I know two teachers at the college level who have been offered full time non-tenure track positions called Lecturers for about $40,000 if they agree to teach 5 courses. It is a clear path to a faculty position. One of these has her doctorate and has published in a highly respected journal. Once again she will be fine if she can just get through one or gulp two more years of tryouts. Just hope that someone in the department is done. and then of course she’ll have to get to tenure before she can breathe deeply again. Imagine being between 35 and 40 before you are truly in the department.
Frankly I liked the old system. When I started, if you reached 70 you were required to retire. You could teach one course maybe, and got some special bonuses. But basically you were honored and finished. Time for a book? Time for a tour, perhaps replete with lecturer status.
As a country we have been oddly reluctant to move things along. Politically, economically, academically. They say that Einstein did his best work starting at 16 when re determined that light always traveled at the same speed.
You get the point.