This is Spinal Tap


In the Rob Reiner film, “This is Spinal Tap” we are treated to a hilarious parody of a British rock band.  There is a scene where the band, “Spinal Tap”, is attempting to explain why the volume knobs on their amplifiers go not to 10, but to 11.

It goes like this:

Nigel Tufnel: The numbers all go to eleven. Look, right across the board, eleven, eleven, eleven and…
Marty DiBergi: Oh, I see. And most amps go up to ten?
Nigel Tufnel: Exactly.
Marty DiBergi: Does that mean it’s louder? Is it any louder?
Nigel Tufnel: Well, it’s one louder, isn’t it? It’s not ten. You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at ten. You’re on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you’re on ten on your guitar. Where can you go from there? Where?
Marty DiBergi: I don’t know.
Nigel Tufnel: Nowhere. Exactly. What we do is, if we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do?
Marty DiBergi: Put it up to eleven.
Nigel Tufnel: Eleven. Exactly. One louder.
Marty DiBergi: Why don’t you just make ten louder and make ten be the top number and make that a little louder?
Nigel Tufnel: [pause] These go to eleven.

This is in essence the current discussion about minimum wage. The government, contrary to the opinion of all Democrats and even some Republicans (are you listening, Arnold?) does not set the minimum wage. The job market does. Currently, the job market is paying above minimum wage as set by Congress and other state governments, with rare exceptions.

This is from the Employment Policies Institute website:

““According to U.S. Census Bureau data, fully 85% of employees in The United States whose wages would be increased by the proposed minimum wage hike either live with their parents or another relative, live alone, or have a working spouse. Just 15% are sole earners in families with children, and each of these sole earners has access to supplemental income through Earned Income Tax Credit.”

And here is some data to consider for the US Bureau of Labor Statistics on the “Chatacteristics of Minimum Wage Workers“:

“According to Current Population Survey estimates for 2004, some 73.9 million American workers were paid at hourly rates, representing 59.8 percent of all wage and salary workers. Of those paid by the hour, 520,000 were reported as earning exactly $5.15, the prevailing Federal minimum wage, and another 1.5 million were reported earning wages below the minimum. Together, these 2.0 million workers with wages at or below the minimum made up 2.7 percent of all hourly-paid workers.”

Despite these statistics, you hear politicians from both sides of the political aisle bemoaning the fact that “the minimum wage has not been increased by Congress in over 10 years”. You also hear the phrase, “living wage”. Which brings up the point of what that actual wage would be, and which standard of living is the benchmark. Paris Hilton’s standard of what would keep her in Gucci is not going to be the same standard for a housewife living in Nebraska. Unless maybe she’s married to Warren Buffett.

But, my point about a “living wage” is that, in the common vernacular, it often means a standard of a family who owns their home, has multiple automobiles in the driveway, plenty of state-of-the-art phones, IPODs, flat panel TV’s and etc. and who somehow feel this “American Dream” is owed them by the taxpaying public, even if they don’t possess the marketable job skills to earn it.

My next blog will be an expansion of this topic, highlighting a recent area of attack on capitalism from Congress and the liberal left on companies that “don’t allow their employees to “earn a living wage”. In other words, the ones grounded in the reality that painting an ‘11’ over a ‘10’ doesn’t change a thing.


2 Responses to “This is Spinal Tap”

  1. Nick Says:

    You’ve touched a sore spot Smart. Yes, far too many people think they are owed a living simply because they exist. What the socialist left has led people to believe is that they shoud have the same buying power as those that EARN it on their ability to perform a skill. No skill, and especially no will to learn a skill, should not be a ticket to the same level of luxury as some one who went to school, worked his way up the ladder of earnings increases, and made a contribution to society by being a part of the economic growth of the nation. Raising the minimum wage is a false promise that is lost on the left because manufacturers or retailers will simply raise the price of good/services to compensate for the 2.7% of workers this would falsley benefit. And then we all lose. IMO.

  2. jambomb Says:

    do you mind if i comment here?

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