Damien's comments in Damien's Den triggered these thoughts:
Cousin Sheow Sun once told me about a Chinese book that described 'the Ugly Chinese'. It had one story that described two types of employees. One was a straightforward simple person who, if given instructions to buy 10 oranges, would go out to the nearest shop and get the items and come back without question, with the goods and the change. Another given the same instructions, would go out and shop around for the best and cheapest oranges he could find and come back with the goods and the change.
The typical Chinese employer would rather hire the 1st guy than the 2nd guy. Why? He can trust the 1st guy. To him, the 2nd guy seems to have a more devious mind. In other words, the employer prefers an honest and simple employee to a street-smart and intelligent one because in the presence of the latter, he has to keep watching his back. Thus, honest + simple = loyalty.
Well, that story was told me about 30 years ago. I don't know if Chinese world-view has changed or not over these years or will it ever. Perhaps not, because that old saying, "Rivers and mountains can be altered but but human character will remain unchanged". Perhaps that explains why some family fortunes never last more than 3 generations.