I wouldn't trade all the women who love and adore me. for any number of women who "flock to wealth",
They all do, it's just a matter of degree. Men are hardwired to appreciate physical beauty, women are hardwired to seek status. Money is a primary form of status.
The remnants of the evolutionary inheritance of competitiveness, needed to survive our hostile past, in a world of scarcity. Like the preservation of bodyfat by rapid elimination of unused muscle, these are evolutionary hold overs, that no longer serve us, in a world where security and abundance are within our grasp.
You're talking about the mechanism by which society survives. Without competition, there is very little motive to produce. That was Simon's point about what happened to the USSR.
You can survive (i.e. be clothed, fed, and housed) in the U.S. without working. That's an abundance undreamt of in earlier centuries -- but it's built on the accumulated productivity improvements of centuries of cutthroat capitalist competition and persists only because a large portion of people aren't satisfied with mere subsistence and compete for status symbols, from larger homes to better cars to higher-resolution TVs.
Ultimately, we have no motivations beyond our programming. We can choose which principles to apply so as to better satisfy them, but all of life serves to satisfy urges built into us over the eons. Do away with them and the only logical result to a pointless existence is suicide.
A society can commit suicide the same way. Childless post-Christian Europe, gripped by self-loathing and ennui, is just waking up to the demographic realities of being overwhelmed by the virulently militant faith of the prolific immigrant class they've allowed to settle amongst them. Even as the great cathedrals close, more and bigger mosques spring up. Even as the Pope apologizes for another multitude of Catholic sins real and imagined, unapologetic daggers find the Theo Van Goghs who dare criticize Islam -- and those in power cower behind "hate speech" laws to appease their ruthless new guests. You don't have to follow the trend lines very far to see only one of these ideologies has a future.