Minimum Wage

Rep. Rashida Tlaib Wants a $20 Minimum Wage for Tipped Workers. That Would Likely Destroy the Restaurant Industry.

The Democratic congresswoman said that people cannot live off tips. People who live off tips beg to differ.

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Days after the House passed a bill to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D–Mich.)—a member of the much-embattled "Squad" targeted by Pres. Trump—upped the ante: "Now I think it should be $20," she said.

Tlaib was addressing an event spearheaded by the Restaurant Opportunities Center of Michigan and One Fair Wage, two organizations pushing for a higher minimum base pay for restaurant industry workers. While a $20 minimum wage would be problematic for a range of businesses, the restaurant industry, in particular, stands to lose the most from such proposals.

Employees at food and drink establishments typically work on a "tipped wage," an hourly base rate that is lower than the minimum wage. Those workers can make up the rest of the hourly minimum wage in tips; if gratuities fail to bring an employee's earnings to the equivalent of the minimum wage, employers are required to make up the difference. If employees make more than the hourly minimum wage in tips, they get to keep the extra income.

Not only does this model of pay give waitstaff the chance to accrue earnings above and beyond the minimum wage, but it also allows restaurants of every variety to stay above water. In an industry with profit margins around 6 percent, employees who make a lot of tips also help keep the doors open and the stoves running.

The federal tipped minimum is currently $2.13 an hour. Tlaib's proposal, which amounts to an increase of almost 940 percent, would spell trouble for many dining establishments, particularly those of the mom and pop variety, some of which would require a miracle to comply with Tlaib's proposal and stay in business. A recent study released by two researchers from Harvard University's Business School concluded that a median-rated restaurant on Yelp (3.5 stars) was 14 percent more likely to close with each additional dollar added to the tipped wage.

Some will obviously be fortunate enough to remain open—but many of their employees may not be so fortunate. Take Manhattan, for instance, which recently hiked the city's tipped wage to $10 an hour. A corresponding survey released by the NYC Hospitality Alliance found that, in response to that increase, 75 percent of full-service establishments will cut employee hours in 2019, and 47 percent will eliminate jobs entirely.

And those jobs will likely belong to the most vulnerable economic group: those with the lowest skills, who, on paper, are supposed to benefit from minimum wage increases. A 2015 study from the University of Washington shows that restaurants subjected to tipped wage hikes do away with the more menial positions in favor of high-skilled labor.

"A server can bus their own table, but you can't ask a busboy to open a bottle of wine and talk about what it can be paired with," Susannah Koteen, who runs Lido Restaurant in Harlem, told CBS News in January.

The battle over tipped wages isn't new, with similar fights having been waged in Seattle, Washington, and Maine, among other cities and states across the country. Washington, D.C., entered the fray last summer when activists—spearheaded by the Restaurant Opportunities Center and One Fair Wage—passed Initiative 77, which, had it been implemented, would have eliminated the tipped wage entirely in the District. (The initiative passed at the ballot box, but was overturned by the D.C. Council after an outcry from service industry professionals who objected to the law.)

"There seems to be this myth going around that most tipped employees in restaurants aren't earning a livable wage; after 13 years in the industry, this baffles me completely," wrote Ryan Aston, a local bartender, in a Washington Post op-ed. "I earn roughly $45 an hour with tips included; I don't know a single server or bartender in the District whose wages have to be supplemented because they haven't earned the minimum."

Regardless, Tlaib wants a one-size-fits-all approach, one that mandates a sky-high federal wage and fails to account for specific industry needs.

"People cannot live on those kind of wages, and I can't allow people to be living off tips, you know, relying on tips for wages. It's just not enough to support our families," Tlaib said at the event, dubbed "Server for an Hour." But if a proposal like Tlaib's were to pass, the workers she's advocating for may be out of work entirely.

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  1. People cannot live on those kind of wages, and I can’t allow people to be living off tips, you know, relying on tips for wages.

    Fuck you, you stupid bitch. That’s factually wrong and insulting to workers everywhere.

    This shit really pisses me off. She thinks she should be in a position to allow of disallow workers to choose an arrangement that works for them.

    1. She chooses for the workers out of love. Her people are rich, and yet she is poor. She is a river to her people.

      1. +1 Auda Abu Tayi

  2. Funny stuff!

  3. Pandering for votes and dumb as a box of rocks. What could go wrong?

  4. Just because Tlaib isn’t getting tips doesn’t mean others don’t.

    1. “Insert the motherfucker!”

    2. I’m thinking she had a job as a waitress once and she sucked at it, but decided that her experience was typical.

      1. It was tough call between that, and “people didn’t tip me because they are racist”

        1. How about people didn’t tip her because she comes across as an angry, ignorant, nasty person?

          1. Comes across? All evidence points to her actually being an angry, ignorant, nasty person.

      2. She has a job as a congress critter and sucks at it, which is typical.

  5. “… and I can’t allow people…”

    Fucking totalitarian statist. Eat a hand grenade.

    1. That’s much worse than “Go back”

      1. How? Not even a tinge of racial or ethnic slander. Unless their is some racial context to hand grenades that I don’t know about.

        1. Silly moi, I forgot: racist microaggressions are worse than murder

    2. I volunteer to serve her said grenade, and you don’t have to tip me!

      1. Manager, speaking to me: Uh, we need you to bus table 8. Someone over there tried to eat a hand grenade.
        Me: Aw, m-a-a-a-n…

        1. I had to clean something like that once when I was working at a movie theater. Except it was more like they had shat a hand grenade… I still wonder how they got it on the ceiling.

  6. “A server can bus their own table, but you can’t ask a busboy to open a bottle of wine and talk about what it can be paired with,” Susannah Koteen, who runs Lido Restaurant in Harlem, told CBS News in January.

    Sure you can. Just get Tlaib to sponsor a bill to that effect.

    1. How about the ServBot 3000? More importantly – Can you buy cocaine off those later in the parking lot?

      1. Maybe a rogue bending unit?

  7. Why does she want to make dining out inaccessible to the poor? I’m pretty sure the folks splashing a few hundred dollars at posh restaurants won’t give a gnat’s ass.

    1. She also wants to take away waiting tables as an option for low-skill and/or teenage workers

      1. That makes sense, she probably wants them all to run up $100k in debt for a PhaitchD in Etruscan Cultural History in hopes that the coming “no consequences, bad choice” student load bailouts will make them feel beholden to those who provided them with such graft.

  8. Living off tips can get you elected to Congress, and make you the new face of your party, according to the captain of her Squad

    1. I’m hoping enough Leone but up some so we can finally send all the progs back. Even if they didn’t come from there.

      1. I’m hoping someone shoves you back up the butt you crawled out from. Another useless, vapid comment. Nice work.

  9. Waiting tables is one of those things that everybody thinks is easy and simple and anybody can do it. Which is true, but try it one time and you’ll realize there’s a huge difference between doing something and doing something well. If you can’t make enough money on tips, it’s a good indicator that you’re not very good at your job. Get better and you can move up to better restaurants and make better money.

    I’ve got a brother-in-law that’s been a waiter all his life who currently works at a pretty fancy restaurant where $300 is a shitty night and a grand isn’t out of the question. But he busts his ass, he knows his shit and he’s as unctuous and oily and servile a waiter as you’d see in one of those 1940’s movies. He didn’t learn that in a week working at the IHOP.

  10. I’d like her to answer “Why $20?”

    Isn’t $100 an hour WAY more of a living wage? I’m betting inflation won’t hit hard when the cost of everything has to increase massively to cover big jumps in wages.

    Why not say everybody gets $1M a year? That seems quite livable to me.

    1. This exactly. The labor market for $20 per hour minimum wage means experienced employees get preference and hours get cut. At $100 per hour it’s one person waiting on tables when there were five so your dining experience may suffer. At $1 million per year we are all Italians spending liras.

      1. Or Venezuelans trying to buy – anything really.

  11. All this recurring shit about minimum wage, and we have yet to hear about the coming companion socialist programs: mandatory hiring and price controls.

    Because only an ignorant slut like Tlaib can imagine a world where the cost of providing a restaurant meal exceeds the revenue but a simple legal edict means the business can continue to survive.

  12. Rashida Tlaib is a fucking retard. Creationists aren’t this stupid. Not that we need to choose between them, but wouldn’t it be better to make kids pray in school than to suffer a retard like Rashida Tlaib planning the economy?

    1. Are you suggesting that faith in socialism isn’t religious zealotry of the worst kind? It’s just a matter of who you’re praying to for miracles.

      1. There’s more reason to believe that there’s a God who can answer our prayers than there is to believe that Rashida Tlaib is all-knowing and all powerful enough to plan our economy–especially after she serves up a knee slapper like this. She couldn’t run a hot dog stand!

    2. These people believe in the Intelligent Design of the Economy. Just like Creationists unable to believe that life could arise without a designer, proggies (and most conservatives as well) can’t imagine an economy working without explicit hands on micromanagement by the government. An unplanned market is simply inconceivable.

      I once got accosted by a college proggie telling me that the free market could not work, and during the course of the short conversation he told me that the government planned grocery delivery truck routes. That was the only way groceries could get to stores for customers to buy groceries. He literally said. I was stunned. This guy was so out of touch with the most basic of realities that I was unable to respond to the magnitude of his stupidity.

  13. I tended bar in Kansas City, MO, for the last year of architecture school and the first couple of years after I graduated, because the pay was so much better than what was offered at entry level in my chosen profession.

    After I got a job in my field, I still tended bar on the weekends for the first few years, to supplement my salaried career job. It was still probably 3-5 years after I quit bartending before I was making more doing my current job that I was while tending bar. I’m still not making more per hour, even though I’m making more in total, because tending bar is usually a 30-hour work week, or less.

    1. Which job had more banging of coworkers?

      1. Despite what Hollywood would have you believe, Architects don’t get to bang hot chicks all the time.

  14. There are servers who get tips but clear less than $10/hr?

    That sucks.

    1. There are servers who get tips but clear less than $10/hr?

      I doubt it. That hasn’t been true in at least 25 years.

    2. At Sonic

  15. funny, I thought the left thought of themselves as the champions of the people.

    why do they want to cause so many of them to become unemployed and poor?

    1. I wonder…

    2. Easy solution. Just get rid of the left.

  16. “It’s just not enough to support our families,” Tlaib said at the event”

    So? The world’s ending in twelve years. What kind of selfish fuck is raising a family anymore these days? And what kind of retard is it, who’s attempting to enable them to try?

    1. Climate change: 12 years to save the planet? Make that 18 months

      Now it seems, there’s a growing consensus that the next 18 months will be critical in dealing with the global heating crisis, among other environmental challenges.

      You just can’t make this shit up. But they can.

        1. What I like about these shortening times is reducing how long we have to wait to point at them and laugh.

          Oh wait …. we’ve already been doing that.

          What I like about these shortening times is not having to stop pointing and laughing at them.

  17. Simple solution. Have this tool open a restraurn with her own money and pay servers an absurd wage out of her operation. Take her a week what Bernie just realized. $30 burgers don’t sell.

    1. The waitstaff will be able to buy them. Problem solved!

  18. Federal minimum wage is unconstitutional.

    1. +1000000

  19. Democratic Waitress screams — “Do you not realize how expensive insurance costs on my Ferrari!!!!”

  20. One more thing…

    Don’t accommodate progressives, ever- Exhibit A:

    Days after the House passed a bill to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D–Mich.) … upped the ante: “Now I think it should be $20,” she said.

    You got what you wanted, now you want more? Go fuck yourself.

  21. Behold the self-declared “Woman of Color”… the color “white” in this case.

  22. She’s one of the dumbest people in Congress.

    1. Be fair. She is one of many dumb people in Congress.

  23. It depends on where you work. If you work at a high end restaurant or club, you can make a lot in tips. If you work at IHOP, Waffle House, Denny’s or any restaurant that isn’t consistently busy, you might not make minimum wage. While a restaurant is technically suopose to pay you the difference, I have never heard of anyone actually getting money if tips did not exceed minimum wage.
    The tipped base wage of $2.13 needs to be higher. It hasn’t been raised in 40 years it should be at least $5.

    I think restaurants should be given incentives to move away from tipping. Few other countries require restaurant workers to live off tips. Even if you are in a restaurant where you usually get good tips, a snow storm, construction and any number of issues can make pay unpredictable.

    Some kind of minimum wage + profit sharing might be a good approach. Servers try to maximize tips, but working to maximize profits would mean servers would be more concerned about waste and efficiency, not just kissing ass of the customers that you think are good tippers.

    1. “I have never heard of anyone actually getting money if tips did not exceed minimum wage.”

      There are probably lots of things that happen, that you don’t hear about. The fact you didn’t hear about them doesn’t make them not so.

    2. You’re so full of good business advice, why don’t you open your own business and make a fortune out-performing competitors?

      Well, you’re full of something, slaver. Fuck off.

    3. You really think someone waiting tables at IHOP or Denny’s gives a squirt of piss how much profit the store is making? They’re just hoping the old farts, dumbass college students, and the rainbow coalition of church-goers that tend to visit these places don’t hose them on tips.

    4. “The tipped base wage of $2.13 needs to be higher. It hasn’t been raised in 40 years it should be at least $5.”

      Incorrect. Any price floor control of anything is a crime against sense and basic understandings of economics.

    5. Servers try to maximize tips, but working to maximize profits would mean servers would be more concerned about waste and efficiency

      Anyone know of any hourly wage worker that gives two shits about “waste and efficiency”?

    6. By that same reasoning, no one should be allowed to work on commission either … or even open their own business.

  24. dumb, ugly, and communist is no way to go through life, kid.

  25. […] Reason, Billy Binion explains just how devastating Tlaib’s “one size fits all approach” would be for restaurants, […]

  26. You wouldn’t pay $50 dollars for a burger and fries?

    1. I think politicians are confused because people pay for their $1,000-a-plate dinners all the time.

  27. UK Best Tutor is a preferred assignment help service with a focus on offering customized assignment help in any subject from any course.

  28. I’m all for encouraging people with severe intellectual deficits to hold down jobs, but why do they mostly take jobs in politics?

  29. Buying food at restaurants is usually too expensive for most poor families. It is usually not healthy food either, being fried, loaded with fat, salt or sugar, or worse, prepared from unsustainable livestock that contribute to global warming! It doesn’t have to be this way.

    Food is a right! The time for single payer food is NOW!

    How’d I do? =)

    1. Hmmm………not quite shrill or self righteous enough. But a good attempt.

    2. Stop using the generics, and go back on the brand name meds – – – – –

  30. If they had profit sharing at most mom and pop joints the servers would be paying the owners

  31. Honestly, I’m looking forward to servers being replaced by kiosks. I won’t have to tip and they’re less likely to get my order wrong. I won’t have to wait for them to come around and see that my drink needs a refill either. Sure, they won’t be able to make suggestions, but the internet is better for that anyway and there’s no guarantee that my server has good taste.

    I’m sort of joking, I would feel bad for any waiters and waitresses that would find themselves unemployed because of this. Also, that it would devastate a lot of small business owners and further the growth of soulless chain restaurants over hole-in-the-wall local spots.

  32. Has anyone in the press done background research on Restaurant Opportunities Center and One Fair Wage to see who is organizing and funding them?

    As noted, they swooped into D.C. with a ballot initiative to do away with a tipped wage for restaurant workers, without the local restaurant workers being consulted or even knowing about it.

  33. “But if a proposal like Tlaib’s were to pass, the workers she’s advocating for may be out of work entirely.”

    Feature, not bug. Also, am I the only one who suspects that Tlaib is Ms. Pink, and doesn’t “believe” in tipping.

  34. Democrats think they’re winning votes over from the poor with promises like this, but they’re ally only appealing to the unemployable college students in the victim studies department.

    The poor aren’t stupid. They know these laws are pricing them out of the market just so affluent liberals can feel warm and fuzzy when they curl up to sleep at night.

  35. My first minimum wage job was $1.60. So I worked 60 hour weeks all summer. Damn

  36. “People cannot live on those kind of wages, and I can’t allow people to be living off tips, you know, relying on tips for wages. It’s just not enough to support our families,” Tlaib said at the event, dubbed “Server for an Hour.” But if a proposal like Tlaib’s were to pass, the workers she’s advocating for may be out of work entirely.”

    Wow. Just wow.

    An illiberal, totalitarian ignoramus this dingbat.

    How in the world has America come to this point?

    ‘I can’t allow?’ Who the FUCK ARE YOU?

  37. federal minimum wage shouldn’t be.

  38. Everything is so terrible and unfair. 🙁

  39. Tlaib wants a $20 an hour minimum wage?
    Only if she reimburses all those people she and her ilk put out of business and made unemployed out of her own pocket.

  40. Destruction of the restaurant business is part of the plan. That industry is chock full of individual business owners, and good servers who get paid (tipped) according to how well they work. None of this is allowed in a worker’s paradise.

  41. The point of lefties is to make promises of anything and everything sound both plausible and moral. Once hitting oneself in the head with a hammer becomes the new rage you can count on the fingers of one hand how many seconds it will take so-called “progressives” to begin caviling for city, state, and federal tax dollars (i.e., your money) to be diverted to programs funding not only the purchase of hammers, but lessons in how to use them on one’s own head. For the people, of course. God love ’em!

  42. According to an annoying pop-up video window, Trump called Tlaib a lunatic. For once, he’s entirely correct.

  43. This congressperson is truly an idiot. Another “ finding a solution where there is no problem.” I remember working as a waiter early on and made really good money on my tips. it was a shared tip place and everyone made sure service was good and helped each other. I only left due to the hours on weekends.

  44. […] Nazi Germany, has said the Holocaust gives her “a calming feeling” and wants a $20 minimum wage for tipped workers. If nominated, would you consider her or the others who constitute “AOC+3” as your […]

  45. […] Nazi Germany, has said the Holocaust gives her “a calming feeling” and wants a $20 minimum wage for tipped workers. If nominated, would you consider her or the others who constitute “AOC+3” as your […]

  46. […] Rep. Rashida Tlaib Wants a $20 Minimum Wage for Tipped Workers. That Would Likely Destroy the Restau… Billy Binion, Reason […]

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