little effort after the first few hiccups are ironed out, if you want to know the truth.
Because who wants a schmuck job for a schmuck paycheck?
I for one, think that standing on the corner and hanging out at candy stores and hotel lobbies for half the afternoon does not sound half bad.
Maybe you don’t start a crime family, but you can at least remember to relax every now and then.
Gangsters were maybe the first common-born Americans who did not spend all their time at work or with families, men with time on their hands; they were among the first Americans to grapple with the great problem of the age: boredom, how to fill the hours between waking and sleeping. It was a problem faced by Abe Reles on the corner of Livonia and Saratoga; by Bugsy Siegel in the lobby of the Waldorf-Astoria; by Frank Costello at the Hotel Arkansas. These were perhaps the first Americans to break truly free of the Puritan work ethic. They stood on corners all day, tracking the sun across the sky, watching commuters go and come. They were pioneer members of a class of aimless adults later portrayed on TV shows like Seinfeld. They were men waiting for a bus that never arrives.
-Rich Cohen, Tough Jews