I was watching a show on Frontline on PBS the other day about health care reform and they talked about how the doctors in Germany didn’t get paid as much as in the US. Nor did the insurance companies make as much money nor the pharmaceutical companies. The thing is their premise, and it is a premise that a lot of places have, which is that people would not be motivated unless they have the opportunity to get rich. And this is just not true. Maybe someone would want to invent a new medicine because it could make a difference. Maybe someone would want to be a doctor because it could make a difference. The idea that money alone is our main source of motivate is a really juvenile immature attitudes perpetuated by greedy capitalist who do not understand the more subtle deeper motivations of human beings. What they don’t understand is that sometimes doing something meaningful is a currency in and of itself. It can be, and many times is, much more fulfilling than buying something at the store with a bunch of money. This is the currency of meaning and it is just as valuable as real money.
See The Economics of Love for more.