Career prospects as a biologist

So, I was curious... I have 40 friends (old enough to have found their career but not yet career academics) who have degrees in biology in some form or other. Professionally, 21 of them don't have anything to do with biology at all. Of the 19 "biologists", 11 of them either do not make any money or are actually going into debt in order to do what they love. That's 27.5% of biology graduates who are still in the hole, digging, in the hope that they find a ladder.

The optimist says:-
An academic career in biology is a long slow process,  From my experience of knowing younger academics and dealing professionally with older ones, I would suggest that earnings snowball over time. It takes time for the investment of time to do a PhD to be paid back financially but I'm yet to know a Dr of anything that isn't well set by their 50s

 While the pessimist:
But you have to be a fool to do a PhD. Its is it not the 'marine' bit that is the problem rather than the 'biology' bit. I know people working for the NHS, Boots and GSK with biology degrees doing very well. Is it not the case that the 'marine biology' industry just doesn't have the financial clout of pharma/health/research?
There are some zoologists in here too but basically, there's no money (and consequently no jobs) in non-medical biology.

From the highest levels of the United Nations, politicians promote the Millenium goals, the Aichi decade for biodiversity but the money is always too little.   The reality of the planet as we approach 2020 is that regardless of the environmental issue of pollution, extinction and climate change, there are simply too few jobs to employ people who may be able to make a difference.