↑ comment by Viliam ·
2021-04-08T22:31:35.119Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
What would be the nearest legal version? I would pay minimum wage, you... need to do something useful... but can choose an unrelated job title... and to make it slightly less of a fraud, we will pretend that your job is 50% software development and 50% what you actually do.
Or perhaps, I will employ you for two years. The first year, you do some actual work, but I only pay you 50% of what I would otherwise. The second year, you are a software developer... like, you are supposed to produce "something" except I don't really care, I just need a proof that you actually developed some software... and I pay you the remaining 50% of what you did the last year. (Requires you to be able to make 2× the minimum wage at start.)
Or perhaps a college + fake job. The college is expensive, but I take part of that money aside, and pay it back to you as a minimum wage in the fake job. At the end, you get a college degree + two years of job experience.
Well, if we are already here, I might actually give you a meaningful job... with a safety net... like, if you don't produce anything useful, I promise to not fire you during those two years, and I will assume the money you paid for the expensive college included the minimum wage I will be paying you. But of course, if you produce something useful, you can get a higher salary. Heck, I would even let you choose the technology and the product you want to make (because if it fails, it's not a problem for me).
Even more legal -- how about just making a software company where everyone chooses their technology and project and develops it... if the company can sell the product, you just earned your salary... otherwise you keep getting minimum wage and get fired after two years, but not sooner... we only hire reliable people, such as those recommended by current employees (those who earn their salaries)... or people from the very expensive college (who paid their minimum wages there). Heck, considering how expensive education can get in USA, this might even be a better deal than what already exists! And if at least some employees produce something useful, they provide the cover for everyone else.