Guess this person’s salary: He is Assistant Clinical Professor at one of America's most prestigious medical schools. His salary is $0.
In recent years, I’ve observed an acceleration of jobs that have been converted from paid to unpaid or pittance-paid: jobs to internships, jobs to volunteer work, full-time well-paying secure jobs to temporary, unbenefitted contract work.
Why the acceleration in de-paid jobs?
Certainly one reason is the increased non-salary costs of employing people: Workers Compensation claims, the costs of the Family Leave Act, Affordable Care Act, and Americans with Disabilities Act, defending against increased employee legal claims, etc. Many employers do everything possible to avoid hiring paid workers.
Another reason is the decline of unions. America seems to have concluded that unions may not be a net plus. Sure, they ensure good wages, benefits, and retirement packages for their members. But public support for unions has dwindled because of, for example, stories of teachers’ unions protecting burned-out teachers, auto-worker unions providing so much job security that American cars are much more trouble-prone than Japanese cars while the assembly line workers get pensions that white-collar workers can't even dream about. Alas, the declining power of unions renders employees without a collective voice to battle employers willing to employ ever more people at below even the puny minimum wage.