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Machine Politics

Avinash Mulye sent to me this description of a “minimum-wage machine.”  3050324-poster-p-1-this-pointless-machine-allows-anyone-to-work-for-minimum-wageIt seems to be written by one David Ruccio:

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.

So here’s a challenge for Cafe Hayek readers.  In the comments section name all that is mistaken or misleading about this notion of the minimum wage (or of wage-earning generally).  Such as “Earning wages in a market economy is not akin to extracting already-produced wealth from some device called a ‘job’ or an ’employer.’  Instead, earning wages involves the production by the worker of some amount of output for an employer who then compensates the worker according to the value of that worker’s output.”

Don’t hesitate to repeat a point made by other commenters if your point is expressed in a different and illuminating way.