A friend recently found out that he was not offered a job he had interviewed for and dearly wanted. The job was far below his pay scale, but this didn't matter to him given the other considerations that made it eminently desirable. Trying to temper the disappointment with some humor, I said, "you should call them and tell them there's been a serious misunderstanding. You were under the impression that the salary figure was what you would pay them to work for them... that, in that sense, you had thought the low figure was a pretty good deal." He laughed.
But it got me wondering, could an economy function inversely to the current arrangement - that is, an economy in which each of us pays to do various kinds of jobs of our own choosing? People would want to pay more for the cool jobs or easy jobs or whatever their preference. I could, say, offer a job doing nothing but hanging out at the beach (at the worker's own expense, of course) for the terrific price of one million dollars per year. The most menial and degrading jobs would, on the other hand, cost you very little to do. In fact, the cost of being hired for these jobs may actually fall underneath zero and ultimately entail the employer paying you the worker to do the job.
In the case of my million-dollar job offering for a paying Beach Assessment Consultant, I, in return, could pay someone else to do a less costly, but still desirable, job for them - say $500,000 per year - and pocket the rest. Or even less. I could try to pay as little money as possible by doing more menial tasks for, say, the price of $100 per year. As I saved money over the years from payments from a package of high-end to low-end jobs, I could eventually take the savings and seek out a new employer offering a position of Rainforest Wonders Analyst at the cost to me of, say, $800,000 per year hiking in tropical rainforests and sipping local rums on lush ecolodge verandas, the skies rich with macaws and toucans.