Now Everyone Can Work For Minimum Wage

This project by New York visual artist Blake Fall-Conroy lets anybody experience just how awesome it is to work for minimum wage.

The wood-and-plexiglass Minimum Wage Machine dispenses a single, shiny penny every 4.11 seconds, provided you keep on turning - and turning - that ol' crank. Spending an hour or 8 doing this might engender a bit more sympathy in your heart for the people making your frappucino or flipping your double quarter pounder.

The machine is set to dispense a total of $8.75 an hour - the minimum wage in New York State at the time of its creation - but can be reprogrammed to dole out the base pay wherever it's being displayed.

Fall-Conroy spoke about his public art projects at an independently produced TED Talk event in Cortland, New York. Many of his projects are like the Minimum Wage Machine, designed to draw attention to injustices and inequities in society.

"Someone might hear both sides of the minimum wage debate 10 different ways," he said. "But after turning the crank on the minimum wage machine for just a few minutes the feeling of working that type of job becomes crystal clear."

When you think about it, endlessly turning the handle on the Minimum Wage Machine is actually preferable to some actual minimum-wage gigs. At least you don't have to deal with cranky customers.


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