This article is not here to blast the show. I find it hilarious from time to time. But I wanted to name something after SpongeBob and apply it to real life.
Here is what I got.
The thesis of this article is that SpongeBob teaches us that we need to increase our country’s minimum wage.
SpongeBob is a beacon of happiness in a cynical world. His idol is a senile old man running around with his equally lost sidekick. His best friend literally lives under a rock. His boss is the most frugal man in existence and is manipulative as all fuck. His obstructionist neighbor does everything in his power to hold him back just cause. Remember when SpongeBob discovered he has the super human ability to produce priceless artwork in seconds?
Yet despite living with these obstacles I applaud SpongeBob for finding genuine happiness with his friends.
However, despite SpongeBob being an animated sponge living under the ocean and working as a fry cook, the portion of the show that I find most unrealistic is his living condition. So let me get this straight, even working for the cheapest man the universe has ever seen, SpongeBob is able to afford a multi-story, single family home all on his own. Not only that, he is able to afford the maintenance charges of owning and taking care of a pet (vet visits, food, etc.). This is the most unbelievable part of the show in my opinion. In the United States minimum wage can barely afford an apartment. Sure, you can get by, but barely.
The SpongeBob Effect is dangerous because it shows the delusional universe where even the unemployed own a home. I mean, what does Patrick do? And how can he afford a television. How does Squidward have a mansion on a cashier paycheck? And how is the Chum Bucket still in business when it took like 10 years for it to get a customer?
Today, two truths are becoming abundantly clear. One, not everyone can afford college. And two, not going to college will most likely lock you into low wage employment and a poor standard of living. The average cost of a public school bachelor’s degree is a little over $23,000. The same data reveals the average cost of text books is over $1,000 and room and board can pass $9,000 easily. To make matters worse, what used to be a four year degree has now expanded to an average of six years because students cannot afford to be full time. They have to work in order to afford there studies. That is a lot of debt for an 18 year old to take on fresh out of high school. Yes, there are options like community college and scholarships. But tuition seems to only increase, while the jobs available to students remain at a minimum wage that can barely afford them rent and groceries. Are you starting to catch my drift? It is very difficult to work your way out of minimum wage, because you need a degree. And it is damn near impossible to earn one of those on a minimum wage salary.
According to PEW, without a college degree, you are lucky to earn $30,000 a year. Where the same study revealed a college degree can earn you well into the $40,000 dollar mark (on average around 45). That means in less than a decade, a college grad will have easily earned $100,000 more than a person who struggled to get a degree due to financial obstructions.
So yes, the SpongeBob effect is very real and it is calling to us. This country needs an increase in minimum wage. Did you know, despite dealing with inflation, rapidly growing bull markets, and violently declining bear markets, congress has only voted to raise the minimum wage 3 times in the last half century. That’s pretty bold of an obstructionist congress that is paid $174,000 annually to block legislation from the opposite aisle. Their salaries are public knowledge and paid by taxes. All you need to do is google congressional salary pay and you can find the annual income of each representative.
The SpongeBob Effect: Our Need to raise the national minimum wage.