November 22, 2005

The concept of meritocracy assumes, at its core, that ability is proportionate to reward/compensation (usually financial). Yet almost every type of existing job lives within a tightly-defined box with clearly-defined internal tiers: this is how far merit can potentially bring a person with this job ... and no further. One could be the most valuable-to-society policeman, or teacher, or firefighter, or nurse: but from the outset the compensation is capped, not based on the individual but upon the profession as a whole: and the value of a profession is driven not by individual merit but by the marketplace.

I can think of only two professions which inherently contain no income cap: and entrepreneurship is included only because it morphs naturally into a business administrative position. (In self-employment, in effect the entrepreneur creates a situation where it is possible to hire oneself for the no-ceiling-cap position.)

Where, here, is the incentive to be the best that you can be?

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