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.
read that, again. (via fridaynights-citylights)
- I am completely and totally overwhelmed with my schedule
- I am on tumblr/imgur instead of working on the three weeks of French homework I didn’t get around to doing
- My birthday was a bit of a fiasco
- At least my balsamic brussel sprouts, (newly delivered, since no store in CoMO carries it…) buckwheat cereal, and tiny, adorable, evil ball of fluff are making me feel better.
— A Somali student, on what has surprised her most about the United States. (via 33113)
- How mad would boyfriend be if I spent all of tomorrow night singing Taylor Swift’s 22?
- I’m turning 22 tomorrow.
Every now and then I forget that an ex’s little sister and I have the same birthday. Regrettably, I will not be going to her party, as I have a party of my own to attend.
My fat self busted the zipper on my jeans. My rushed self took a turn too fast, clipped a wheel on the curb, and now has a busted wheel/axel/hubcap.
Who wants to make my week worse? Busting my arm would be a nice addition.
Despite knowing for three weeks that I have a puppy, it still feels like I’m on an extended pet-sitting voyage. This (increasingly less) tiny beast does not feel like she’s mine. Yes, she follows me around. Yes, she listens to me. Yes, she sleeps in my room. Yes, she occasionally poops on my floor. But how is this little cutie actually mine?
The news: A new scientific study from Princeton researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page has finally put some science behind the recently popular argument that the United States isn’t a democracy any more. And they’ve found that in fact, America is basically an oligarchy.
An oligarchy is a system where power is effectively wielded by a small number of individuals defined by their status called oligarchs. Members of the oligarchy are the rich, the well connected and the politically powerful, as well as particularly well placed individuals in institutions like banking and finance or the military.
For their study, Gilens and Page compiled data from roughly 1,800 different policy initiatives in the years between 1981 and 2002. They then compared those policy changes with the expressed opinion of the United State public. Comparing the preferences of the average American at the 50th percentile of income to what those Americans at the 90th percentile preferred, as well as the opinions of major lobbying or business groups, the researchers found out that the government followed the directives set forth by the latter two much more often.
It’s beyond alarming. As Gilens and Page write, “the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.” In other words, their statistics say your opinion literally does not matter.
That might explain why mandatory background checks on gun sales supported by 83% to 91% of Americans aren’t in place, or why Congress has taken no action on greenhouse gas emissions even when such legislation is supported by the vast majority of citizens.
This problem has been steadily escalating for four decades. While there are some limitations to their data set, economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez constructed income statistics based on IRS data that go back to 1913. They found that the gap between the ultra-wealthy and the rest of us is much bigger than you would think…