Parents add to this problem too, by having this attitude of "I love my daughter and I support her in whatever she wants to study"...this attitude some parents have is very damaging to their children. It would be far better for parents tell their college aged children that they will not fund any major they want, but rather only those that have a very good potential in future earnings.
It's not just parents with this destructive mindset of "DO WHAT YOU LOVE!!!!!!"
I've caught almost every money-blogger, including J.D here at GRS, repeating the same mantra. "DO WHAT YOU LOVE! Don't get a career or job just for the money!"
Of course, all those people are making good money at what they chose to do, forgetting that for every success, there are thousands of people who fail at it.
In reality, you're right, ARMS. Going into Art or Anthropology or Zoo-keeping, or any of the other highly-saturated, low-paying careers just because "you love it" or "are really good at it" or "have a passion for it", is stupidity. Especially if you're a single person paying your bills on your own and have no spouse or SO helping you along the way.
As for researching though, I did research the salaries for Graphic Design back in high school. At the time I went in to college for it, computers had not yet entered the workplace. Graphic Designers were still cutting Rubylith and doing everything by hand, and making an average of $40,000/yr, back in the late 80's. Then Apple came on the scene strong, along with the myriad of design programs, and graphic design got easier and easier for anyone to do it, as well as faster, and wages plummeted. By then, I was already years into my career. Really, at the first sign of wages dropping, I should have bailed. I was way too positive and thought my experience would allow me to always have employment and a decent salary. HA! Never be too positive, it can be a real killer.