This wonderful new machine, shown in prototype here, comes from the web page of Cesarea Treehugger of Duluth, Minnesota. It provides an answer to the question that many young people, including ones with excellent credentials and experience, are asking these days: "Where can I find a decent, well-paying job?" Here's the product description from April 10, 2013.
"This machine allows anyone to work for minimum wage for as long as they like. Turning the crank on the side releases one penny every 4.97 seconds, for a total of $7.25 per hour. This corresponds to minimum wage for a person in New York. This piece is brilliant on multiple levels, particularly as social commentary. Without a doubt, most people who started operating the machine for fun would quickly grow disheartened and stop when realizing just how little they’re earning by turning this mindless crank. A person would then conceivably realize that this is what nearly two million people in the United States do every day…at much harder [...jobs] than turning a crank. This turns the piece into a simple, yet effective argument for raising the minimum wage."
The likely demand for this much needed device is indicated by a story in today's New York Times:
City Report Shows a Growing Number Are Near Poverty
" The rise in New York City’s poverty rate as a result of the recession has apparently eased, but not before pushing nearly half of the city’s population into the ranks of the poor or near-poor in 2011, according to an analysis by the ...[mayor's] administration."
Many of my colleagues tell me that the cure for joblessness and poverty is a talisman called "technological innovation." The minimum wage machine seems to be yet another example of the kinds of "breakthroughs" that have done so much to boost the fortunes of American working people since the late 1970s.