Throughout history there have always been people who take pride in their work and others who just get by with as little effort as possible. The ones who want to be recognized for their effort see their production as a reflection of themselves.
Many others needed incentives to get them to do the simplest tasks. It is the percentage of the doers versus the takers that determines the vitality of the nation.
At different stages of history nations went through periods of rewarding merit and others rewarded family status.