I can't stress this enough. The more I charged as a consultant, the more my clients would shut up and heed my advice.
When I went out on my own a few years back, it was a rush to sign any client at an hourly rate not that much higher than my previous salary rate. Those first clients were rough.
As you’re saying, I’ve also seen first hand the more I charge the more people take my suggestions seriously, and overall the better the clients are for my business. Go figure.
Work long hours? Develop additional tool during your free time? Help clients more than your job requires? You are a sucker.
Manage to shout enough to get a raise? Now you are a champion.
Doesn't need to be in my experience, both the employee and employer can respect each other even when they don't get along well on personal level. However it is actually quite interesting that it is a relationship that can be weird and toxic, while still providing (economical) value for both parties.
And yes, the strength of free market and capitalism is to transform greed and all the behaviors that come with it into a fuel that helps the economy for everyone. It does not transform these into virtues though...
"A Sociopath with an idea recruits just enough Losers to kick off the cycle. As it grows it requires a Clueless layer to turn it into a controlled reaction rather than a runaway explosion. Eventually, as value hits diminishing returns, both the Sociopaths and Losers make their exits, and the Clueless start to dominate. Finally, the hollow brittle shell collapses on itself and anything of value is recycled by the sociopaths according to meta-firm logic."
This realization has stopped me from trying to hire people. I don't think I have the shoulders to be the chief sociopath.