Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Minimum Wage Machine

The Minimum Wage Machine

I just thought I would share this really interesting piece I came across. It's called the Minimum Wage Machine.

So what is it? Well, it's as advertised;

Minimum Wage Machine (Work in Progress)


Custom electronics, change sorter, wood, plexiglas, motor, misc. hardware, pennies (approx. 15 x 19 x 72 inches)

The minimum wage machine allows anybody to work for minimum wage. Turning the crank will yield one penny every 4.97 seconds, for $7.25 an hour (NY state minimum wage). If the participant stops turning the crank, they stop receiving money. The machine's mechanism and electronics are powered by the hand crank, and pennies are stored in a plexiglas box. 

I really find this piece interesting. Mainly because that's what most minimum wage jobs end up being. Something that just keeps the wheels turning and even though this foundation is really important for our every day living, we treat the workers as if they're just some monkey cranking that wheel keeping the song going. The moment they stop is the moment that we stop taking care of them.

Seems pretty mean in the long run of things. Or for that matter that as a society we don't put protections in place and safety nets there to catch them before they fall... especially since they're bound to fall the moment someone else can produce it cheaper.

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