The researchers call this behavior “mindless accumulation”—the tendency for people to forgo leisure to work towards rewards they’ll never be able to use. They argue that it’s a distinctly modern problem. For much of human history, earning rates were low and people needed to work as much as possible just to survive. The idea that you could “overearn” simply wasn’t realistic. If you’re one of today’s highly paid office workers, however, earning comes comparatively easily, yet the drive to hoard as much as possible remains. The researchers compare overearning to overeating, another distinctly modern problem caused by a life of surprising abundance.