A secure kernel, running a well written web interface
You may be wishing for a bit much with these little trash devices. You are correct in that they only way to get things to improve would be to hold manufactures responsible for the security of their devices by law but until then we can expect more things like this.
...construction workers, plumbers....they're making $12-$19 an hour.
If your only making in that range as a construction worker you probably screwed up big time or are a high schooler / college student working in the summer. I made $17 swinging a hammer in the summer in the late 90s working construction in the summer when I was in college. One of my neighbors is a plumber and is self employed and pulls in $50/hr and the neighbor across the street is semi-retired general contractor so he only takes jobs he wants and make $45/hr. Skilled hard labor pays quite well, just ask my other neighbor who is a master mechanic who makes more than his wife who is in IT.
Anyone who imagines that all fruits ripen at the same time as the strawberries, knows nothing about grapes. -- Philippus Paracelsus