Well, I think I can understand the rates of pay in the 1960s and 70s, when a writer had to use a TYPEWRITER. Imagine producing thousands of words and then finding a typo and having to retype it. Or having rewrote a paragraph, realizing that it means ALL subsequent pages needed to be retyped because the page breaks have shifted.
I have been “dabbling” for my entire adult life and even before. That means I remember a time when producing such content required a typewriter. It was a fantasy the idea of highlighting blocks of text and moving them around. The constant grooming we do to our writing today was not really possible except for the truly passionate and the OCD sufferer. I used to think about writing books, but was so discouraged by the hours and hours at the typewriter.
In the 21st century, I finally got back to it and have finished two books and plan more. I can imagine getting them done before I die, because of technology and word processing software specifically. Despite being a software engineer, I am something of a neo-Luddite. It is hard for me to see ONLY the positives that technology brings and I am often mortified by the alleged societal gains that technology brings. However, in this case, wage depression caused by technological advance is somewhat to be expected.
Besides we now all have Sonny Bono’s DMCA that extended copyright law to 75 years after our deaths, so despite my other problems with that law, I figure I am writing a ton of stuff before I die! And doing it for free with the idea that with so many media outlets, original content will come to have greater and greater value over time.