The wage floor of the world

I always thought knowing English as a second language would be a valuable skill. Apparently not.  This screenshot is from, where the poster offers $5.00 for a an 800 world article. (Click on this link to enlarge.) That’s under a penny a word, 6/10th’s actually. And this is not an atypical post. There are 33 writers chasing this work. How can anyone afford to do this?

Judging by the bidders, they are probably from a developing country where the cost of living is incredibly less than in the USA or Britain. And yet they still can afford electricity, a computer, and net access. How is that possible? I envision a modern day cyber-sweatshop, where gangs of people are chained to their keyboards, forced to generate content for a penny a word, then giving up half to their masters. Or are there scores of Muslim women working at home, unable to take a job outside their house? But, if so, how did they get instruction in English to begin with?

This on-line world of work is fascinating, if mysterious. I’ll share more as I learn more.


By thomasfarley01

Business writer and graphic arts gadfly.

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