You technically don't get paid from hubpages itself, but the affiliate programs such as adsense, and amazon. Think of hubpages as the conduit to making money. Everyone is different, some do this as a hobby, and others do it to make money. Some make a few cents,dollars, while others make 100s or a couple thousand a month.
Understand some people are using other websites and making money from adsense and not just hubpages with the adsense ads.
Anyone can make a passive income if they setup a foundation. You won't make much at first, but will eventually make money if you
publish hubs often, quality original content,be active gain followers, post comments etc,and use SEO(search engine optimization) by social bookmarking,pinging, and other things to drive traffic.