Money-making requires friction. Perfect meritocracy would be short-sighted. Could you make money in a world with perfect transparency, perfect replicability, and zero transaction costs? If someone could compete, they would.
There are almost 8 billion of us. With a rounding error I can ignore, I can confidently say that you wouldn’t have a job in a perfect meritocracy. Neither would I. There is someone who does what you and I do better than we do it.
Why does the person come to you to get something done if they could do it themselves, or get someone other than you to do it better? Money only functions with constraints.
Relationships are more fuzzy. Communities are a strong container. Communities have reciprocal respect that help each other be part of their lives. Gradually as we solve more money problems, we will have capacity to lean more deeply into fuzzier worlds, with different rules that don’t bow to counting or constraints.
Sometimes we like the clarity of paying for something because it releases us from fuzziness. Sometimes it is much cleaner to pay a stranger to do something than ask someone we have a relationship with. That can lead to us leading very isolated lives where we don’t have to have difficult conversations.
We end up with clear rules of engagement and expectation management, but we don’t lean into the difficult, but interesting world of relying on, or trusting people we don’t, and can’t, fully understand.