Perhaps it's just your communication style, but I read way too much "gimme, gimme" in your post. "Pay us well" How about making fair market value for your expertise, abilities, and productivity? "Treat us well?" How about being treated like everyone else in said company? "Give us job security"? How about making sure that you are valuable enough that a company want's to hire/keep you? I am well over 40 and have no idea what people are talking about claiming they can't get a job. I have a constant stream of offers, and I'm not even looking to change jobs. Are you over 40 and still refuse to work on anything but the VAX? Can you not act as a Lead anything? Are you still claiming Q-Basic can solve all problems? Humor aside if you have trouble finding work over age 40 I'd take a long hard look at your resume and skill set, because the issue is probably not your age.
Sure, there is something to be said for abusive employers. I have worked IT for over 3 decades, before that I managed restaurants to put myself through College, served in the US Army, and worked full time during my junior and senior year in High School so that I could have a car and niceties (that last one is not legal any longer, but..). I have seen abusive employers, and I work elsewhere. Hell, I moved over 3,500 miles to have better prospects 5 years ago. The company I worked at was shit, and all but a couple people I knew left. After a few years of being forced to hire shitty temps and losing contracts the board finally got wise and canned the management (we were smart and told other people not to work there!). I wasn't there, and doubt I'd ever go back. Point here is that nobody can force you to stay in crappy situations, but you have to be willing to make changes.
A big part of the culture coming out of College, especially the younger grads, have this idea that they should be making 6 figures because they got a degree. They don't have experience, and most have no respect for experience. Professors tell all students they are gifted, and some of these people actually believe them and wear it on their collar. Generally the younger graduates lack communication skills and professionalism, which in my opinion relates largely to the lack of experience. A thirty something that changed careers and has a new shiny degree is not the same thing as the 20 something.. I'll take a 30 something any day.
Anyway, enough rambling and back on point. Yes, there are crappy places to work. If you have to work at one for some duration use that time to build your resume. Everyone I know has run into "one of those" sometime in their career. Consider them a long rung on a ladder, and move out when you can. If you are shit to a shitty business, it's going to be hard to build the resume to move on. If you are professional in the worst circumstances people will recognize that, and know that you can be professional in better circumstances. As I started with, perhaps you don't have a sense of entitlement and just communicated your point poorly. Consider that last point if you really are forty-something and can't find good work.