OK

The purpose of this diary is not to call out Daily Kos or any other rag.

But to make a point that Americans, particularly younger Americans, increasingly work for free or very low wages, skilled and unskilled alike.

We give so much away. We're expected to. And we do it. As writers we do it for exposure. We do it for a voice. We do it on spec. We do it because many of us who are writers are just compulsive writers.

I've been a professional writer for over a decade. User manuals mostly. I used to get good money from trade magazine articles, back in the day, but not anymore. Web content used to pay. The occasional news article used to pay, but not any more.

Many of us come here, day after day, to write content. For free. Some folks take pride in their work, research it, spell check it, edit it, others just pound shit out stream of conscious-like because it's free and we've got kids to go fishing with.

The content we write generates some revenue through ads and clicks. Even long after the posting date.

But not for us.

Yeah, there are those who promote their own books and such through their diaries, but not without catching the occasional flak for pimping their work.

Ultimately, there's a wholesale across the board devaluing of content: writing, photography, graphic design. And a lot of us are doing it to ourselves. Hell...I'm probably contributing to the problem right now with this very post.

In fact....there's a wholesale devaluing of work in general.

Not only are people producing free content in mass quantities, more young people are moving toward unpaid internships.

Why? Because of massive unemployment among the young...the only way to get real work experience for many is to work for free.  And many employers are taking advantage of that. Pro Publica is doing an in investigative report on the "dark side of the Intern economy".

Folks who used to work for a living wage enough to send their child to college at a factory now work for $9 an hour at a factory doing the same work. No health insurance.

Popeye's chicken just opened, hiring people at minimum wage.

Unskilled workers work for a pittance, now, and there's an increasing trend toward skilled workers to work for a pittance or for nothing at all.

And it can always be argued, we do it voluntarily because we take the minimum wage job, we write the blog post or article, we enter into an unpaid internship that doesn't provide working skills.

In the end, it will always be argued it's our choice.

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