To grasp the American model, hop back in time about 70 years to when the economy was booming and getting a job was as simple as walking into the nearest factory and saying “hey can I have a job?” And not just a job, but like a career with a pension and everything.
Something you can support a family with where you can stay for 30 years and then retire with a party and a gold watch and a good pension. In that context it kinda makes sense. It stopped making sense at least 50 years ago though. The rest is just institutional inertia and corporate greed.