A belated encounter with the writings of Simone Weil (I've even learned - finally - how to pronounce her name - Weil = 'vay').
This, from the lengthy Introduction to the Penguin Anthology:
"The development of the society in which she found herself living in France in the 1920s and 30s had come about with more regard for speed than for meaning. It had substituted what she calls 'salaries' for realities. A 'salary' is anything by which a person can be made to believe that the future is not made out of exactly the same components as the present." (p 54)