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Minimum Wage Machine
Blake Fall-Conroy, 2008-2010

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.

// rapidly making its way around tumblr, found at SA's D&D

edit for reference:

The average worker earning minimum wage must work 130+ hours to afford rent in New York and California.
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Does the machine take out tax to make it more realistic? 
> mindless
As if making it entertaining would change that mu— oh, wait, people even pay to do something almost just as mindless but visually entertaining.

Anyway, with bit more seriousness: simply raising the minimum wage does not necessarily increase well-being of all the people at minimum wage. For example, as a side-effect it might make many of them lose the jobs whatsoever.
… At the same time, all possibly appropriate solutions are severely complex and, as with all the complex things, are confusing and unsupportable. … or something. (I probably haven't looked at politics enough lately to say anything on that with significant certainty).
Depending on your total income level, some of the money garnished from your wages might be returned at the end of the tax season. 

Still, ffs.
mike r
They should invent a machine that puts artificial minimum wage laws to make people feel better about their jobs, then as a result millions would lose jobs because employers cant afford to pay their higher salaries. The machine would then simulate long unemployment lines and govt-subsidized welfare programs that would create massive inflation, causing goods to rise, making the whole point of minimum wage laws futile. Although it would be kind of hard to crank that machine for that long.
+Chris D  ,you cant compare wages between the two countries and say $US / $AUD are on parity, as the cost of living is completely different.  The government raising the Tax Free Threshold wasn't as generous as it seems, they took away other offsets and deductions, therefore the net affect for someone earning $50,000 is next to nothing.

Minimum wage in Aus is $606 a week.  Someone earning that here would still have $57 per week taken out as tax.
Jay Rand
I still don't agree with this minimum wage issue. From what I've seen, all it cause is inflation that leads to a higher cost of living. I mean yes, it makes you feel good to be "making more" but is it really worth it?
I really like this. I did the math one day while I was still working for minimum wage to see at what rate pennies would fall into my bucket o' pay. It can change the way you look at some things.
Chris, one item isn't really much for a comparison. What about petrol prices, housing prices. Whats the outcome when you use CPI? I can keep arguing if you like but I'm not sure shat we are arguing about.
Can I use a motor to turn the gear for me? While we're at it, can I have a bunch of those machines?
I'm 19 working in a small fruit shop in Australia and get 17.44 an hour, 15 year olds get more than 10.50 where I work. It is shameful that "the greatest country in the world" would let adults work for 7.25 an hour...
If I can crank it for threw days straight I would. Easy money! I'm a mechanic and farmer, construction, and volunteer.
I'd build a machine to turn the crank for me, and I'm quite sure that it would work too.
Those adults working for 7.25 an hour don't try to do any better for themselves.  Those living off of food stamps and welfare make more than minimum wage workers.  
All we need then is for someone to build a machine that produces the coins.. ;-)
great i am empressed by this tech
As ususal with these kind of topics - a lot of the 'comments' go a long way to explain the problems endemic in modern society. It amazing to me how easily dismissive people can be about the problems and struggles faced by others less fortunate them them... That said - this shows what a good piece of art / social statement this installation is... I woudn't want to waste my time turning that handle for even 10 minutes... and boy... doesn't that half make you think...
Blindly pooh poohing minimum wage because it causes inflation, job losses, ad infinitum is short sighted. The economy is way more emotionally driven than can be given credit and the logical cause-effect we would expect just doesn't hold. You only have to look at the countries that have it versus those that don't. When it was introduced into the UK (with similar opposition) it had a hugely positive effect. 
The machine is stupid, because it does not reproduce an important aspect of work: its usefulness.  Turning a crank that is not connected to anything but some sensor is so useless, that I would not do it for thrice the minimum wage you mention. And that is how many people feel: the fact, that their work is useful, that they are needed is part of the gratification.
That's bloody clever, that is...
The minimum wage in countries like this clearly need to be raised  if employers can't afford it then they should not be in business, if they can't because they don't want to, or  because their c.e.o thinks he is more important then that company needs a new c.e.o. The tipping and fast food culture of the u.s is clearly a huge down fall which doesn't seem to work. The health negetives are huge and dont make people better off sure there are benefits for the doctors, and restaurants, but thats about it in the end all it does is turn over money, not make sure people are living comfortably. When people grow their own food them selves and don't have to be provided for all the time, then it should be better off.
Interesting and ingenious method to prove a powerful point. Kudos 
Maybe they should put some kind of little food bits in it. Then they can put it on the corner and instead of seeing a homeless person holding a sign "will work for food", we can actually see them work for food. Sounds like a win win.
Minimum wage is a fancy way of fooling the people.  Before the wage is raised, the prices of products will rise to pay for the upcoming wage increase.  Thus when you get a raise in minimum wage, you really get nothing.
Example:  The cost of a cup of coffee before minimum wage was started was .10 cents a cup.  With minimum wage at $7, a cup now costs a dollar.  Some people can't understand that, that is why they continued to be fooled by politicians.
The higher the minimum wage is the less people a company can afford to employ. It's amazing that people can't seem to grasp this simple concept. Raising the minimum wage will cause higher unemployment.    
+Simon Richards "[minimum wage] had a hugely positive effect." Tell that to the inter-city black communities in the US who are forced into welfare slavery by the minimum wage and public schooling. Children are forced into a school system that doesn't equip the children with job-related skills, finance skills, or home maintenance skills whatsoever. Their parents are burdened with excessive taxes to maintain this overpriced, underachieving system. The kids then are told that they can't work to help their family until age 16, meaning they are guaranteed to not have job skills until that point, and then (here's the nail in the coffin) businesses that may wish to hire these young workers, who live with their parents and don't need a "living" wage are told that they may not hire them, because you may only hire workers who's job skills enable them to produce at least a minimum wage's worth of work.
+Jerzy Michał Pawlak while you make a important point - the machine doesn't rid you of the stigma of being "unemployed" and it doesn't win you respect from your peers or customers, I'd stop short of calling it stupid. If art can start a discussion about society, it is already successful.
When the NMW was introduced in the UK, there was plenty of opposition to it from people claiming it would cause mass unemployment etc.

However, it was introduced at a level considerably below what you could reasonably be expected to survive on without needing benefits. I think it's currently in the region of £6 per hour whereas most retailers pay £7-£10 per hour - so it appears as though many employers regard it as a benchmark: they can still pay a pitiful wage, but as it's higher than the NMW they can feel good about it. Besides which, if an employer can afford to pay their staff a little more, it means the staff are paying more tax, they have more disposable income, which will generally be used to buy more goods and services thus boosting the economy.

Having said that, in the current economic climate, many employers are minimising expenses by dividing formerly full time positions into multiple part time positions - this limits the amount of tax / NI they have to deduct from the wages, looks good for government statistics (as it removes them from the category of unemployed - and the government can say "100 new jobs have been created!" when in reality it's probably 25 FTE jobs - replacing one person with four at no additional expense) but may be an act of desperation from the person employed (unless you have a family with children, benefits really don't pay, despite the right-wing media hype); and of course there's no guarantee they can find a second or third job whose hours perfectly coincide with the time they're not working at their first job.
Let's raise it to $200.oo and hour and see how rich it makes everyone.
Not all jobs seem useful to the employees. This is a good machine to show when you have a minimum wage job you don't like. 
raising minimum wages sounds great but sadly in a global economy that is almost suicidal to the company. Do that and no one will have a job if the company goes under or Machines will replace you. Take a look at florida orange juice. If machines don't pick the oranges or have access to people willing to work for low wages they will be out of business because of south american orange juice
Wow, complaining about minimum wage? Try work for $2.6 per hour in the Europe or $1 per DAY in the Africa, folks!
Turning a crank for 6 hours would be hard....
+Geo Walter I shouldn't complain about poverty because I could be starving?

Is that a threat?
+Chris D I agree that it is harsh to tax people on minimum wage, but this isn't what your original argument was.  You said that the Aus government wouldn't tax someone earning the minimum wage, but they would and they do.
+William Bennett you point is not valid because the cost of living in the two countries is not the same.  The average mortgage in the US is $235,000 while in Aus it is around $500,000.  The price of petrol in the US is $0.88 while in Aus it is around $1.40.  So someone in the US may earn $7, but there cost of living isn't as high as ours.  We pay extortionate amounts for food compared with other developed nations.  
You're right +Jerzy Michał Pawlak Why not have a dynamo in there and hook it up to the grid. Why not have a row of them? Oh, hang on, the Victorians had something like this. What was it? Oh, yes. The Workhouse....
So if they accidentally but a dime in there would that b your ya, the cost for living is up so minimum wage should up as well.
+Daniel Estrada no, keep complaining. Just, it is funny, that's all :) 
... and petrol prices? LOL :D 

I'm not saying people shouldn't fight for their rights. I'm fighting for my rights too ;) 
But complaining about minimum wage? Nope. Try to earn more, than minimum wage!
+Kenneth Crawley coffee anology is bad because starbucks never sold coffee a .10c, it is a new business sector exploiting stupidity for large untaxed profits.  I believe your are mixing up correlation and causation.  I would suggest minimum wages rise after the costs have risen because the minimum cost of living has increased.  The effect is the same, but lacks the suggested intent that minimum wage drives prices rises.  
+Geo Walter im not complaining about petrol prices, i'm just trying to show that shit costs different amounts in different countries
About as useful as all those managers living off taxpayers' money, though they are certainly not on any minimum wage.
I do. I make a little more then triple what the minimum wage is, im just way for the people going to college and working.
I didn't argue with you +peter maxwell ... you were right. 
I just used your info to create argument (sort-of). 

BTW, in my country "minimum wage" doesn't grant worker enough money to survive. People earning it must share their living costs with other people. Just saying. 
It's not how hard the job is that's important, its whether or not you enjoy it. No one would enjoy turning a crank all day.
Just me warming up the brain before work but this is an Awesome machine... but...

TL;DR, either Humans are massively overpriced or Electricity is Cheap.

In the UK for over 21's it's be one pence every 5.81 seconds... (619p/hr)

And NIE Charges 27p per MegaJoule for mains electricity... (96p / kwh)

So for you as a human to generate a minimum-wage-worth of electricity, you would need a hand cranked generator (or hell, go optimistic, a recumbant bike AND hand cranks) that could supply 1MJ every (5.81s/p*27p=156.87s) which works out to be a about 6.4 kW, or 2/3 of the output of an early steam engine. Or more than the power it takes to run an average American household.

This is just some numbers fun but it shows what economies of scale do for you.
...and yet it is better for them than the alternative which is to turn a mindless crank at home and earn nothing...

The minimum wage outlaws all occupations which cannot produce minimum-wage-worth of value to a business or customer. It also coerces business to pay more when minimum-wage-value is produced but where there is an excess of workers - in such a case those who give less value are out of a job and those who perform marginally better take the job.
Probably it is generating electricity which is being stored.
I say we earn money collectively. Some may call it socialism and say that's bad. But we all work together to form this country and this economy. We are taxed collectively. All of us as a collective form this society we live in. All our wages are taxed collectively, all our hard work feeds this economy collectively, But the rich get paid the most and do the least amount of work, the poor work the hardest and don't make much at all. I say since we are all in this together then why not share a collective wage? Everything everyone makes gets put into a pot. Then those wages divided up equally to everyone. As a society and as a country we are all in this together. This model would work. Because it encourages everyone to do more. The more we can all work the richer we all become and the more productivity ensues. It would make the poor no longer poor. It would bring the rich down to the same level as the rest of us. No more 1% B.S. And people freak out if you even hint that you support socialism. But tell me. How is this model of mine any worse then this bull shit democracy we have today? Is diversity really better? I take a look at how the majority of this country is living. And I say it isn't. When people come together as a community and work as a team they can accomplish anything. Why can't the whole country be a single community? The idea of that is beautiful. But yet I would get strung up for suggesting this because its socialism. Yeah ok. How about I ask another question. Is our current system working for you? Are you happy with it? Also if we all had the share our efforts and come together as one gigantic family, where would racism go? How about this lower class, middle class, and rich class stuff? What about all this cut throat dog eat dog way of life? Where would it all go in a system like this? It wouldn't exist. We would all be living as one giant family. We would all be in it together. Equally. I love this idea. Maybe that makes me a socialist. But admit it. This idea interest you doesn't it? :)
I think everyone would feel different about their jobs if every hour your boss came and gave you the wage for that hour..
+Matthew Moore That REALLY DOES NOT work :) 
... We lived that way for 40 years. 
No way :D Doesn't interest me, not even a little. 

This can work only in the small communities, like familly. Where people can have their influence on the others. 
Unfortunately it is not as simple as this. Raising the min wage could result in costs that are too high for the business to hiring the worker, this resulting in more unemployed. Clearly any min wage is better than 0 when unemployed. Please don't hate on me lol, just raising a point >.< 
+Matthew Moore explain to me why I would spend 10 years at uni to become a doctor when I could sit at home and drink cider and earn the same amount as everyone else.  What is the incentive to better yourself? What is the incentive for innovation.  Your suggestion isn't socialism and it would not work.
+Justin Weltmer Sounds to me like your calling for an overhaul of your education system :S

Poverty is a much harder nut to crack that just throwing minimum wage at it - agreed. But, increasing minimum wage means the government gets higher tax receipts which they will/should invest into society. It also gives families more disposable income which they spend, thereby increasing the fluidity of money around the system. It is cretainly a double-edged sword but historical evidence weighs in favour of minimum wage.

+Ben Norwood makes a good point about the much-hyped job-share which has become more popular since the economic downturn. It could be argued that minimum wage is indirectly to blame. However, it isn't, it's all the banks' fault...but that's another discussion ;)
If they put these into schools and had comparising wages based on various jobs. It might encourage the kids to stick in and aim higher. 
Its appealing when you first read about it, but in reality this system wouldn't work. If everyone would be paid equally then there would be absolutely no motivation to improve on anything, because there is simply no incentive to do so. Also every damn thing should be run by the government which means efficiency and productivity will go for a toss.
We need innovations, build a wind or water mill to turn the crank for us. Then people on minimum wage will be out of a job. Minimum is better than no wage.
Ehm, rising the minimum wage will decrease amount of people earning minimum wage and it will directly increase of unemployment rate.

In country where I live now there is tax system bound to minimum wage salary, thus increasing the minimum wage will increase all direct and indirect taxes for all employees gaining more than minimum wage.

This is simple example of double fail.
raw raj
Wow its looks like nobody understand minimum wage. Its a protection. If there was no minimum wage then these corporations would have paid you even less.
Thats what happening with immigrants and why they are in demand, especially the illegal ones, they cannot demand minimum wages who do they complain to?
Minimum wages is not the enemy. But yes minimum wages should correspond to the minimum amount require by an individual to live a decent life and able to afford all necessities in life.
The minimum wage is lower in every country and they are always late in increasing it to match the inflation rate.
 This turns the piece into a simple, yet effective argument for raising the minimum wage.

> Can anyone explain to me how this machine is an effective argument for raising the minimum wage? I'm not against raising minimum wage, but I'm totally lost at this. This machine produces nothing just by turning the crank, and you can put higher value coins/make the machine produce coins faster. It's fun as a concept, but as an argument, no.
It might be an effective ploy to make people think that minimum wage should be raised. But they would be wrong. In rich societies we have different kinds of social welfare. What should be done is to make sure that the welfare systems give you enough money to survive, and that the welfare will be reduced gradually with larger incomes. This way minimum wage can be removed entirely.

Why? Because the higher the minimum wage is, the harder it is for uneducated to get a work. Minimum wage makes sense in societies without social security. But once we have social security, them minimum wage causes more problems than it solves.
I do love the machine as art though. And social commentary. But as a ploy to argue for higher minimum wages it is misguided and stupid.
I'm always mystified why people who believe price and wage controls can work would stop anywhere short of making the minimum wage $100 an hour.
Haha. Install this in my country, some smartass will figure out how to get all the money out. 
Sure dnt have d slightest idea wat d machine is all about or wat brought about it anyway.
d same 2 me as Tharaka Devinda said
 in my country dey ar smarter than there self
+Archie Roques Since the 70's that "machine producing coins" you mentioned is called Central Bank (or FED in USA) because they put down the monetary gold standard and money become all virtual.
If they raise the minimum hourly they better raise my salary too or ill be making less :p
Yep..lets pay more to people, so that the bigger corporations can charge more for their products..making the devision between rich and less rich even bigger. The monotony of this machine doesn't compare to any job, even if you're on a factory line, you probably at least have a colleague to chat with.
I wish the world would stop being so greedy. A roof over your head and a variety of cheap healthy food with money left over for your own leisure should be more than enough for the people that never educated themselves. Compare this amount of money to most of the rest of the world.
Wow... works for me... I wonder if there is any way we can get welfare benefits to be distributed this way... make the lazy bastards work for it...
^^ That assumes that financial compensation is the only incentive for working. 
Connect to a generator and let people earn their social welfare by producing electricity for the grid.
+Richard Harlos , the cultural edict of earning of earn a living is sometimes but not always the conceptual equivalent of working
also I was addressing the wrong comment
Minimum wage makes about as much sense as maximum wage. I believe from experience that wages balance themselves over time. Raising the minimum wage would only marginally affects unemployment. The costs of goods and services would be affected more, but even that is balanced by supply and demand. The wage cycle seems out of balance because it is currently adjusting to the global economy. 
You're assuming employers would for some reason increase their employees' salaries based on revenue. That's not happening. If it were legal to pay less, they would. We don't live in a perfect world.
Minimum and Maximum aren't the way to go, I agree. We need some kind of min. wage to ensure people get a chance of living.

I'd rather have some rule that enforces that the highest paid person in a company must not earn more than 7x times the income of the lowest paid -- forgot where I read that but it does have some nice background that looks like it could work

And another thing that would probably help is killing all of the financial industry that just runs on creating debt. I mean really, who understands how one can make money on expecting losses or by creating "value" out of thin air?
Move out of new York. It's a real crap state. Business unfriendly, truck unfriendly, shitty extortionist pigs. DFW has tons of jobs.
What is really sad is that there are people in this country that can't find a job that would gladly turn that crank all day, everyday, to have those pennies, just to keep the roof over their heads.

Some people are so desperate for work that if you set that machine up in the center of town, there would be a long line in front of it and fights breaking out over who gets to turn the crank for those pennies.
So, what you are saying is that someone, without and measurable skill can make money? Imagine that! (note, sarcasm)
Nobody wants a dead-end minimum-wage job.
How is filling it with Dimes going to make the person feel any better???  It has nothing to do with the amount. It has to do with turning the crank.
No overtime? Something else - one penny every 4.97 sec makes $7.24 per hour...
Most pennies are worth more than 1 cent as scrap.
Well, there it is, a picture of my life,...  Now I'm truly depressed.
  It's even more ironic, because I'm an equipment operator, who's been out of work for 2 years now.
  I'm a day laborer for $7.25 an hour, for whatever work I can get.
With the "fiscal cliff," looming closer, I don't see any hope of things getting better.
I'm just wondering now, how much more in taxes will be taken out of the minimum wage I'm getting?
Don't min wage jobs often offer opportunities for advancement for the people who bring value to them? Assistant managers at McDonalds are generally hired from within the ranks of min wage employees at the store, right?
thats hard work but hey better than mcdonalds
The minimum wage is not a living wage as a lot you think. It does nothing but keep inflation higher.

Those who want the minimum wage increased, why not make it $15 an hour? Why not $50 an hour?

When you understand why it shouldn't be increased that high then you'll understand why it's bad in the first place.
This machine demonstrates the difference between mindless cranking and doing an actual job. Wage is just a bonus!
Because every time you raise it Everyone who has to pay for it raises their prices to cover it eating up the raise ...............
Not to mention that the higher it's raised the fewer jobs there are. Isn't economic freedom best expressed by employers offering employment terms and employees choosing whether to accept those terms?
And be careful if you want to take this machine on an international tour. For example in India, a poor soul who struggle to make a quarter an hour might have an entirely different perception of this machine. 
Turning a crank doesn't require much skill. How much do you expect to make. Personally I think that job is over paid.
Brilliant. What a visceral way to make a point.
Make it a union job and the same task will produce $32.75 an hour.
I am sure it is more than 2 million people.  
+John Corry Do you have any idea how long you have to starve, working the same job, to advance? And consider the number of possible assistant manager jobs that could be available against the number of min wage workers busting their butts for a chance at it in 10 years. There are a whole lot of people that won't get it, no matter how hard they work, no matter how good they are at their jobs.

I know a guy that worked about 60 years in 3 locations of the same restaurant, had all the responsibilities of a manager, without the official title nor the pay.. His face was considered iconic in that business. Many thought he was the actual owner. In the end, he was rewarded by being permanently laid off, no pension, forced to live on about $800/mo from Social Security.
$7.25 is a Federal minimum wage. It is different in most States. 

As far as taxes go. While people do "pay" taxes when they make little to nothing. If it is below a certain amount they will get back all "income tax" they paid for the year when they file. 

I believe if you worked 40 hrs a week at $8 an hour you would still get back all the income tax you paid for the year. 

Though while $7.25 might be the minimum wage in NYC. I minimum any full time adults are getting paid less that $10 an hour there in reality. And yes I know $10 is not a lot either. 
Simple consequence of an ever increasing population and level of technology. There just isn't enough work to go around that people are willing to pay to have done, so everyone ends up fighting over as much share of that work as they can get. If work was more plentiful, the drive for recruitment would push the drive for training, and overcome peoples' inhibition to seek retraining in favour of stubbornly trying to get work doing what they're presently qualified to do.
I would think that there are a lot of lucky people who teach English and earn about 5O USD an hour

As long as they like? Surely as long as someone (else) keeps the machine fed with pennies.
How much did the machine cost to make, and how much did it (or might it) sell for? The machine is a straw man argument. I assume it was made in China for some American looking to save a buck in production costs.
Actually, if we eliminated the minimum wage, we could start hiring people with little to no skill in our areas of expertise, pay them a little money while we train them those valuable skills, and then raise their wages sharply as they begin to add value to the organization.  As it is today, when minimum wage increases, it simply eliminates the lower end jobs and the opportunity to earn a little money while learning a skill.  Instead, people are simply locked out of the job market.  Minimum wage doesn't provide more money for families, it destroys jobs and opportunities to move up the "class ladder".
+Kenneth Crawley i have an even better idea than $200, how bout we have the employee get all the money since they do all the work, and let them pay the employer for their service in providing work. Let's not forget who does the actual building and maintaining of society. It isn't the shareholders. 
Raising the minimum wage will do no good. Instead, you need to solve the issues such as requiring e-verify for all companies, basically sending back illegal aliens that have dropped the pay. 
For the sake of argument that the purpose of this machine is to draw awareness on how much pennies had gone into ones pocket by the hour and at the end of the day with barely a feeling left on your arms from cranking the machine , you got a bucket full of pennies. Then it dawned on you that with all your hard work that's all you've got. You are depressed and two million more Americans like you are depressed.
Have a second look at your bucket full of pennies and realized that millions more in other parts of the world don't even get half of what you've got. Smile there's more to life than a bucketful of pennies! :)
If you were worth more than minimum wage to the company, you would make more than minimum wage. You're not, so you don't. If you don't like it, go work somewhere else. 
+Sam Liddicott are you familiar with supply and demand curves? As supply decreases, people are willing to pay more, albeit less people. This enables the remaining producers to pay higher wages. In the long run this enables workers to afford higher prices, which brings demand back up along with supply. In the short run economies of scale like Walmart will fail, but in the long run people will be able to afford to shop at local businesses, and everyone is happier. Except Walmart. I'll give you one guess who the biggest opponent of the minimum wage is?
A monkey could turn the crank for free. An illegal immigrant will turn it for $1 a day. It is not a skilled job therefore you don't get a skilled wage.
Minimum wages are not meant to sustain an individual or a family. And should never mean to. If every job available could support an individual or family, jobs will become unavailable. To all of people that want higher wages, find a higher paying job and stop complaining.
If a company has 5 minimum wage employees and then minimum wage get raised, all that happens is the same company now has 4 minimum wage employees.
+Dan Chan in economics there is the sort run and there is the long run . American politicians think in the short term because why? Their jobs are short term and the don't get credit for long term improvement. The fact is that raising the minimum wage does raise unemployment in the short run, but in the long run it makes everyone better off. So that you can better understand, let's reverse the argument. Since you know that lowering the minimum wage would quickly lower unemployment would you do it? Of course not because you would be lowering societies standard of living. Paying people less means that there are less people who can afford your products, and you will eventually lose your business to be replaced by Walmart. Taking short run benefits is borrowing from your future. You will pay the price. 
Remove minimal wage and see how market self regulates to appropriate amount. Restraints on a free market produce economic anomalies. It was done before with success and nobody got slave wage. Employee knows how much it wants and employer knows how much is willing to pay. Somewhere between two extremes is correct amount for current market conditions and cost of living. 
+Robert Caldwell and thank you, Captain Empathy, for your kind word.  So, in this rotary depression, perhaps you could tell people just how to magically pull these higher paying jobs out of some nether orifice, when nearly a tenth of the workforce can't even find jobs.  Or are you just being a smug, self-satisfied social conservative?
Raising the minimum wage does not increase a company's payroll capacity, so either the company has to cut back its number of employees or inflation catches up and effectively puts the minimum wage right back where it was.
forget increasing minimum wage, how about reversing inflation a little so that the current minimum is more than enough.
+Andrej Kvasnica Sounds like your country needs a better tax policy. Did you know that in the united states our taxes go towards making interest payments to a private company that loans us all the money we use? Yup, our taxes go directly to a cartel of bankers that our country owes money to, which enables them to control our economy. Not to roads, or schools, or even the military, they only get a tiny portion. The lions share goes directly to the 1%. That is why we can't ever raise taxes on the 1% because that equates to telling them to pay what the nation owes them out of their own pocket. 
+Akindeji Hill That's why they shouldn't spend more then they take in. When you play with fire, you can't complain when you get burned. 
This is an excellent piece. I believe it accurately represents the type of job you can do for minimum wage. The take away from this piece is if you don't like your job or the money you earn you should work at something else. Get an education. Work two jobs while going to night school. Turn two cranks. Do anything you can to change the circumstances your in to avoid merely turning your crank. 
Earning minimum wage is incentive. If you don't like what you're earning then change it. Take chances on your abilities like the majority of business owners do. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. 
Who's that free these days to spin that thing.....but free people can but....
And just like the machine if someone isn't willing to work for that much then go find a better job. 
+Akindeji Hill Yes I am familiar with supply and demand curves. However I'm not convinced that the end result is as you indicate, hence the increasing trend to "bus your own tables" at eateries because customers find it not worth their while to pay their share of an increasing minimum wage to have someone do it for them.

No chance in getting the employer to pay the increased cost when he only has the customer revenue to pay it with and the customer doesn't find it to be good value.

Hence what we actually observe, an increase in "bus your own table" policy. That's real life economics.
This is why artists make posts on internet forums and do not make fiscal policy. Anyone can make some sanctimonious argument for minimum wage laws. Few people can explain the far reaching economic effects of implementing it. 
+Quee Nelson I find the sarcasm unnecessary. If you simplify everything too much then nothing will ever make sense to you. You are not displaying the capacity to understand. Its for the same reason that you don't pay them 0. If you pay them more than a customer is willing to pay then you have no customers. Pay them too little and you have no employees. Understanding economics requires an understanding of relationships and balance. Your argument equates to trying to solve calculus only using only arithmetic. I think that you have the tools necessary to figure this out , but for the sake of argument you are refusing to use them. Please leave the economics to those who are willing and able to use the required tools. Further more, if you chose to close your eyes and remain mystified then have the decency to not spread your confusion to others. 
Get a better job, if you dont like making minimum wage. Everyone wants things given to have to work hard to make money. Ppl are lazy...
Lets raise it to $100! Money is imaginary anyway, right. Lets make everyone a millionaire. If we did that well all be rich right?
Daniel, You have invented a superb green technology.

The unemployed may benefit in so many ways by being loaned free of charge, a hand cranked generator. When it gets cold they can use the generator and be paid for the electric they create and put back into the grid at the going rate of electrical tariffs.  They keep warm with the exercise and the planet doesn't need to burn as much fossil fuels.
If they needed more exercise or required a bigger income they could move up to a treadle or "hamster wheel".
The minimum wage has to be set low or else there is a constant upward pressure on all wages to inflate and then we all pay as the price of goods goes up or our businesses fold due to a lack of competitiveness. Only success can be rewarded, you can not reward those that are not succeeding.  As a civilised species we must protect those that can not provide for themselves, but it can not be an alternative existence our the only way is down for the human animal.

The analogy I use relates to the feeding of wild birds, if you over feed them, they not forage they stay around the feeding table waiting to be feed.

We compete in a world market. The emergent markets of India and China are at the bottom of the wage level curve. Our curve in the western world is under pressure to fall as we suffer from being uncompetitive relative to their unbelievable growth in trade. I used to have a railway product made in India by artisans who were very happy to receive £275 per month ( £0.23 per hour ). Even though we potentially were satisfying all parties in the arrangement, we had to stop the undertaking because the low output and quality were appalling.

The works is done in the UK at minimum wage levels by myself.

I wish the social do-gooders would get real and run a business them selves and still try to maintain  a "rewards without striving mentality" 
One dollar one hour. We are supposed to live with one hundred seventy dollar a month. And that is the minimum wages. It should be kept minimum.
Perhaps more telling about this installation is that many people really prefer not to be simply handed money for standing in place doing nothing. Better to at least be contributing something to the world by making, repairing, delivering, assembling, maintaining, etc...
don't understand this , can somebody ellaborate
+Richard Harlos you hit the nail on the head. People are so blind to the fact that they simply are not needed as workers anymore. My department and organization as a whole just laid off 50% over the last year because we use computers to do things more efficiently. We are innovating ourselves out of work and need to repurpose ourselves. 
+Bobby Mooers False! Just because you don't agree doesn't mean that someone else doesn't understand economics. Perhaps they just understand it better than you. Many economists support the living wage. Even some of my economic professors supported it and I went to a conservative school in a conservative state. 
+Bobby Mooers Bobby if you have no skills or talent then why would you be hired at all? That would be a very poor hiring practice that would cripple an organization. I think maybe you need more real world experience yourself. 
All of your arguments against the minimum wage would be more convincing if three things weren't true. The 1969 minimum wage, adjusted for inflation, would be around $18-21 an hour, and that era was hardly known for endemic unemployment. Wages for the bottom 90% have been falling since the 70's even while executive and investor compensation have experienced exponential growth. And corporate profits are at an all time high, with trillions sitting in the bank, while they keep cutting wages and hours. But since all three of those are true facts, I have to conclude that you are heartless, credulous, and incapable of doing basic math.

We are in a consumer economy. If people had money to spend, we would be doing much better right now, but they don't. Employing people and paying them a living wage might cut into those record profits for a few quarters, but they would get it back in time. Shortsightedness and greed are a poor substitute for foresight and wisdom, but they are practically our national religion at the moment.
Can i use any of the money to buy back time i wasted doing stupid things?
+Jeremy Wise we don't need to eliminate the minimum wage to accomplish that. We have supervisors apprenticeships and internships, and you don't have to pay anything at all in many cases. They are available to you right now! I just don't know how you will support all those kids in while you do that. 
Here's a great idea.....get an education then enter the workforce. Poof no more minimum wage!
Well, thats just stupid. Whos gonna serve you your Big Macs then, brainiac??
The column of pennies should be a tower the size of a skyscraper to represent the wealth of the corporations that pay minimum wage. The machine should also be built like a bunker to represent the security provided by the government to those with money.
Couldn't you just crank it faster? After all, minimum wage for minimum effort.
This is a sad commentary on the mentality of the labor force. Yes that really not enough money,  lets make it 25.00 dollars an hour. I mean any effort should be generiously rewarded.
+G. Richard Raab really, the Zionist argument? How conservative of you. Then what happens when the companies go back with them for unlimited cheap labor? What are you going to do about that? Lower the wages here some more so that companies come back? Perhaps instead we will just decrease the value of the dollar so that people are really making 3rd world wages without realizing it. No, the answer is and will always be to do the right thing. Pay for what you get! If an employee is making you $1000 a day, don't pay them only $80 just because you can get away with it. The minimum wage ensures that all employers are on an level playing field so that they can pay their employees fairly without being at a disadvantage to those who don't. IT IS SIMPLY ABOUT RIGHT AND WRONG. If you are arguing to have no minimum wage, then you are arguing to pay the very people who clothe you, as little as you can get away with, and that is wrong! END OF STORY. Business owners were not meant to be parasites sucking everything they can from hard working Americans!
In today's workforce, apparently thats what most people think, that they should get rewarded for just showing up. Hard work is a thing of the past for most of this younger generation. They won't and don't get the concept.
Larry H
And the economy will continue to slide as more resources are accumulated in fewer folks pockets (consumer driven economy)... investment is needed in education, and vocational training... emphasis needs to be applied in high school to intervene where warning signs of dropping out come out ... greed will always be present and some folk will never get it that we are all in this together, but that will not change the fact that we are in it together ... the sooner we stop pointing fingers and define policies that give us a stronger workforce the better off we will all be (quality of life and stable economy) ... pretty much rambling, but you all get the jist
Workers should organized if they want higher wages. Pooling labor increases the value. Why beg the government for help? Take responsibly for your own welfare.
we should get everyone in the government to do that..
I think that many people are under the mistaken impression that people are payed what they are worth. That is rarely true; usually people are payed far less than even half of what they make for their company, and in the e-suite they are often payed a vast multiple of what they produce. People are payed what the boss can get away with paying them. If they could get away paying a worker who makes a million dollars a year for the company minimum wage, they would. It maximizes shareholder value to do so, and they are required by law to do anything within the law to accomplish that goal. This is why a lot of college educated people are being paid a lot less than the ~$20 an hour they would be payed if minimum wage had simply kept pace with inflation; their bosses can get away with it, so they do it. If minimum wage had kept pace with inflation, I guarantee you that tech workers would be making much more than that, not the $13-17 they can expect in our current situation.

And remember; in 2012 there were record profits, record assets, and record cash avalability. They have the money to pay more, much more. They simply choose not to.
Some people can't afford to wait untill after college to get a job, Nicky.  Some people have to pay for an education WITH their minimum wage job, AND support their elderly family members or their children.
James G.

You are so right. let me run with this ball a little further.

Social benefits and provision should be a backstop to protect the sick , infirm and those who are in circumstances which are not of their own making, ( victims of circumstance: natural disaster, war, etc ) It is not for those who do not endeavour to contribute to the existence of our society. Those that say " I can not work because I would be no better off". The system is crazy for letting that happen. The minimum wage should be subsistence levels only. There has to be a significant incentive to make people work. 
The socialist will say we must help all who have not had the same opportunities and in saying it, their intentions are honourable but I say that many opportunities were out there but they were unwilling to seek them out, at the time and now can no longer benefit from them.  A good set of moral and examples from good parental role models are the key. Education is the paramount. If you did not see your Mum or Dad striving you will probably be just like them and you will expect to be handed an existence.

Strive and thrive, not skive and dive.

Just having children should not be regarded as an alternative to a paid job, If you can not afford to provide for your own kids it is an immoral and antisocial act to have expect the larger society to provide for them. In that situation you are merely creating the next generation of "dependant". 
Socialism is opium of the people but we are expected to pay for the fix.
Just for clarification purposes. Businesses exist to create profits, not jobs. Profits MUST precede jobs, for if there is no profit there can be no jobs. Conversely, too many jobs can decrease profits, which in turn reduces jobs. Don't get too hung up on creating jobs at the expense of profits.
+Aaron Fown People are paid what they believe they are worth.  If you think you are worth a six figure salary you will find a way to get that six figure salary.  If you believe you are worth less than $20/hr then you will find a way to get paid less than $20/hr.  It rarely has anything to do with your boss or evil companies
I have an idea.  Lets see if it goes.  I would like to raise the minimum wage to $50/hour.  I think $100K a year is the minimum anyone should make.  What do you think?  Would mom/pop shops go under?  Would large companies be forced to lay off workers? In order to maintain the businesses as is, would companies have to raise prices?
Bahh at age 28 im tired of minimum wage and pretty sure others older than me are also tired of it too!

It doesn't matter if minimum wage raises, the corporations has a formula for profits and will raise the cost of everything else such as rent and the dollar menu and of other things.

A worker at burger king was leaking out info to the customers of 'the reason of the burger price raise is because to meet the cost demands for minimum wage coming up next month'.

I worked my ass off running heavy jack hammers and chopping up concrete foundation at minimum wage. I couldn't keep up with my need of extra calories and my car maintenance and i don't even pay rent!

A small office gets $23.00 an hour from the customer and pays me $9.10 to work for this customer... Plus of all the other 20-70 workers who also work next to me in the same situation. Worried about how many miles and how much traffic to the job site and worried if they got enough hours and even worry if get too many hours because we get booted for working more than 40 hours a week.
And really 7.25 an hour is just about right for pulling a crank every few seconds.
+Michael Oliver M. I agree that you should always be striving to better yourself. But that is not an argument against minimum wage. Minimum wage workers work very hard. Let me introduce you to a concept called "unemployment". It means that there are people willing, able, and actively searching for jobs, but the jobs are not there. There are no positions for them to fill, regardless of how much they strive our how much of an idiot they may or may not be. There are many people in the world, and the number of educated and skillful people is increasing, while thanks to technology the number of open positions is decreasing. Maybe you are in a nitch where there isn't much employment competition, that is the best place to be, good for you. I hope you can enjoy that for as long as possible. 
It's harder than you think to make $20 dollars an hour. When the minimum wage is 7.50 and you can only be scheduled for 20 hours a week...  can a person afford to live off that?   Even if a person was allowed to get 40 hours a week at minimum wage, they wouldn't break even unless they were super frugal and wouldn't be able to save money for a better education.   Shouldn't the profits come to us, the working people, in the end?  There will always be work to do... and as long as we pay people fairly, enough to get by on, there will be someone to do the work.
+Geoffrey Card that machine you'd build to do the work for you is already built, it's called China. Very soon, that machine will cost you more than the original machine.
mike r
The concept of minimum wage is very similar to the concept of regulating free speech (federal agencies like FCC specialize in this). The fallacy of both concepts is that you need someone, a bureaucrat, to mandate what he/she feels the proper wage to earn, or the proper word to say. 

In other words, how does that person know that 7.25 is the optimal wage to enforce? Or that the word 'tits' is unfit for people's ears, because its 'obscene'. You always have some person making crucial decisions that cannot be made by a person, simply because that person can never have enough information nor understand the complexities of forces involved. This is the obvious reason why centrally planned economies always fail or stagnate. The free market is always the better tool to determine proper wages.
+blaine bargfrede What hogwash, I could believe and wish all day long but that's not going to get me a job, let alone a six figure one. I paid my due, and got a graduate education in difficult science fields (BS, 2xMS), but it still took me a year to find a job similar to the one I was doing out of high school because there just aren't that many jobs right now. Productivity has increased so much since the 80's that a large portion of the population is simply not necessary to maintain productivity levels. And a far as mom and pop shops going of of business if we were to adjust min wage to inflation, why worry about that when Wal-Mart is already doing that so efficiently by ruthlessly exploiting minimum wage, no benefit employees, slave labor locked into their burning buildings, and merciless management of the supply chain? Mom and pops care about their employees, and have to buy their wares on an open market that they do not have a total corner on. How can they compete with that?
U realize that u just have to manufucture 52 of this 'machine' lets say after the bill is passed 4 an increase.:)
Not quite an accurate comparison, as I don't think anyone would go for being paid in pennies. It'd be more work at the end of the day to take your buckets of pennies to the bank than it was to turn the crank.
Did dude just say "Hitler had the right idea"?!
Better deal, no one standing there taking taxes...
is "minimum wage" the problem?  or is it the state of the economy that makes minimum wage worthless? (root cause analysis)
"I can't live off minimum wage". Then don't take the job and live with the consequences. It's your choice. 
+Matthew Moore why should I be asked to give money that I worked hard to earn to someone who chooses to sit home and smoke pot all day?

Your "collectivism" works for ants and bees but not humans - who are lazy and greedy. The only cures for lazy are hunger and greed. When you steal my money you curb the greed factor and when they give you free shit it curbs your hunger... and you end up with communist Russia. All you spewing of communist dogmas aside, that model will never work. Go back to the first whites in the US if you need a history lesson.

So who does more, in your mind, the guy who works all day turning a crank or the guy that build an electric engine to do the work? Have you never heard "work smarter, not harder"?

The fact is you may only be qualified to do unskilled grunt work, and being lazy you will probably do that half-assed at best... And you think you should be paid like a superstar.

Instead you should learn a skill, a trade or something of value. At least show up on time and work hard. Doing none of those and expecting pennies from heaven is foolish. 
For everyone that's saying "raising the minimum wage would mean millions out of a job because the company can't afford it", all I have to say is look around you.

You're in a time where companies (no matter which) are making record profit, while the CEOs are being paid 400x more on average than the median of the worker's salary, the higher discrepancy between workers and CEO in the world.

Want to or not, companies need employees or else it simply fails.  If the minimum wage is raised, they need to find money somewhere; it's an ultimatum that either makes them raise the price of their product, which if it has competition will make it sell less, or that they reduce their profits, or that the executive make less money. 

What the USA needs to learn to do is look at other countries around them that are already using this model, like Canada, Australia, England, France, Germany, etc.  I believe that most of them have a minimum wage of $10 or more.  Here in Canada, the minimum wage average is a little above 10, and our dollar is currently in parity with the US.

Wise up and fight for your fellow man getting screwed by CEOs making WAY too much money.
So take the machine to Sudan.
+Brian Wood As a matter of fact, at any given time about 40% of the ants in a colony aren't doing anything, and might as well be smoking weed and watching TV. 


Humans aren't lazier than ants; in fact we are probably harder workers all things considered. The idea that collectivist, self-organized strategies won't work for us is worse than absurd, it is a plain denial of the facts. 

Anyone who says that we should subject ourselves to poverty and suffering on the assumption that we are lazy is not just wrong; this is the root of fascism itself. 
+Michel Boudreau i'm genuinely interested in the data you found that supports "making record profit".
Do you have a link or any reference that would reinforce your comment?  
(no, seriously.. I'm not trying to be snarky or anything, I just like to see data for things like that-- for conversations just like this)
+Michel Boudreau You're also confusing causation with correlation. Just because a company is making profits doesn't mean that minimum wage isn't hurting them.
If I make a machine to turn the handle for me is it called outsourcing or just automation? 
Put quarters in there, then we'll talk.
+Kevin Rawls Same could be said about your statement.  "Hurting them" is very hard to define.  What I go by are facts; part of my argument was correlation, I agree, but if you just look at minimum wages at other countries, that are higher taxed than the US (except for low income families; plus they have free health care), the companies still do well, and the people do much better.

That is not correlation, that's just facts.  The US could learn a lot about the rest of the world.
Employers don't base their wages off of revenue, but rather what the employee will do the job for. If you look at China and their job market you can see an example of wages going up because the workers needed more money. Businesses obviously can't stay in business if they pay more than they are bringing in, however if the workers can find other employment that pays more they will leave. 
+Michael Boudreau I'll refer to my previous statement that profits MUST precede jobs. Any item that threatens or reduces profits necessarily impacts jobs. Jobs cannot exist without profits. Minimum wage threatens profits. Therefore minimum wage threatens jobs. 
+Daniel Estrada I think +Brian Wood is referring to the "Path of least resistance".  Some people (just like electricity) will follow the path of least resistance.  If that path is a government hand-out, they'll jump on it.  
I'm not saying "EVERYONE" in poverty conditions falls into this category (good gracious 'NO'!).
Brian is probably reflecting on those incidents we see everyday: "The woman at Walmart paying with food stamps is holding a brand new, wiz-bang smart phone that's just been released and retails for $500+", "the souped-up Cadillac pulling into the welfare office parking lot", "the woman behind me at the DMV who's kids aren't wearing shoes, but her finger nails have rhinestones affixed to them", "the poverty stricken family with 15+ kids living in government assisted housing".

Like Brian, i don't want to pay for that cellphone.  I don't want to pay for new rims on that Cadillac, I don't want to pay for a 4hr session at the nail salon, I don't want to pay for someone's inability to say 'no' when it comes to their bedroom.

I concede that a few bad apples ruin the bunch when it comes to perception of laziness and/or priorities.  
But there's the "ant topic" in a nutshell.
I think, it is not the best way to earn money, In my opinion, everybody must have their own profession.
How does ones put value on skill or trade, specially when he can build s home on his own.
+Kevin Rawls Same could be said about profits. Profits cannot happen without employees.  If the minimum wage is higher, than the company needs to make sure that the employees can work and still make a profit.  There's only one constant in this equation, and that's the minimum wage.  Since it's a constant, it's a "must have" for any business, hence why we should raise it, because businesses don't have a choice.

It's adapt or die.  And from what everyone else is doing in the world, business is operating just fine with higher minimum wage.
Nonsense!!! Government wasn't designed to provide income or regulate income. Your free mind and the freedom the government gives you to start your own business is your opportunity. A job is a penalty for someone who wishes some else to be responsible for their success for the trade of their work. We don't need anyone else trying to unload the wagon. We need new business owners to help load it up! People come here to america from all over the world to work to start a business because they understand there is more opportunity here to start your own business and be responsible for your own "minimum wage" and "maximum wage" Don't you get it? When you just hand out more money with out creating something MORE of value in return its called inflation and nothing really changes you get paid more...but the prices of everything goes up so it doesn't really accomplish anything. Who in the world is teaching people economics and why aren't they teaching the truth. This is not rocket science! Money is just a measurement of value that you created. To give more money with out creating more value just makes the money worth less. Before there was paper money they traded gold. Before gold they traded items. A bushel of corn for a days labor of slopping hogs. In other words, your labor to slop hogs was about what my labor to harvest corn was. Lets say you ate all your corn (i traded you for slopping my hogs) and got fat but I saved some of mine and swapped it for parts to build a machine to harvest corn more efficiently. At night you went to the dance and I kept working putting the machine together (creating value through investing my time and savings of corn). What you are now asking is that I give you more corn because I have more. I created more value by investing my thing of value and my time but you want the reward without creating anything else of value. Yes I know you work hard but your not creating anything else more of value. If I give it to you, we as a nation have lost something we could have invested. It makes more sense that i now take my way extra corn that i get because i have a machine that produces much more and trade it for a building to start a corn canning factory to help feed people in the winter and also employ people who don't have any job. My efforts have created a whole lot of extra opportunity for people. The sales force who will trade the canned corn to the wealthier (you see there is and exchange of value we aren't just takin there wealth). There are now the people who have jobs to build the factory. There are truck drivers to deliver the corn. There are people who make the machines to can the corn, a maintenance department and so on. What you see here is that I'm creating something of value! Of course I'm gonna get much richer because I invested and have taken the risk. However because I have not given you more for nothing I have given others a chance to do what i have done by paying them in my canning factory. It is possible I'm stingy and don't take my extra corn to build a corn factory and I just build a bigger house and by more expensive suits. I still have used my corn to create value because I employ people to build my house and tailor my suits. Going back to the corn factory... If you ask the government to come along now take my reward and distribute it to people who have not added anything of more value then I'll raise prices so i can stay in business or I'll quit altogether because its not worth it for me to work and invest. Now someone is coming along who didn't earn it and takes it against my will. We usually call that stealing. I know it was voted into law. Of course it was voted into law by those who weren't in business and wanted a pay raise for not creating anything more of value. So now my incentive to add value to america has been taken away and I don't really have the freedom that I once had to reward myself and help others have an opportunity. So ill just do the minimum like everyone else and get a job. I realize that there aren't any extra and now i cant feed my family so I ask the government to make a job for me. The government now taxes the business left so they have money to make a job for me. Of course after a while all the business men are unfairly taxed because less people are creating value and leas job are available and More business cant afford to stay in business and they close. So the government taxes more to support all those who don't have work and the create more government to regulate it. But the takes aren't enough so then the government begins to print fake paper money called bonds and uses them to borrow money from foreign countries and even its own citizens to keep america afloat but after a while the people in foreign lands realize that no one in america is creating anything of value that will allow america to repay its debt. Would you invest in a company thats not growing in value? Of course not, you know you won't get your money back. Now there are too few business to support our country and then BOOM!!! The whole economy falls apart. So quit whining and start a business and create something of value, hire some people who don't have a job! Sell your product to the people who have a bit of extra money instead of trying to get the government to take it from them and give it to you because you think just because your breathing you deserve more. A person on welfare in the United States lives better than 90% of the rest of the world. Start reading some books on people who started with nothing and became something big... a contributor. At times it can look like there is an lot of non compassionate people who don't want to help the people who have less. But thats not really what going on. Its not that there not compassionate! They know that the idea of giving more to people who didn't earn it creates less. These are the laws of economics! You can't change them. Read how Ray Crock, or Kernel Sanders or Sam Walton succeeded. I don't necessarily agree with how each of these companies are run now, but the men who started them were contributors. And anyone who wants to challenge them and do it better can as long as they have the economic freedom to do so. Read how Robert kiyosaki lived in his car until he used his own freedom to make his business work for him and many other Americans. You can be a creator of value and not a taker and you'll help others in stead of being helpless depending on the government to redistribute to you what someone else produced and earned. Be blessed
I think it really boils down to the individual... if you are content with what you make and can live within your means. great! 
If you are not content with what you make or can not live (or chose not to)  within your means... then you need to make a change, you need to earn it, ie education, learn a new skill set, etc.
here is the short version so if you don't like what you make, make a change, learn something new, otherwise... shutup
+Martin Marcher you are correct that min and max are useless, but then you suggest crap about 7 times the money...

If the lowest paid person is making 8 bucks an hour scrubbing toilets, why should I be limited to 56 an hour? Maybe cleaning the toilet isn't worth 40 or 50 bucks an hour... But maybe the person who makes the company millions a year is worth the money.

How can you say what value I add to a business that you know absolutely nothing about?

Are CEO's overpaid? Don't know, I have never been personally responsible for decisions that effect tens of thousands of families.

But I do know if you take the millions they make a year and divide that across 10, 000 workers the difference would be pennies.
Minimum wage to low for you? How about instead of complaining, why don't you make YOURSELF more valuable. A minimum wage job is never supposed to turn into a life time gig. It's supposed to be a first step in your lifetime of work experience. 
I'd like to see this introduced into the DSS offices here in the uk
The value I anything is what someone is willing to pay for it...period. If
you work somewhere and you think what you are contributing or producing is
worth more then If you are right someone somewhere else will pay for what
you are producing, If someone won't well then what you are producing is not
worth more. It not you as a human being thats being judged it's what you
are producing that is being measured and rewarded.

Sent from my iPhone
I want to install one in my workplace, next to the vending machines for the minimum wage staff to use on their lunch breaks, without notifying anyone what the machine is demonstrating. It would be interesting to over-hear staff comments and conversations if the machine was left there for a month, then removed.
Tax Free! It's better than minimum wage!

I have been fortunate enough to only work minimum wage for a few years of my life. However, with my student loans over my shoulder, it feels like I'm working harder for less than minimum wage.
I've been turning that crank for over a decade, and I can tell you, me and Sisyphus could sit down for a beer and laugh without saying a word. We would get each other.

Let's not forget it isn't just the shitty pay. Let's remember that the hours, the benefits, and the quality of life are not considerations in a business's mind when it comes to these employees. They are numbers, that produce profit, and if they don't like it: THERE'S THE DOOR LAZY ASS.

Tonight I will work until 1 AM. Tomorrow I will start at 10 AM. This is legal. I will likely catch about three hours sleep, being a grumpy asshole to my kids in the morning if I'm not careful, and be a mess at work. For which I'll be held solely responsible. Remember: in minimum wage land things like sleep are not a consideration. Therefore, the lack of it is never a cause of an employees lowered productivity or effectiveness.

Next week I'll do the same 1AM followed by 10AM start, but then followed by a 7AM start. After a 7PM finish. For those three days I will do little more than work and read a bit on the bus. No meals with my kids. No time with my wife. Very little time for myself. 

The point: we don't have slides like Google does.

I was at our Christmas party a few weekends ago. When food was served head office got to eat first. People booed. You know what Mr. Area Manager said to that? When you start paying for the party, you can eat, first.

Thing is: we do pay for the party. Every paycheck they deduct $3 for a social fund that pays for the party. They also do a casual Friday for $2 towards the party. Each employee did pay, at minimum, $78 for the party. There were at least 300 people there. 

The buffet was good. The prizes were good. But it wasn't open bar--$7 a beer in fact. I have a hard time swallowing the entire thing cost much over $20k to put on.

But the story goes that everyone has ended up in this shitty hole situation because they're stupid or lazy. Look at my post: I'm obviously stupid right? 

Maybe you care, feel guilty, or want to help. Here's how: treat people in shit jobs as people, with respect, and after that COMPLAIN TO THE FUCKING COMPANIES. Honestly. They don't give a shit what the employees think (remember the story about lazy stupid people?), but they do give a big shit about what the consumer thinks.

But first make sure to treat them as your equal. Stop thinking that your higher paying job somehow vaults you into a higher plane of being. Unless you're in some extremely highly skilled field, like a doctor or nuclear engineer, chances are your job is only a matter of training. Be humble and connect. 

Cheers! Off to chill with Sisyphus. 
People just keep saying things like CEOs making way too much money, workers not being paid fairly and such other stuff.. Who the hell is to decide what is a fair pay for the amount of work a worker has turned out? Also what exactly makes a particular CEOs pay too much? Is it just that he earns much more than what I earn which makes it too much? The thing is if anything goes seriously wrong and if the company is held responsible, its the CEO who is prosecuted for that not the minimum wage worker. The huge pay packet of the CEO is for that liability.. Its just too complicated a matter to be decided just by increasing the minimum wages
I'd crank that before I asked for a handout.
+Savyasachi Hulikal Whoever feed you that load of bullshit was feeding you a load of bullshit.

When a company in America goes under the CEOs get a bonus. When they wipe out the retirement funds of thousands of people, sure, they might get prosecuted. And what's the sentence? Five years? Do they loose the millions they "earned"? No.

You can honestly say it is fair that there is some asshole in America making tens of millions of dollars a year, while people in your country struggle? 

There are limits. CEOs do not need to be making enough money in a year to support a regular lifestyle for a lifetime. That's just disgusting. 
+joseph Basford Fuck pride. These jobs suck every bit of self-respect out of you. 

Tell you what: any type of money you've got from your family, including all those years they took care of you, you can send my way. I'll happily take the burden of handouts off your back. 
Here's a thought: At the dawn of civilized society, there was no concept of money. It was socialism utopia. If that was the beginning then how did we end up like this? So much difference in the various classes of people? The fact is that even if everyone was paid equally, the basic nature of each individual is different. While some save for future, some spend every penny they earn. Whatever drastic measures are taken, the world is bound to end up the way it is.
Also we're in a belief that "All are equal" but the fact is that all are not equal. It is only in the eyes of law that all are equal (that too only supposedly). So basically the world is fine the way it is. No matter how much anybody (governments or others) try to regulate it, it will adjust itself and retain its spirit and be just the way it is. Only the fate of a few handful individuals can change but not of the whole collective set..
So vote with your feet and move to where the cost of living is lower and quit whining. Don't be a looter(Govt handouts) or an enabler(taxpayer in a looter society)
+James Lanning James, I have to ask... Are you stuck living where you are? Seams to me that any equipment operator worth their salt could go to North Dakota and make $30 to $50 an hour with lots of overtime. I have a cousin makes 3 Grand a week driving between the sites making deliveries in a semi. 
+Savyasachi Hulikal I'm promoting a socialist utopia. I am promoting dignity and respect for every person. Equal opportunity. A world where people rise based on their own talent: not on where they were born.

The world is fine the way it is? You go to your capital city, find a poor person, and argue that with them please.

+Geoff Owren I'm not. But I'll tell you this: the struggle to get out is much harder when you're doing it alone than if you have family, friends, and state to support you.

Try this: limit yourself to three to five hours of sleep a night for a month. Disconnect with your family and friends. Then consider how easily it would be to go from that to where you are now.

Those success stories we hear of people climbing from poverty tend not to focus on how much help people have getting out of the hole. The support they have.

I'm not bitter. I'm angry. Because the people I work under have no inherent talent, intelligence, or right to be working over anyone. Climbing the ranks has far more to do with how well you play the role of sycophant than how well you work.

And the people I work with don't have a voice. No one can speak for them. They get treated like animals and put up with it because they blame themselves. And then arrogant motherfuckers get on T.V. and reinforce this myth.
+Robert Teed Right. And take a lower standard of education for my children, lower standard of safety for my family, and further distance myself from my extended family? 

Ayn Rand does not hold the secrets to life. 
+Akindeji Hill I seriously doubt your utopian outcome from decreasing suppy levels... But even if that were true, how many people are you willing to let starve to death or freeze to death because they have no jobs, no homes and no food waiting on your mythical "in the long run..."?

Biggest opponent to govt artificially inflating wages SHOULD be those consumers who have to do without. 
In the real life, some "minority" guy already living on welfare and foodstamps would break into the machine and rob the money.
That is pathetic and yet illuminating at the same time . Could we have all the members of congress spend one day turning the crank ?
+Aaron Fown spoken like someone who wants a handout.

Would a business pay you the minimum they could? Duh. Do you want as much as you can get? Double duh! The answer is not to have the govt force your boys to pay you more. The solution isn't for government to make you a slave. The solution is for competition. If you make your company a million a year and get only pennies an hour... find another business that will pay you more.

Problem is you want more than you are worth. So you want the govt to force businesses to support you until they go out of business. 
+Daniel voison I will give you nothing, go earn for yourself. Stop looking for a hand out. Take some pride in whatever you do, you may feel better about yourself, which just may motivate yourself to improve your miserable life. I know I have. 
Come to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. We have nice cheap rent here :)
where is this machine?!?!  i would love to sit in front of one all day with a rc car tied to it to operate the crank and a large battery to power the rc car
it would still emit thesame amount
Have tried socialism in a classroom where everyone gets the same grade regardless of what their part of the project is or how much work they do?
To all those people who think minimum wage is too much: karma's a bitch. 

The fact that people have to grovel in order to live in poverty while your privileged ass feels entitled to pontificate as to why somebody else should have less than enough to support themselves while working is reason enough for you to suffer. 

So next time you see people voting to raise  _your_ taxes; hey,  you've earned it. If the rule is "I've got mine and I'll take yours too" don't be surprised when it rolls around and dips in your pocket. Why the fuck should anybody care about what you think? 
+Brian Wood I've never asked for nor received a handout. What I want is the sort of jobs that were available to people like me before I graduated with all of my masters degrees. The ones that paid 60 grand or so. I'm not lazy or greedy, i just want to live my life. Too bad a bunch of objectivist greed heads like you crashed the world economy back in '08 by making bets on bets on bets and turning their financial institutions into casinos. And to add insult to injury, after decades of pissing on the poor for taking handouts, those responsible took the biggest handout in human history from the government as 'punishment'. All of this judgmental crap about handouts would have so much more impact if I didn't know that the biggest welfare queens are millionaires and billionaires.
Democrats: Let's build more of these to boost the economy.
Republicans: No way, it'll motivate people to crank handles!
D: It's not dispensing coins fast enough.
R: If the coins want to come out at this rate who are you to interfere?
D: We're running short of coins, let's mint more.
R: Over my dead body. Unless it's to fund my MWM factory.
Ryan Ng
Democrats: Let's build more of these to boost the economy.
Republicans: No way, it'll motivate people to crank handles until they rust!
D: This should dispense nickels instead.
R: And where are you going to get all the money?
D: The profit that Apple makes.
R. No way, man.
Third party: When did this become an argument about phones?
D, R: What about iPhones?
TP: iPhones suck!
D, R: iPhone is used by millions of people in the US, if it went out of business then millions of people will be without phones.
TP: Now there's an issue you can both agree on!
Actually, Wall Street isn't the reason most of us have jobs.  First let's clarify terms.  A bank takes in money (your savings) and lends it out to people/companies.  Investment firms deal with stocks, bonds, derivatives, and all that.  Sure, banks are a crucial part of the economy, but there's a reason banks and investment firms were separated by law for so long.  When investment firms inevitably fail, you don't want them to take your banks with them.

When people talk about Wall Street, they're not talking about the basic financial structures that are low-risk, comprehensible, and low-profit.  They're talking about the high-risk, high-profit things (derivatives of derivatives of derivatives, balloon loans, no down payment mortgages, uncapitalized equity insurance, and suchlike) that even those playing with them didn't understand.  They're talking about hedge fund and equity firms that literally destroyed the economy and paid no price, and the people who were at the head of them didn't pay anything either.  They're talking about growing inequality- bonuses of several million dollars paid to CEOs at failing firms while workers are laid off and unions forced to renegotiate contracts.  They're talking about how the Walton family alone owns more wealth than the bottom 40% of Americans combined.  They're talking about wage deflation- in real terms, ie accounting for inflation, the average American worker earns less than s/he did in 1970.  They're talking about how Mitt Romney, a scion of Wall Street, mentioned $250,000 per year as a middle class salary when the median income in the US is closer to $50,000 and has actually dropped over 7% since 2009 (

And actually, minimum wage IS supposed to be for grown people.  It was originally introduced because companies, who hold almost all the bargaining power when hiring employees, weren't paying people enough to live on.  That's horrible for the economy, because people who are underfed, underclothed, and underhoused are not as productive and don't spend as much, which means there's less monetary circulation, which is what makes the economy work.  Corporations pay as little as possible on anything, because their job is to make as much profit as possible.  Things like minimum wage, safety regulations, pollution controls, overtime laws, child labor laws, and other regulations are supposed to prevent corporations from exploiting their workers.  In the US, we do an OK job at it.  The least unionized, least-oversighted industries are also the ones with the lowest wages and worst working conditions.  This is not a coincidence.
This machine should be at every Labor Ready office around the country. They get $18 per hour you work hard labor jobs like slinging concrete at construction sites and they pay u 7.25
This machine should be at every Labor Ready office around the country. They get $18 per hour you work hard labor jobs like slinging concrete at construction sites and they pay u 7.25
Why go to all that effort when you can sit at home and collect unemployment, welfare, foodstamps etc...
Holy cow. If nothing else, it certainly has people talking. Trouble is, it doesn't have all people drawing the supposed intended conclusion. Having worked minimum wage and assembly line jobs, myself, the conclusion I drew back then was, "man, I gotta work towards one of my many other options." The fallacy, then, is to assume everyone has those other options and thus will learn the same lesson...that this machine could appear as not an argument to raise the minimum wage, rather as a deterrent against "picking" such jobs. No bread? Why don't they eat cake?
Yet another reason to GET AN EDUCATION!  If you want more money become more valuable to society!
This is part of the problem in the country, we have two many of these 
type's of jobs and not enough of the living wage jobs, we need to 
get our elected official's to work for the people instead of big business!
See? I knew it was coming. +Rik Middleton 's response is predictable. Just get an education. So efin simple. No bread? Why then eat cake! Tell me. You stop turning the crank long enough to read something, you starve. You turn the crank, you starve slower.
So if everybody is free to "choose" a high wage job who's going to wash the dishes? If you don't think clean dishes are important you've never watched anybody go through a hepatitis infection. 
+Eli Viertel Yeah, the whole thread has been rather disappointing in terms of any appreciation or recognition of the problem. 

Still, the meme spread pretty quickly, and that gives me some solace. Consensus dynamics don't require that every node fully understands the material. 
If, as the above states, that nearly 2 million people in the US are earning min wage, thats not necessarily that bad. How many are teens or college kids? How many are retirees supplementing their retirement. How many are adults as a spouse secondary income?
THEN, how many are adults trying to support a family?
+Fesstus Parker But then how many of these teens and college kids are trying to support themselves and their family? Minimum wage isn't going to help me pay for college, or help lower-class kids feed their family when their parents are looking for work. The problem is more complex than "blame the kids." 
The only way this would be very accurate is if the device gave out more if you were willing to put more effort into it and work harder.  Just like in life, when you start out you are not going to get the CEO salary.  You work for that position.  So, no, I wouldn't say it is brilliant and it is a poor argument for increasing minimum wage.  I actually haven't found a good argument for that.
+***** No one pays me a 60 grand salary, Mr. Whoever-you-are. I'm working a similar tech job to the one I had out of high school for a third the pay. State level austerity killed all of the agriculture/food inspection jobs, and our stupid patent system on behalf of a few greedy corps killed all of the job growth in the whole field of biotechnology. It's not that we don't need workers like me, it's just that we aren't being hired. Talk to some engineers or scientists sometime. We are all being outsourced to H1-Bs as much as possible, outsourced outright with contract work in other countries, or just not hired at all. We are falling behind other countries in research, our infrastructure is failing, and our food system has 1/10th the number of inspectors we would need to keep the bird shit out of your peanut butter. Private research funding has collapsed, and the public funding is dwindling too. It's pure greed, and its very shortsighted.

If it sounds like I'm angry, it's because I am. Greedy people are destroying this country, it's crumbling right before our eyes in a thousand broken bridges and daily salmonella outbreaks, and all they do is play the victim and grab for more. If they keep driving more and more people into having no way to take care of themselves and no hope of advancement, there will eventually be a very large crowd of people with nothing, and thus nothing to loose.

I don't want to see that future. Crowds of people with nothing to loose end up killing a lot of good people as they flail about looking for their oppressors. What I can't understand is how you can be so ignorant of history as to not see that is the future you greedy selfish people are creating. 
+Mark Hamilton , you really believe what you are saying? Holy crap! Wouldn't it be great if it worked that way? "You load 16 tons, and what do you get? Another day older and deeper in debt. St. Peter, don't you call me 'cause I can't go .... I owe my soul to the company store."

It's called "indentured servitude".
+Eli Viertel , I absolutely believe that.  I built a business from the ground up.  It will prosper or fail based on the work I put in it.  I have worked a lot of jobs in my life.  In almost all of them there has been a path for advancement and I usually followed that path.  If there wasn't a way to advance I would leave.  Have a little self confidence man.  :)
Leave NYC if you can't make more then minimum wage
+Aaron Fown , I am sorry you feel cheated.  From your comment I hear a lot of excuses for why you can't do better.  I believe you can do better.  Have faith in yourself man.  This is America, there is still opportunity out there.  Go find it or make it yourself.  Don't expect someone else to do it for you.  Cheers man.
+Mark Hamilton It's not always like that. For one, there are a lot of factors that come into play in determining who we are - class, race, gender, education level and type, religion... the list can go on. And unfortunately, our society will create a bias against people who deviate from the "standard," so that those people have to go through hoops and jump over hurdles and run marathons to get where others can simply walk.

Another thing is that not everyone is going to be an entrepreneur overnight and with some effort. If everyone in our country were one, there would be nobody to work for us. So starting a business isn't always the easy way out. (If that were the case, Africa would be a first-world nation by now.) 

Also, hard work =/= money. Talk to construction workers. They get paid to do the shit you don't want to.  

It's not as easy as you think. 
Some people DO IT, and some people sit back and make excuses.

"Personal property is the effect of society; and it is as impossible for an individual to acquire personal property without the aid of society, as it is for him to make land originally.

Separate an individual from society, and give him an island or a continent to possess, and he cannot acquire personal property. He cannot be rich. So inseparably are the means connected with the end, in all cases, that where the former do not exist the latter cannot be obtained. All accumulation, therefore, of personal property, beyond what a man's own hands produce, is derived to him by living in society; and he owes on every principle of justice, of gratitude, and of civilization, a part of that accumulation back again to society from whence the whole came."

-Agrarian Justice Part Three - Thomas Paine

Back to "You didn't build that." 
+Mark Hamilton Pure pablum. I'm building and doing and creating, as much as I can with my limited funds. But everyone I know has taken a big pay cut, and most of them are smart people who are not adverse to hard work. And I know others who are falling out, or moving back in with their parents, or killing themselves. There are unfunded opportunities all around me, with no loans to be found. I don't make excuses, but I don't engage in magical thinking either, and every disaster I see has a greedy person behind it. I crave some kind of justice in the world, but I'm not angry. Frankly, at this point I'm just hope that you greedy people mess up so bad next time that you don't have time to the create the hungry crowds of angry people that I really fear. The world being turned upside down while we still have the resources to build something better would be preferable to that.

I'm walking away from this. It is no good for my mental health. I leave you with a Jaina saying. It's a favorite of mine, and in a thread with all of this name calling, arrogant and ignorant insults posing as advice, Hitler praising (!) and blind greed on display, I think it's appropriate.

Anger spoils community, pride engenders arrogance, deceit undermines peace, and greed destroys everything.
+Rudolph Davidge Okay, let's test your assertion then. I give you 100 lbs of gold and no tools and leave you on a deserted island naked. Tell us how valuable that gold is going to be in keeping you alive for the next six months? 

Three months into this experiment ten men are going to arrive without warning. They have spears and knives, are native to the area and have access to a trading post. Four of them are going to watch the boat while an armed party of six comes across you sitting next to your pile of gold. Tell us how useful that wealth of yours is going to be in keeping you alive? 
+Aric Aasgaard Really why pay people at all. Press squads could just round up the numbers needed and slap pain compliance collars on them. After all, you don't ever have to worry about such treatment; you're upper caste. /s
i find it odd to see an "anarchist" pushing centralized government regulation of wages.
Here's the negotiation. Pay workers more or you'll have social disruption that will shut your business down. If they're getting nothing they have nothing to lose. If they're bound to lose why should they let you keep anything? 
Anything that invokes a thought or a response from the people wo look or touch an item is a great visual and visceral 
Item that deserves review, minimum wage will never help those who are on it as the clue is in the name and employers will ensure that the wage stays at that, the argument that if it was increased businesses would go out of business is true however there sold be an offset made against companies who's profits = more than a certain % and thus this money put back into raising the wage in that said company.... Won't work for all but it's a start and shows that employers understand that without employees they don't have a business !

"A significant body of academic research has found that raising the minimum wage does not result in job losses even during hard economic times. There are at least five different academic studies focusing on increases to the minimum wage—including increases ranging from 7 percent to 12.3 percent made during periods of high unemployment—that find an increase in the minimum wage has no significant effect on employment levels. The results are likely because the boost in demand and reduction in turnover provided by a minimum wage counteracts the higher wage costs.
Similarly, a simple analysis of increases to the minimum wage on the state level, even during periods of state unemployment rates above 8 percent, shows that the minimum wage does not kill jobs. Indeed the states in our simple analysis had job growth slightly above the national average." [...]

"All the studies came to the same conclusion—that raising the minimum wage had no effect on employment."
Bonito hamaneser preciosa mañana y un hermoso DIA mchs Bendiciones * * * ciento mchs dejarles saber k yo no se inglés y xese motivo tengo k salir me * xk tdos las cartas no las en tiendo * * * buen dia ptdos mchs BENDICIONES DLB
When the gas went way up the cost of living went up period, when it cost more to live then you should have a higher min wage, people have more money they spend it, when they spend it the economy gets better
To the guy who thinks they would raise prices to cover the pay wage they all ready did that when gas prices went up a year ago....but no wage increase see how they got away with that
It is crazy...that people think the people who cook the Food you eat and serve you when you need it, deserve less than the girl our guy who makes the phone calls to tell you that you owe them for a past billit seems the harder the labor the lower the wage the less u do physically the more you get paid
No, it isn't actually supply and demand. Higher paid professions have significant barriers to entry that are rarely beat simply by hard work and skill. Usually college or university degrees are required and those are notably expensive. The pretense that people from poor economic conditions can beat those barriers is crap; social mobility in the U.S. is notably poorer than it is in the E.U.

The pretense that there isn't a massive advantage given to people born to families with the financial resources to set them up in life is bullshit. Using your relative social position as an excuse to kick-down and sneer at people earning less may result in harsh negative consequences when opportunities for payback arise. 
+Geoff Owren Just keep on worshipping Mammon and pretending you've earned what you were given. Don't mind us little people we're going to fuck you over every chance we get.  
So demanding a living wage is "shitting on the rich?" Nice.

Hey, keep up with the attitude; it's going to help the Left in the long run. Most people, meaning most voters, are going to be working for wages. Their children and extended families are going to be working for wages. They understand that a minimum wage job does not pay for enough educational opportunity to not be concerned about where the bottom is. 

So they'll vote against you, and you'll lose; again. 
Still not moving off "I've got mine fuck you" are you? You're superior and the poor have to suffer their lot? Is that it? Except you'll whine like a little girl if the poor take that same attitude towards your person and your possessions. 

The law is for me and not for thee is not a recipe for a society but rather a recipe for ongoing social disruption. 
It seems you've made 2 assumptions....that I am uneducated...wrong, and that everyone who goes to college deserves a huge salery.

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If you don't think dishwashers as important as surgeons then you don't know shit about the biology of infectious diseases. It's easily arguable that the most important job in a hospital is the janitors. If they don't do their job correctly staph thrives and all the surgeons are doing is opening patients up to get infected. 

But it's ok with you that the dishwasher and the janitor aren't paid enough to live in clean apartments so that the surgeon can own four houses. Nothing wrong with that at all in your book. 
Oh yeah....people make lots of money on the system

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Bickering like this won't resolve anything. 

+Geoff Owren It seems to me that you believe that if people work harder, they will be more prosperous. 

The fact is that the existing organization of the economy actually prevents people from being fairly and honestly rewarded for their work. During the recent recession, a lot of honest people doing honest work lost their jobs through no fault of their own, and struggle to find opportunities that will reward them for an honest day's work. Many more lost their homes, or were forced into bankruptcy due to inhumane health care costs. For most people, these circumstances come through no fault of their own, yet they suffer through poverty conditions because the system is so bitterly turned against them. 

You want to blame the people who suffer under a cruel system, as if your added cruelty were any help at all. You also want to think that whatever success you enjoy has come solely through your own hard work, and not through the systemic and institutional privileges you enjoy. Not everyone has been as lucky to have the opportunities you have had, or had the luck to avoid the economic and humanitarian crisis that is gripping the entire world. If you think hard work alone is responsible for your successes, you are simply wrong. 

All people deserve just compensation for their labor, and the minimum wage is clearly an example where the compensation is dramatically out of line with the value of the labor. I simply can't understand why you'd want to yell and chastise the people who are being unfairly compensated, instead of demanding changes to the system that is keeping them in bondage. 

Frankly, it makes you an asshole. You are a living example of the corrupting inhumanity of money, of how capitalism turns people against themselves. 
Well said +Daniel Estrada. Unfortunately people also face the problem of moving goalposts. People can train for years and develop skills in jobs that simply cease to exist. Injury or illness can render the training a person has moot. Market demand for a product that was wanted five years ago can vanish. Ask any house builder. 

Robotics and automation eliminate jobs entirely. When's the last time you've talked to a telephone operator? We don't actually talk to people most times we call a business anymore. The pretense that there is even enough paying work for ever person willing and able to work can't be supported. The people who do have work should at the very least be able to live a decent life. 
Daniel I believe the problem with min wage is correct...way too low and unfortunately some people are living on it right now...or should I say trying...and what is the average CEO's compensation?? 500 - 1000 x that of their employees? Hostess goes bankrupt last week and the BK judge makes sure all the CEOs get bonuses!

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I did...going back ASAP...for a good Union Job hopefully...iron worker...thinking about administration just seems to be a younger mans field I'm 42 gotta think about a retirement someday....and not the old lifeboat 401k that always seems to get tapped into.

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As I look down through the comments there is one unifying idea that in some way shape or form seem to keep sneaking it's way in to almost everyone's statement. It is the obvious issue with raising min. wage and the ensueing rise in the cost of living, as well as everything else. Well, the only way it could be raised without everything else going up is if the government were to step in and pass a law making it illegal for any company to raise their price more than "X %" of minimum wage. It could be done, it would work, and is in practice (in another form) in other countries. It's called communism. It's what happened with our auto industry not too long ago when the government stepped in. Think on that a while, I've got to get back to work. :-)
+Vince Miller Interesting, you've conflated paying a living wage with communism. Either you're completely ignorant about labor history from 1930 to present, you're clueless about communism or both. I'm voting both. 

Let's compare this to the Republican Party Platform of 1956, at the height of communism's power. 

"In addition, the Eisenhower Administration has enforced more vigorously and effectively than ever before, the laws which protect the working standards of our people." 
"Furthermore, the process of free collective bargaining has been strengthened by the insistence of this Administration that labor and management settle their differences at the bargaining table without the intervention of the Government." 
"The Eisenhower Administration will continue to fight for dynamic and progressive programs which, among other things, will:"

"Stimulate improved job safety of our workers, through assistance to the States, employees and employers;"

"Continue and further perfect its programs of assistance to the millions of workers with special employment problems, such as older workers, handicapped workers, members of minority groups, and migratory workers;"

"Strengthen and improve the Federal-State Employment Service and improve the effectiveness of the unemployment insurance system;"

"Protect by law, the assets of employee welfare and benefit plans so that workers who are the beneficiaries can be assured of their rightful benefits;"

"Assure equal pay for equal work regardless of Sex;"

"Clarify and strengthen the eight-hour laws for the benefit of workers who are subject to federal wage standards on Federal and Federally-assisted construction, and maintain and continue the vigorous administration of the Federal prevailing minimum wage law for public supply contracts;"

"Extend the protection of the Federal minimum wage laws to as many more workers as is possible and practicable;"

_"Continue to fight for the elimination of discrimination in employment because of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry or sex;"

"Provide assistance to improve the economic conditions of areas faced with persistent and substantial unemployment;"

"Revise and improve the Taft-Hartley Act so as to protect more effectively the rights of labor unions, management, the individual worker, and the public. The protection of the right of workers to organize into unions and to bargain collectively is the firm and permanent policy of the Eisenhower Administration. In 1954, 1955 and again in 1956, President Eisenhower recommended constructive amendments to this Act. The Democrats in Congress have consistently blocked these needed changes by parliamentary maneuvers. The Republican Party pledges itself to overhaul and improve the Taft-Hartley Act along the lines of these recommendations."

From what I'm reading here it looks like the Republican Party thought that strong wages were an important bulwark in the fight against communism. Now, modern republicans seem to think that strong wages are communism. 

How the mighty have fallen. 
For those of you that want to build a machine to turn the gear ... you just built yourself out of your minimum wage job...if a machine can do it they don't need to pay you to do it... that. Has happened all over the world machines can. Do the work so less people need to get paid 
Translate them eat cake

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+Chris D Everybody in the U.S. gets taxed. 
In january when you file your taxes you could get most or all of your taxed income back as refund, depending on your total income for the year.

A lot of people complain about paying taxes or say things like "my tax dollars pay for _____" when in reality they get everything back and didn't actually pay anything.
+Chris D Yeah the government gets to use our money for a year but it also acts as a forced savings account. Some people will voluntarily pay more taxes than they need to throughout the year so they can get an extra fat refund check the next year. A lot of cars and big screen TVs are bought with the "Tax Check".
P Hazel
Minimum Wage...Here we go: Minimum Wage should be raised in your country for two specific reasons. 1: Because it gives a semblance of fairness. 2: Because most of the money that people on Minimum Wage is recirculated through the economy, this in turn makes it possible for shops and manufacturers to make profit...It's the circle of life. When people with heaps of money decide that they are the only folks who should have any money, then suddenly there is no one else that can sustain the money and the value of money that they have. The right wing does  not seem to understand this at all. They go on and on about "Job creators" and how they cannot afford to pay higher wages and how they should have privileged tax status...Basically the problem is basic human greed.
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