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Mind-Numbing Machine Shows The Reality Of Living On Minimum Wage

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Mind-Numbing Machine Shows The Reality Of Living On Minimum Wage

An artist created an utterly dull and mind-numbing machine that shows off the true futility of working for the minimum wage. Check it out below:

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With the minimum wage - and the living wage - currently up for serious debate on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, it seems fitting to bring to mind this machine, created by artist Blake Fall-Conroy.

It's a pretty simple design, but powerful.

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A wooden frame supports a Plexiglas box that is full up to the brim with pennies.

On the side of the box, there's a crank that the person who is experiencing the art can turn.

The machine will dispense one penny for the amount of time that it would take to earn that penny based on the minimum wage.

If you stop working, you stop earning.

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Credit: Blake Fall-Conroy
Credit: Blake Fall-Conroy

Because there's a different minimum wage in a lot of places, the machine can be recalibrated to wherever necessary.

For example, back in 2016, the minimum wage in New York was $9 per hour. That meant that the machine yielded one penny for every four seconds of cranking.

Again, you have to consistently crank to consistently keep getting pennies out of it.

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You can see the point he's trying to make, can't you?

The machine was created between 2008 and 2010 but was then updated in 2012 and 2016.

However, the debate surrounding how much the lowest earners in any society are remunerated for working what is often the most difficult or least desirable jobs is one that is still relevant today.

Credit: Blake Fall-Conroy
Credit: Blake Fall-Conroy
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On his website, Fall-Conroy wrote: "The minimum wage machine allows anybody to work for minimum wage.

"For as long as they turn the crank, the user is paid in pennies as time passes.

"For example, if the minimum wage is $7.25/hour (the current US Federal rate), then the worker is paid one penny every 4.97 seconds.

"If they stop turning the crank, they stop receiving money.

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"The machine's mechanism and electronics are powered by the hand crank, and pennies are stored in a plexiglas box.

"The MWM is reprogrammed as minimum wage changes, or for wages in different locations."

Credit: Blake Fall-Conroy
Credit: Blake Fall-Conroy

As it stands, the National Minimum wage for people over 23-years-old living outside London is £8.91 per hour.

That means that if you worked your a**e off on Blake's machine in the UK you'd receive 891 pennies per hour, cranking one out every 4.04 seconds.

Does that sound worth it? Probably not.

If nothing else, the machine serves to remind us all of that fact.

Featured Image Credit: Blake Fall-Conroy

Topics: Money, Art, Interesting, Politics

Tom Wood
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