Apparently this "super smart" writer with all her "critical thinking" and "skill in explaining super complex topics" doesn't understand how markets work. The worth of her work is not set by the website owners, operators, or coders. It's determined by how eyeballs are valued (a function of things like data on advertising effectiveness), by how many eyeballs her writing attracts, and by how desperate other writers are for money.
I realize that this is the same argument made by people who oppose the minimum wage. The argument is invalid when applied to greedy business owners/managers whose profits far exceed their payroll expenses. But when it comes to low-margin websites where profit is in fractions of a penny, it might actually be true: Paying this writer something like a minimum wage (if we agree that a writer's time is inherently worth so many dollars per hour) might make it impossible for websites like Medium dot com to make a profit.
Bottom line: If society doesn't value good writing enough to make it profitable, and if web advertising is so ineffective that making money off of websites is practically impossible (which are two very big "if"s, but let's assume they are true for a second)... then it might be impractical to be a full-time professional writer. I'm not saying that this is the case: Clearly, full-time professional writers exist. But just because you want in on that job market, doesn't mean you get a spot. I know people who play basketball amazingly well, arguably comparably to NBA players, but I don't see them writing entitled rants about how they should be able to make a living off of playing basketball... Sometimes the economics just doesn't work out.