Scott Sumner has a good post on the topic, using low government spending and unemployment (a proxy for “get a job” social attitudes) as indicators. East Asian countries — China, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan — do indeed cluster at the ‘hard’ end. Europeans, predictably, are softies. The Anglosphere (or “immigrant”) societies are intermediate.
My favorite part of the post, though, was this:
… the great Simon Leys once suggested that 5000 years of Chinese history could be divided up into two types of periods.
A. Times when the status of the Chinese masses was little better than slaves.
B. Periods of turmoil, when the Chinese masses yearned for period A.