If I am smarter than the next guy and gave a task to do I may get it done in half the time and go home early while the guy who is having a harder time is putting in overtime. Thus he is getting paid more for doing more work however the outcome is the same.
If you are being paid based on time spent at work, then you're most definitely not working smarter by getting the job done quicker. The smart worker will realize that he needs to find ways to put in as many hours as possible while doing as little as possible, but still keep his employer happy.
Same thing with questioning the authority that feeds (pays) you. You might think you're being smart by suggesting improvements, but if the boss doesn't want to hear them, then you're actually being stupid and working against your own interests (keeping the job).
One of the first things I learned when I started working for others is that there are things that matter more than the actual job you do. Things like getting along with others and keeping your boss happy. It's not like school where you can be an asshole, be disliked by the teacher and your classmates and still ace the test to get an A.