Almost two weeks ago, Greg Mankiw posted this image, calling it "not completely fair, but funny nonetheless." I saw several follow up posts in my reader, including an entertaining caption contest post by John Cochrane. Cochrane's caption, "When you're done, another half box will magically appear on the wall."
In unrelated news, Steve Landsburg wrote a post today about "Triumphs of Capitalism" in which he offers evidence of our abundant wealth (by historical standards) by pointing to recent innovations that are so frivolous that we could only afford them if we were wealthy. His second example, The Useless Machine, struck me as a capital-intensive video version of Mankiw's comic.
To modify Cochrane's caption from Mankiw's comic, "In case of nothing to do, flip switch and the machine will turn itself off."
If you were wondering, you can have such a machine for $30 (Canadian Dollars), plus the time it takes to assemble it. Their website claims having sold over 14,000 Useless Machine assembly kits.