The Minimum Wage Machine

I love this idea as a way to physical show what it’s like to earn minimum wage in the US today. Blake Fall-Conroy put together a machine that dispenses pennies and allows any person to work for minimum wage.

The concept is simple. An individual cranks a handle on the machine and pennies drop out of it at a pace of every 5.04 seconds which will give the person $7.15 an hour, the current minimum wage for New York state. If the individual stops cranking, then the person stops receiving money.

I think that anyone that had to use this machine for a few hours would gain a new respect for the working poor of our nation.

Source: Blake Fall-Conroy

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15 Responses to The Minimum Wage Machine

  1. cptacek says:

    I see the point you are trying to make, but to me, it reinforces my view that if you do a job that any joe schmoe can walk in off the street and do without any training, you deserve minimum wage (or less).

  2. whitestripe says:

    interesting idea.

    the minimum wage in australia is around $15 an hour i think.

  3. Traciatim says:

    I agree with cptacek. The exact thought I had when seeing it was that you do a job that essentially anyone that can wake up and tie their shoes can do you get to see what it’s worth.

  4. Annie Jones says:

    Yet most who earn higher-than-minimum wages are more than happy to let “any Joe Schmoe…who can wake up and tie their shoes” serve them a burger or ring up their purchases at the local discount or convenience store.

    Just because some people wouldn’t want to do the work associated with minimum wage jobs, it doesn’t mean the jobs aren’t valid or that the people who do them aren’t deserving of a wage they can actually survive on.

  5. cptacek says:

    “Yet most who earn higher-than-minimum wages are more than happy to let

  6. Heibi says:

    It is such a give and take. If minimum wage were increased significantly through government mandate, then more people might decide to work and get off public assistance (welfare, Medicaid & Food Stamps). We would have to pay more to purchase items and eat out, but would in theory pay less taxes. If working for minimum wage offered a bigger benefit than welfare, Medicaid & food stamps, which it should, then less people would opt for government assistance.
    A possible problem with raising minimum wage is that many of those jobs would go away. Perhaps there could be an exemption for high school or college students, but that might create issues as well.

  7. JM says:

    The VAST majority who make minimum wage are young people and those in transition. Most make more than minimum wage within 5 years.

  8. valletta says:

    Minimum wage HAS NOT kept pace with inflation.
    Companies are encouraged to outsource mid-level labor particularly those jobs of yesteryear which were decidedly middle class.
    We are becoming a service and financial services industry nation, which is unsustainable. (Financial services provides no products, makes nothing, money gets skimmed on each transaction with value add, except for the highest levels. (When banks makes billions in profit from overdraft fees, something is seriously wrong)
    Our C-level execs are making 400-1 ratio in salary to the minimum wage earner.
    Do a little research on your own, don’t buy into the “free” market Friedman crap.
    Even Greenspan has seen the light…

  9. valletta says:

    last post should say “NO value add”

  10. Heibi says:

    Look on the positive side. At least Friedman died right before he could realize he was wrong.

  11. elk says:

    Minimum wagea suck. We all deserve to make a lot of money!

  12. Gail says:

    I worked many minimum wage jobs in my lifetime because they were the only jobs I could find. I was a bright, intelligent, educated person, ubt there are other things that get in the way of people getting the types of jobs they ‘deserve’. If you graduate from college with no money for a decent set of interview clothes, no money for a car, no money for anything and the parents wanting you out of the house ASAP, you take what you can get and work your way upward. So I don’t think most minimum wage earners are Joe Schmoes, most of those people are the HARDEST working bunch in our country and they would love to make more. Unfortunately most of us don’t wanted to pay more for goods and services, I know we are barely keeping our heads above water. If the minimum wage went up even more then what we can afford will no longer be affordable. It is a Catch 22 and always will be, but I hate seeing people act like anyone working for minimum is some dumb schmoe-that just isn’t nice and is very judgmental, you don’t know these people or their situations.

  13. cptacek says:

    If you read my two comments, I did not say, or imply, that our hypothetical joe schmoe was dumb, or not hard working. I just said if anyone do a job with minimal training, the pay isn’t going to be high BECAUSE there are many many people who can do that job (a job that doesn’t require much training.) I am not making any judgment on any person, high income or low income.

    It is essentially supply and demand. If there is a job that doesn’t require typing, then someone who can’t type has a shot at that job. If the job requires typing, you remove the pool of people who can’t type from getting that job. There may be less applicants for the typing job than the non-typing job. The typing job may pay higher because other businesses also want people who can type, so they are competing for that pool of applicants. That is what makes wages go up…businesses competing for applicants.

  14. Biffula says:

    While this machine would make anyone ‘feel’ for a minimum wage earner, it will do nothing to change things. Our standard of living in the U.S. is too high. Plain and simple. Really poor, starving countries will do work for much less than our minimum wage. That is why you have business globalization. This is why companies have their manufacturing done overseas. They can pay $1 an hour for work people in the U.S. wont do for $7.50 an hour. And even if it did, the cost of production would rise, thus the final purchase price of goods would rise and even though everyone made more money, they’d be in the same boat as before because the cost of things they purchase would go up. Shipping jobs overseas is not going to change and people need to accept it.

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