The solution is quite simple. The problem is that it's long term. And long term thinking is not so hot right now. Hence the mess we are in. But here is the solution anyway. It consists mainly of being an actor for change, by:
- Refusing the offer in a logorrhea of insults.
- Patiently reminding people that the appropriate rate is 3 times that.
- Ratting on your incompetent 'monkey colleagues' who are stealing your jobs by accepting peanuts and who should have chosen another career path, and thereby getting them off the pro market where they obviously don't belong.
- Speaking up about agencies who are parasiting the sector and making skilled and talented peeps an endangered species almost as cute as the panda;
- Talking directly to the often stingy but always 'innocent' end client to let him know where his money goes. Not in the right pocket that is.
- Group suing non paying agencies+blacklisting and trashing them. Go for it, don't be shy. They do really really deserve it after all.
- Stop being selfish, individualistic and greedy if you can.
- Stop using Proz and Tc. Don't give them your money, don't participate in demeaning downwards auctions. Don't use their crappy Blue board to find agencies.
- Meet you local fellow translators in person, create regional local coops of freelancers where everyone's identity, diplomas and tax are verified and where local promotion is done collectively.
- Ask your representing professional organization for stronger international legal regulations to finally protect this profession.
If everyone sets out to respect most of the above (number one mainly) translation as a skilled profession will survive and we'll all double our incomes within a couple of years. We will then be able to live half the year in Bora Bora, drink daiquiris under coconut trees while raising families of ten. It does not seem that impossible after all. See you there in 2 years.