Economists have long puzzled about why even some currently unemployed workers could not simply reduce their wage requirements by a substantial amount and encourage firms to hire them. There is a nice literature on this which includes explanations such as unmeasured productivity, the signaling implied by such an offer, the matching difficulty between potential workers and firms, and more.
I like to use this thought experiment to understand the extent of the “problem.” Think about your boss and the work that he or she does. If it were socially acceptable to do so, and penalties for asking would not flow down on you, what do you think the chances of you being promoted to replace your boss would be, right now, if you walked into his or her boss and said, “Hey, I can do everything that they can do in this job, and I am willing to do it for 30% lower compensation!”
What would you learn from such an exercise? Are you likely to be successful? Does it depend on what industry or occupation we are talking about? Inquiring minds want to know!