If you ever doubt America runs on exploitation, take a temp job. All the responsibilities of a regular, salaried employee but never any of the benefits.
They usually bait it with some vague promises of real employment down the line. "Stick it out for two months or two years and we might let you into the company health plan. For a fee." IT companies in particular love this scam. My first job in NYC was for a company flush with News Corp money but just couldn't spare more than the equivalent of 20K a year - before taxes - for the position of One Man QA Department.
I came aboard right as the company adopted a new content management system. An open source product (strike one), specifically the paid premium edition (strike two), that had been chosen to perform tasks for which it was not originally configured (yeeeer outa there!).
This necessitated a full, new QA process complete with Git branches and Jenkins builds and other things usually handled by about three people on full salary and benefits. I did it solo for hourly wages, which I naturally didn't get if the office was closed due to a holiday or I got a cold from management never turning on the heat in the middle of a New York winter.
Whenever the godawful CMS software went tits up, it was always my fault.