Not that I’ve made it easy for anyone to comprehend what I think should happen IRT writing and $$$, but:
Rather than harp about what the pay rate is for anything, I think companies who hire/source writing should have published rate tables and should stay on one side of the line between art and work. Anything that’s work can’t get paid $0, it has to be minimum wage.
(Note, I think the minimum wage is so low in most places as to be a joke anyway, but the fact that such a benchmark exists and that it is a government-mandated benchmark means that it is, arguably, the minimum work/salary arrangement that an employer should pay to anyone. You can only be so progressive dealing with one thing at a time.)
One thing we’re not talking about is how some publications take months/years + hounding to pay whatever they’ve agreed to in the first place, and this is illegal yet overlooked by every labor authority and professional group out there (except when it’s one writer’s turn to bitch about the heat getting turned off)… We can keep solving problems and more will turn up because the relationship between worker and employer is broken on a more fundamental level than insufficient editorial budgets. It’s about a lack of respect and consideration. I don’t know how any writer, successful or not, can defend that as a functional practice.