The term meritocracy refers to the practice of rewarding people or allocating opportunities and benefits on the basis of excellence or desert. The etymology of the word comes from the Latin merere, which means to receive one’s share as pay for work done. Thus, in its simplest form, meritocracy can be seen as a way to reward producers. For example, it is often the case that some of the higher-compensated employees in a company are the top salespeople who are paid on commission. Most companies are happy to provide a competitive rate of commission to salespeople who produce for them. Given this incentive, there are many salespeople who are very talented and work very hard to earn handsome incomes—especially in industries such as the ...

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