Friday, August 7, 2015

Friday Tunes: I Still Got a Finger

This week’s installment of labour themes in popular music is Blake Shelton’s “I Still Got a Finger.” Songs giving voice to workers’ frustration with the boss are not uncommon, such as “Take this Job and Shove It” (the video for this link is fairly funny).

Lyrically what is interesting about this song is that it talks about nepotism in the workplace. The singer notes he has been “Putting up with that prick of an owner’s son” and that he was “Helping his daddy stay rich”. When the son demands he work overtime (after already working through his lunch), the singer give shim the one-finger salute.

A few years back, the Huffington Post ran an interesting article examining nepotism as a strategy the wealthy use to maintain inter-generational advantage. Based on an academic study, as income increases, so too does the chance of a son working at the same firm as his father at some poit, a phenomenon that spikes for the top 1% of income earners.

And sons who work at different firms than their fathers have a higher chance of falling out of the top income strata than sons who do work at such firms. Possibly nepotism provides some sort of income advantage (do you think?). An alternative explanation is that nepotism provides no significant advantage and instead there is a selection effect: capable sons are chosen for jobs in the family business and less capable sons are moved out of the family business. I’m inclined towards the first explanation (although these explanations are not mutually exclusive), based on my own observations.

Well it must've been 100 in that summer sun
And I've been in it all day
Putting up with that prick of an owner's son
Making me some hillbilly pay

Working right through lunch, busting my hump
Helping his daddy stay rich
So when he kept me behind to pull some overtime
I told that little son of a bitch

[Chorus 1]
Hey I've been punching your clock, giving all I got
Putting up with your pain in the rear
Adios, I'm done, you can find me son
Between a hottie and an ice cold beer

[Chorus 2]
Hey I've been breaking my hump but it's never enough
Ain't a part of me that doesn't hurt
Hey but lucky for me you can easily see
I still got a finger that works

Yea I've been dragging home almost every night
'Bout the time that you're going out
Wearing something way too short and tight
Leaving me and the dog on a couch

Yea, now word's getting round you've been sneaking downtown
Dancing way too risky
Well I got a few dirty dance moves too
And a cute little one finger wave

[Chorus 1]
[Chorus 2]

Here it comes

[Chorus 1]
[Chorus 2]

Oh yea
Yes I do
Look at that thing
You know you're number one, baby

-- Bob Barnetson

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