Interpretations:Minimum Wage

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A song about minimum wage, basically. In its lyrical sparsity and duration of under a minute, it could have been written by someone receiving minimum wage: you get what you pay for. The whipcrack serves to underline the idea of wage slavery. This is at ninety degrees to a protest song.

There's not much to analyze in Minimum Wage, but I've always found it an interesting song. The initial whipcrack, I feel, equates to the sudden shock of how awful a minimum wage job is, and the above reference to wage slavery is dead on. The rest of the song, with its sort of fifties "Enter the Wonderful World of Minimum Wage", low-rent celebratory music, reflects the Muzak of low-paying convenience stores and the false advertisement we receive about the wonders of the working world. Its short span might be indicative of the high turnover most minimum wage jobs have.

The Whipcrack is definitely a reference to slavery. -Walrus

While I think the whipcrack is a good symbolic reference to slavery, I always think of an old Western when I hear it, especially when I hear the "hee-ya!"

It's a bizarre song. I'm not gonna lie, but it's really weird. But I like it. =) It's about having a job you don't like, and having... um... minimum wage? Yeah. Sure. --Lemita 19:43, 4 Apr 2006 (CDT)

I must say that this song is brilliantly clever. I formerly worked retail as a cashier (not for minimum wage, mind you, but close enough), and I can tell you that this song accurately portrays working in a retail setting. The crack of the whip does carry a connotation of slavery, and it reflects the way retail management treats their employees: making them work long hours, forcing them to take garbage from customers while refusing to deal with it themselves, claiming insubordination when employees even slightly contradict their ideas. While not like the stereotypical cheesy 50s-era elevator muzak in the song, the background music in the store is mediocre and repetitive. (Why can they never pick GOOD songs?) While the song is only 47 seconds long and has only two words, they packed a lot of meaning into it: retail work stinks.

Uh, "MINIMUM WAGE!" That's what it'd about. Oh And "HE-YA!" "WHOOPSH (my best attempt at typing the sound of a whip)" Pretty Much --Dunklekuh81

More like "MINIMUM WAGE! HI-YAH! WHA-PISH!" -Salioshy

I think it's an homage (consciously or not) to The Residents' work of that time. Check out the track "Ober" from 1989's "Cube E: The History Of American Music In Three E-Z Pieces"

This song describes my entire career. -Ms F

It's pretty funny, this song. Though it has nothing to do with slavery. The hyah! is supposed to be a reference to driving cattle

I think this song is from the point of view of a person who was unemployed and just about totally out of money. He (or she) finally gets an offer for a job and is overjoyed (hence the music). The job is a minimum wage job. The whip represents the soul-crushing, back-braking physical slave-live labor associated with minimum wage jobs. Though, through the eyes of the new worker, it is wonderful to make any money at all.

Either that, or it is just a nonsensical song that has no point to it whatsoever. - DidgeGuy 12/9/09

The whipcrack followed by music always makes me imagine the singer driving a chariot pulled by twenty-something wage slaves...

All this song says is as follows:MINIMUM WAGE IS SLAVERY

Minimum wage is NOT slavery. --The Mayor of Cowtown (talk) 08:29, 8 April 2021 (EDT)

I can agree with most of the other interpretations, but I wanted to add my two cents, and here they are: Upon one of my earliest listenings of this track, I did not note the time and just was listening to the music. As the song continued, it felt like it was building up as some sort of introduction to a more expanded song, and then just abruptly ends. In this manner, it stood out to me as reflecting on how discouraging it is to work for a minimum wage job (much like another interpretation given). I feel this also has a significant meaning today (1/12/2022). The above interpretation is further emphasized under the climate where many (older) folks believe a minimum wage job should be an entry-level job or for the unskilled, when many of the minimum wage jobs are actually filled by adults that have been working the position for years. The current pandemic adds the cherry on top. For reference, this is presented from an American's perspective.