Severance means breaking a bond. What happens when the bond between success and rewards has been so severely severed?
If the system we use to keep score merely tells us who takes the most, but bears no relation to merit, then where is the motivation to obtain a high score? Past a certain point money doesn’t motivate, but its absence aggravates. In fact, because people look upwards rather than downwards, a high reward can create discontent. The higher you go, the bigger the gap with the next person above.
The best rewards come from real achievement and the sense of self-worth that comes with it.