In Pittsburgh and elsewhere, one of the lies of “affordable housing” is that it’s fair to tie the price of rent to an area’s median income. But as a neighborhood gentrifies, its median income increases, pushing rents ever higher. Linking rent to minimum wage makes more sense, which in Pennsylvania is a risible $7.25 per hour.
Minimum Wage Machine provides an opportunity to experience how very arduous it is to sell one’s time and labor for such a paltry sum. You can turn the crank for an hour (if your arm doesn’t give out on you before then), and see what a pile of 725 pennies actually looks like, and feel how much personal energy it consumes and how taxing it is on the spirit. While cranking you can also meditate on the likely possible futures for wage workers and their families in places where the lawful minimum wage and actual living wage are disparate truths.
Read the article at RED WEDGE