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Washington, D.C.’s Fight Over Restaurant Tips and Wages Is Coming to a City Near You

Cities like San Francisco and Seattle have already passed similar laws, and more states are currently evaluating the costs of doing the same.

Ingram Publishing/NewscomIngram Publishing/NewscomLast week, voters in Washington, D.C., approved Initiative 77—the proposal that will require bars and restaurants to raise the minimum wage for tipped employees from $3.33 an hour to $15 an hour. Let's hold off on popping the champagne.

Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC), an advocacy group made up of people who are not service industry professionals, spearheaded the charge to pass the measure. Diana Ramirez, D.C.'s ROC director, says that one fair wage would provide waitstaff with financial stability and reduce sexual harassment.

But if the "VOTE NO" signs were any indication, the vast majority of restaurants in the District opposed it. Perhaps more importantly, a great deal of servers publicly protested the proposition leading up to the vote, fearing decreased hours, reductions in staff, and closed storefronts. Tips allow local service professionals to earn far more than minimum wage, they said, and even if gratuities fall short, employers are required by law to make up the difference.

Essentially, the initiative attempts to fix something that is not broken.

The proposal sparked a heated national debate that isn't likely to end in the near future. It's true that politics in the District operate in the limelight, but the tipping quandary resonates because it's likely coming to a city or state near you—and soon.

Cosmopolitan centers like San Francisco and Seattle have already passed similar laws, and states like New York, Massachusetts, and Michigan are currently evaluating the costs of doing the same. What's more, it's on the Democratic Party's official platform. Expect it to color conversations surrounding pay inequity during presidential primaries.

The fight isn't over in the District, either, as the D.C. City Council can overturn or amend the initiative if they so choose. It's not out of the question—Maine overturned a similar measure, changing course after listening to the community's food-service workers. If not, the restaurant industry will implement the pay bump gradually, increasing the hourly rate about $1.50 every year until it lands at the prevailing $15 minimum wage in 2025.

Supporters of Initiative 77 touted results in California and Washington to sway voters in favor. The restaurant industries there are "booming," they said, so D.C. would be foolish not to fall in line. Right?

Wrong.

In the wake of Seattle's 2015 minimum wage hike, the University of Washington conducted a study to explore long-term effects. While the policy is still too young to definitively assess the total impact on restaurants, findings suggest that food-service establishments hit a proverbial fork in the road: switch to a counter-service model or make the place an extravagant dining experience. The former all but eliminates tipping, hampering staff opportunity to maximize income. The latter increases prices drastically for the consumer, turning a casual lunch outing into an elitist affair.

Somewhat puzzlingly, it also found that a significant portion of restaurant base wages surpassed $19 an hour, whereas positions paying the minimum plunged. That suggests an unfortunate trend: Many restauranteurs appear to be adapting to the higher wage requirements by prioritizing high-skill employees while kicking low-skill workers to the curb—the very people that Initiative 77 purports to help.

Meanwhile, over in San Francisco, researchers from Harvard analyzed the dining scene and found that for every additional dollar added to the tipped wage, there was an additional 14 percent chance that a median rated restaurant (3.5 stars on Yelp) would close. Those aren't great odds for mom-n-pop neighborhood staples—particularly of the hole-in-the-wall variety—many of which are located in the District's low-income areas.

Even still, the votes on Initiative 77 were polarized almost exclusively along these same income lines, with traditionally wealthier areas voting to reject, and poorer locales expressing approval. On Twitter, many lambasted the rich for their selfish vote. But if the Seattle and San Francisco anecdotes are any indication, low-skill workers and restaurants with fewer resources will be the first to suffer if and when this measure fully settles in.

Initiative 77 ResultsInitiative 77 Results

It's not untrue that eliminating the tip credit will negatively affect the consumer. Jamie Leeds, owner of Hank's Oyster Bar in D.C., told The Washington Post that her prices will increase 40 percent—double the cultural tipping norm—to effectively account for increased labor costs, payroll taxes, and insurance premiums.

But if a "No" vote on Initiative 77 truly worked against the interests of D.C. waitstaff, then it's peculiar that this same cohort led the charge against passing the proposition. Some anti-tipping advocates have accused the National Restaurant Association of brainwashing the cabal of servers and bartenders who opposed the measure, implying that the faction of people closest to the industry couldn't possibly understand what works best.

"Save our tips," they kept saying. If the final vote tally for Initiative 77 is any indication, that fell on deaf ears.

Photo Credit: Ingram Publishing/Newscom

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  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Proggies (claim to) understand that raising prices decreases demand, as when they raise taxes on things they don't like. But the laws of economics don't apply when raising the prices of things they do like; somehow that increases its attractiveness?

    (That does work in luxury markets. Bentley and Rolls Royce would get into a price war only if they were competing for the most expensive car. Celebrities wouldn't be caught dead with Gucci knockoffs.)

  • Jerryskids||

    I have to disagree with you, proggies really don't understand the supply/demand/price connection. Raising taxes on things has no connection to prices going up - witness the soda tax in Philly that they seriously intended retailers to pay and not consumers. Taxes are government's way of saying "You shouldn't want these things because they're bad for you" and that's what decreases demand. Obviously, if you're selling less of something you have to raise the price per unit to maintain your profits in the face of declining volume and that's what causes the price increase, not the taxes. (It's like with your Rolls Royce example - Rolls Royce has to charge a lot for their cars because they sell so few, it's not that they sell so few because they're so expensive.) Raising the minimum wage will make work more attractive and therefore there will be more people willing to work and this will increase employment numbers. It's really simple.

  • Jerryskids||

    Just as another example of proggies really not comprehending reality - I saw where the owner of the restaurant that kicked out Sarah Huckabee Sanders had this to say: "Absolutely, yes, I would have done the same thing again," she said. "We just felt there are moments in time when people need to live their convictions. This appeared to be one." (Emphasis added.) Ask her about the Masterpiece Cake case and I can guarantee you she'll have no idea what the hell you're talking about. You refusing service to people you think are immoral has nothing to do with me refusing service to people I think are immoral.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Makes perfect sense when you know your moral preferences are superior.

  • ThomasD||

    Exactly this. If achieved outcomes was the motivation then they'd have given up their game long ago.

    But it's not. They are all about intentions. Having, signaling, and showing the right intentions are all that matters.

  • perlchpr||

    Which is hilariously ironic, since they will absolutely yell at you that "intentions don't matter" if you happen to microaggress against someone, and dare to point out afterwards that your comment about "butterflies being pretty" wasn't intended to offend.

  • santamonica811||

    Jerry,
    There is a real difference between the two situations. (You, of course, might recognize the difference but be unpersuaded, which is fine.) In one, someone is discriminating based on bad behavior (as seen by the person doing the discriminating). And in the other, the discrimination is based on permanent unchangeable factors...someone's race, religion, sexual orientation, etc.

    If a restaurant refused service for Mrs. Sanders because she was a woman, then I think you'd have liberals lined up protesting that restaurant's behavior. But the restaurant refused service because Sarah keeps lying, and lying to advance some pretty awful political agendas. (Again, "awful" as viewed by the restaurant...your and my own opinions are sort of irrelevant here.) So, when a cake maker says, "I will not make a wedding cake for you two." and it is because it happens to be an interracial couple and that violates the baker's sincerely-held religious views, or because the couple is same-sex and that happens to violate the baker's religious views. . . well, a lot of people see that as more outrageous, since a person can't change her skin color and (if we believe actual scientists) can't change her sexual orientation.

    ... (cont) ...

  • santamonica811||

    ... (cont)...

    [Disclosure: I actually do support the right of the cake baker to discriminate, since I do see anything related to decorating a cake as "artistic," and am opposed to forcing artists to provide their specialized services to unwanted customers.] Here, I am merely pointing out that distinguishing between the Masterpiece Cake case and this Sanders matter is not automatically hypocritical, and could be done in complete good faith.]

  • Nardz||

    "Full retard"

    Got it.

  • Bubba Jones||

    All trades are art.

    I am pretty sure they consider huckabee permanently irredeemable.

  • JoeBlow123||

    This position is rather ridiculous. Either it is ok to discriminate for whatever reason or it is not.

  • santamonica811||

    I assume that you are not a lawyer, yes? I am a lawyer, and so I use "discriminate" the way that lawyers do. It is both constitutional AND PERFECTLY FINE to discriminate...usually. Cops discriminate when they give tickets to drunk drivers and not to sober drivers. I discriminate when I refuse to date someone 20 years older or younger than my own age. Law schools discriminate if they refuse to admit students who score in the lower 10% of their graduating college class. You discriminate if you refuse to perform dental services (paint her house, ferry her to her desired destination, etc etc) after she announces that she has no intention of paying for those services.

    . . . [continued] . . .

  • santamonica811||

    . . .

    So, for us lawyers, it would be ridiculous if we were to say that all discrimination is bad, or that all discrimination is good. First question we should ask: does the specific discrimination violate the Constitution, or some state, local, federal law? If "no," then it's legal. Second question: If legal, is the specific discrimination also morally wrong? That is an interesting, and important question. . . but it is not important in terms of determining its legality, of course. People on both sides of the political spectrum usually agree as to the first question (we may disagree if the law is correct, but we usually understand what the current law actually IS), but of course there are huge disagreements as to the second prong.

    I hope you do not take this explanation as being overly pedantic. It's actually a crucial legal point . . . and lawyers are constantly having to explain why many types (most types!!!) of discrimination are both legal AND are socially desirable behaviors. I, personally, am very happy that my sister would often discriminate and would refuse to go on dates with a-holes, but would happily go out with nice guys. There is a reason why it's a huge compliment to a chef or a restaurant diner to say, "You have a discriminating palate."

    Thus endeth today's law school lecture. :-)

  • gphx||

    Apparently you're used to getting paid by the word.

  • Reverend Draco||

    All discrimination is good.

    It's what leads people to eat Shitake mushrooms rather than Death Cap.

    All discrimination is, is the ability to tell the difference.

    Can you tell the difference between a Honda minivan and a Chevrolet Corvette? You, sir, are discriminating.

  • MarkLastname||

    Wrong. Discrimination by the cake shop wasn't against an immutable trait. Gay people aren't born getting married to each other. It is still a case of discrimination against a behavior. Additionally, religion is not an unchangable trait.

  • ||

    Terrible argument OP, lol religion is immutable? Culture is immutable? Apparently, to proggies sex/gender (not equal) are not immutable and the same thing.

  • a tandem||

    OK so you say restaurants can refuse to serve people because of poltical or policy opinions.

    So you are saying if a customer does something like having ever supported government recognition gay marriage, or being for or against affirmative action you feel any restaurant or any business at all can refuse to serve them due to their views (and presumable discriminate against them in hiring as well).

    As far as your statement that because a person has lied they can be refused service -- you must also mean the restaurant does not have to prove the lying was any more or less or any worse or better than others lies since that is subjective?

    You are opening up to every kind of discriminating since any restaurant can imply say they did not serve a gay couple that has ever made a statement on policy since your reason is poltical opposition.

    Can you name a democrat politician that hasn't lied, a complain staffer that has not, or a press secretary that has not? You can keep your doctor if you can.

    You are just promoting double standards.

  • Whorton||

    I wouldn't want to work OR EAT there, consider:

    Dinner made by gay activists, with ineffective management and ownership in a contentious environment.

  • a tandem||

    Or a business that asserts it can grant you entry, seat you, take your order and 20 minutes later tell you to leave, based on your pollical views, meaning they can chuck you out for implying you support BLM or policy allowing gay marriage,

  • Cy||

    "I have to disagree with you, proggies really don't understand the supply/demand/price connection."

    I think there's an exception to this rule, wealthy Proggies know the supply/demand/price connection, they just know they have far too much money to give a damn or in a lot of cases use it as protectionism for industries they already own.A good example would be how hard it will be to start new restaurants just because of the extra cost of wait staff.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    I did say "(claim to)".

  • TangoDelta||

    Taxes and control is exactly where I see this coming from. Disincentive tipping and it's likely that tips will be lower which means fewer dollars go unreported. It's just a way to get rid of cash so that every transaction is recorded and tracked. Anyone who honestly thinks this is about being fair to service staff is kidding themselves, it's about control.

  • santamonica811||

    Is your assumption based on the theory of "Never assume good motives to my political enemies, when a bad motive might possibly apply."?

    I am unpersuaded by your argument. I think it's much more likely that the motives are actually good here. I think it may end up being a bad law, it may be a stupid law. But I do not think it's motivated by bad intentions.

    (On the other hand; I do think your idea--that this may also be motivated by keeping more accurate records of what people are actually earning--is probably accurate. I have known between 50-100 bartenders and waiters/waitresses over the years, and the amount of tax-cheating is staggering. Since I pay my fair share of taxes on every dollar I earn, I do not mind at all having waiters etc. start to pay their fair share as well.

    Who *does* oppose that principle, actually? (other than people getting most of their income via tips, of course) :-)

  • Nardz||

    "Full retard"

    Again, got it.

  • Bubba Jones||

    The left is on record as trying to eliminate cash.

  • santamonica811||

    Do you have a cite for this, Bubba? The 142 liberal friends I know show a grand total of zero people wanting to eliminate cash. Is this, perhaps, something you heard on InfoWars or the like???

    (I'm not saying that no one who is liberal has ever promoted this, or that no one who is conservative has ever promoted this. I have no doubt that some yahoos have. Just like Ron Paul has pushed for a return to the gold standard. I'd never paint libertarians as a group as the "Hey, look at the idiots who want to return to the gold standard!" based on one outlier.

    But this is, literally, the first time in my life I've ever heard your theory floated as some sort of liberal plot. Sounds wacky to me.)

  • MarkLastname||

    Larry Summers, arguably the most prominent progressive economist in the country, writes extensively in support of reducing cash use.

    You seem to like being wrong.

  • santamonica811||

    Mark,
    Yes, in a bizarre world, where--in your mind-- "reduce reliance on" equals "eliminate," I can see your point.

    But for the other 99% of people, who use English words to mean what they, well, actually mean, your point is lost.

    OF COURSE we want to reduce reliance on cash payments. I, personally, will pay for everything possible with a credit card, if there is not an additional fee for that service. And I'll use my debit card or autopay for other situations, if either or both are allowed. This allows me to carry less cash on my person (ie, less chance of being mugged, losing cash if I lose my wallet), makes it a million times easier to keep track of my expenses over a month, and so on. And for me, I do not see a downside to doing this. Plus, with autopay and other online purchases, it's much more convenient than having to show up in person for a cash transaction.

    And I love having the ability to use cash for other situations. In other words, I have (happily!!!) reduced my own cash usage, while not entirely eliminating such usage.

    Why would you be opposed to this? (Real question...I am genuinely bemused.)

  • a tandem||

    Santa, You got a citation and you are calling people "bubba" when your "proof" is your claim of doing a survey of your pals?

  • MarkLastname||

    First of all, it's arguably more charitable to assume ulterior motives; otherwise we have to assume supporters of the measure are just honest morons who don't grasp supply and demand.

    Secondly, what makes you think greater tax compliance among others will reduce your taxes?

  • santamonica811||

    Okay, here you do make a fair point. Being realistic; yeah, you're right here. If the "server" segment of the population suddenly start paying their fair share, I do doubt that politicians will look at that extra income and say, "Hey, let's use this opportunity to lower the taxes on everyone else." If only! :-)

    But, heck; maybe the potholes will be filled a bit faster. Maybe the local libraries will stay open a few more hours on the weekend. Maybe teachers and cops will get a small bump in their salaries. (Or maybe the politicians will blow it on hookers and chewing gum...I dunno.)

    As to your first point; I do not think it is more charitable to assume bad motives rather than assuming stupidity. I think idiocy explains most bad actions in politics...I assume most politicians are actually trying to accomplish things that are, overall, good for people and for society writ large. And their repeated failures to actually do so are not motivated by bad intentions. But you and I can respectfully disagree on this point, of course.

  • Jerry B.||

    "Never assume good motives to my political enemies, when a bad motive might possibly apply."

    "Never assume good motives to a political movement, when a bad motive might possibly apply."

    FTFU

  • Live Free Or Diet||

    When I was waiting tables in Blacksburg, VA in the 1980s, I could make enough to support myself working four 6-hour nights a week. That left plenty of time for my studies at VA Tech. I would have worked there for just tips. That's where the money was.

  • creech||

    This may be the end of tipping in D.C. Haven't been to Europe in a while, but I recall a service charge was built into the bill so customers left just their change as a tip (if service wasn't grossly snotty).

  • Bubba Jones||

    And the service sucks in Europe.

  • santamonica811||

    Bubba,
    Generally speaking, the service I personally received in Europe (18 countries, 4 trips, 13 months in total) was excellent. I am not sure if your own bad service was due to bad luck on your part, due to bad behavior/attitude on your part, or due to some other factor(s).

  • MarkLastname||

    Good thing you came by to fill the ever vacant 'presumptuous douche bag' niche around here.

  • santamonica811||

    There is no need to be an asshole. We can disagree without being disagreeable. Bubba's point was "Hey the service sucks in Europe." I pointed out my own contrary experience. And that seemed to really push your buttons. Why not, instead, just come up with contrary anecdotes? Or with contrary evidence?

  • Jerry B.||

    "There is no need to be an asshole." says the person who implies that one's bad service is due to ones "bad behavior/attitude".

  • Nardz||

    Taco Bell was the only restaurant to survive the franchise war.
    So?
    So, now all restaurants are Taco Bell.

  • Cy||

    Enhance your calm.

  • Fuck you, Shikha (Nunya)||

    I, uh, need the sea shells as I read this. Anyone got some?

  • TangoDelta||

    Sure, I only ever use the second and third shell anyway. The thought of using that first shell, ghaargghhh, I mean you never know, amiright?

  • Nardz||

    The first seashell is where the happy happy joy joy feelings are to be found, though!

  • Whorton||

    Demolition man. . .How apropos!

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    Does this mean we don't have to tip anymore? Or that we should tip significantly less? This is a serious question. We tipped extravagantly because everybody knows that it makes up a substantial amount of the waitstaff's wages. Now that the prices on the menu will be going up to account for the increase in wages, I wonder whether this is necessary anymore.

    If this is the case, this is going to be a major blow to some servers. I know bartenders who pull in close to six figures. Will that opportunity go away for them?

  • Longtobefree||

    Yes.
    Yes.
    Yes.
    Only the tax collector wins. The servers cannot fudge their cash tips, and the companies have to pay payroll taxes on the increased wages. They pay payroll tax on tips, but only the reported amounts, so everyone but the tax man wins in the current scenario.
    Of course, you will not actually be tipping less (or zero), your tip will move from an individual choice to a mandatory 'service fee' to cover the wage increase. See the consistent theme here? Less individual choice, more government mandate. And of course, for that mandatory service fee you will get worse service, because it is hard to fire bad servers when tips are removed. A bad server will quit due to low tips now, but when they get the same pay as the hard workers, they will NOT quit. And the hard workers will go somewhere else where their hard work generates more revenue.
    So the good servers lose, the companies lose, and the customers lose. But other than that, it's a great idea.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    So the progressives win, in the sense of improving the lot of the incompetent?

  • santamonica811||

    Long
    "...Only the tax collector wins..."

    No no no. Every single taxpayer (who already has been paying her or his fair share, since none of his/her income is under the table/hidden) also wins. Basic economics. This winners will outnumber the losers by a huge huge huge margin.

    I am not sure if your example (now, bad waiters will stick around, since they will not be motivated to quit by receiving relatively poor tips) is accurate. At least here in California, most or all restaurants pool their tips, so that a poor waiter has zero motivation to quit--his individual poor tips are pulled up by this 'better' coworkers. I have no idea if this tip-pooling policy is common across the country.

  • Sevo||

    "No no no. Every single taxpayer (who already has been paying her or his fair share, since none of his/her income is under the table/hidden) also wins."

    You're lost. Huffpo is 'way off there to the left.

  • santamonica811||

    Wait. Are you arguing that it's a desirable economic system that (1) people like you and me (normal jobs, so we declare and pay our taxes) pay more than our fair share, so that (2) waiters, bartenders, etc can pay less than their fair share? That seems to be a pretty mainstream argument that I'm making. What, in your mind, makes it a far-left economic theory?

  • MarkLastname||

    You're delusion is that you think your taxes will go down by making someone else's go up, something empirically demonstrates to be false. It's a common delusion among leftists and seems to motivate much of their opinion on tax policy.

  • Ride 'Em||

    ^^^This taxpayers only win if taxes go down which won't happen in DC.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    The failure in your logic is the assumption that taxes are a result of need. That is, that the US or state governments have services that cost $X and so they have to tax the citizenry $X to pay for them. But that's untrue. Taxes are the result of politics. The amount you pay in taxes is SOLELY due to the fact that republican and democrat politicians have negotiated over the years that this is the most they can take out of you and still satisfy their philosophies, constituents, etc. Rather than collecting money to pay for things they need, they find things to pay for in order to spend the money they've collected.

    Therefore, whether someone in another profession pays more taxes now and the government collects more revenue, it has virtually no effect on your tax burden.

  • Cy||

    That's the proggie plan? Flood the country with cheap labor and then when it drops the price of labor just mandate the price?

    What a bunch of short sighted fools.

  • perlchpr||

    What, you think that there's something somehow incompatible with letting in millions of subsistence farmers, and having a $15 an hour minimum wage, and having building codes?

  • Cy||

    The next step in their grand plan for our future can be found in Seattle and San Fransisco where they have a "homeless problem."

    What a bunch of fucking idiots.

  • Shirley Knott||

    And then Detroit.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Nobody lefty ever talks about Detroit anymore. It was a lefty paradise of unions, overpaid wait staff, and urban excess.

    A few years ago, you could buy plots of land that a house once stood on for about $1500. You have to get rid of your own garbage, collect your own water, put out your own fires, and arrest your own vagrants because many city services only service very tiny areas now.

  • perlchpr||

    Maybe open borders is a way to repopulate Detroit.

  • Cy||

    No one has explained to me how the "5-10%" standard tip, the standard I grew up with in the midwest, sky rocketed to "anything less than 15% is insulting."

    That's not a small jump and I hate the attempts at guilt tripping by friends in the industry.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Simple; liberal economic policies ensured that todays money is worth a damn sight less then it used to.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    What was that thing about spending on diamond engagement rings...

  • Rat on a train||

    If it doesn't require a second mortgage, you don't really love her.

  • Bubba Jones||

    Are you 80?

  • Cy||

    MId 30's...

  • Ralph Wiggum||

    5% was never ok. 10% was for acceptable but not outstanding service. Your parents failed you.

  • Cy||

    Grow up in a rural area where people get paid $3/ hr to milk cows, suddenly the minimum wage server's job doesn't seem like such a hardship.

  • NashTiger||

    Rural people don't eat out often. My family was rural, but not cheapskates

  • loveconstitution1789||

    .00001% was okay if the service was horrible. "never ok" implies that servers are entitled to tips and they are not.

    5% is lower than I was taught for good service. 12% is what I was taught for good service. 20% for some of the best service you have ever had.

  • TangoDelta||

    I agree, as I grew up it was always

  • TangoDelta||

    D'oh!
    continued: % for crap service, 10%-13% was decent service, 13%-16% for good service, and 16%-20% if they really blew your hair back. Anything more than 20% was just showing off and no tip meant you were a thoughtless dolt. In order to really send a message for bad service, it was 1 cent less than the tax on the bill which indicated the governor, who had done absolutely nothing had done a better job.

  • TangoDelta||

    Well fuck me with a rabid racoon, that's supposed to be "less than 10% for crap service". Apparently ampersands get lost in the input cleansing but only up to a point.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    It's a lot more nuanced than X%. 15% is fine if you go to an ultra-expensive restaurant. I won't tip someone 5x more at a premium steakhouse with entrees over $100 vs. going to Outback with a $20 entree, just because of the price on the menu. But 15% is NOT fine if you go to the sports bar, watch an entire 3 hour long football game at the bar, and order only three beers in the process. You need to pay for your seat which can sometimes even mean a 100% tip. I remember going to Junior Seau's restaurant in San Diego where they had signs posted at the bar requiring a $20 tip minimum on game day, which made sense given the popularity of that place at the time and what a premium there was for a seat at one of the bars.

  • Cy||

    "$20 tip minimum on game day, which made sense given the popularity of that place at the time and what a premium there was for a seat at one of the bars."

    That wouldn't be a tip. No one is entitled to a tip. It's the vagueness about the whole thing that bothers me.

  • Ralph Wiggum||

    "No one is entitled to a tip"

    While technically correct, you are a douchebag if you go to a restaurant where they are getting tipped minimum wage and you take advantage of it.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Even if the service sucks? You get a penny for your tip.

    You want a better tip, have better service. Its that simple.

  • Longtobefree||

    Actually, the custom was to leave your tip based on the bill, with two pennies on the side for very good service, one penny on the side for poor service. A tradition from merry old England where a penny tip all that got left for most servers, but a good job would get two pennies. Leaving the coins on the side was a gentle way to guide the server on how well they were doing their job, without stiffing them completely for bad service. But, like standing for you elders, opening doors for ladies, and all other social customs, it is gone with the wind.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    This is true. They won't call the cops if you don't do it. I believe the signs read something like "strongly encouraged".

  • loveconstitution1789||

    "I remember going to Junior Seau's restaurant in San Diego where they had signs posted at the bar requiring a $20 tip minimum on game day...."

    Any place that tells me what to tip is never getting my business. They can charge a cover charge if they have not factored in costs of tv and sports packages into their food and drinks.

    I bet that place is out of business unless the city of San Diego makes it impossible for competing bars to open in that case, you would have a crony capitalist situation.

  • Nardz||

    I see this situation differently. Sure, a sign that says $20 min tip is annoying at first glance, but think about it. Probably packed on game day and they need to be sure people taking spots will spend money. They could charge a cover - but then you'd have to tip on top of that, plus the way they do it means the servers are getting that 'cover charge' rather than the restaurant.
    I don't mind it.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    The reason they didn't adopt a cover charge is because it was for bar only. The bar is where everybody flocked on game day, and they undoubtedly saw a bunch of patrons sit for a full 3 hour game and tip $5 on their $25 bill. The sign may have been a little unconventional, but a shit ton of people don't know that in certain establishments you're effectively renting your bar stool and the standard 20% rule doesn't apply. Works at Cheers, not at a destination bar.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    No one has explained to me how the "5-10%" standard tip, the standard I grew up with in the midwest,

    Fifteen percent has been the custom in decent communities -- at least, among people who work for a living and had adequate parents -- for at least 40 years.

  • Robert||

    It's not untrue that


    Paid by the word?

  • Earth Skeptic||

    And some pretty bad words:

    "Perhaps more importantly, a great deal of servers publicly protested the proposition leading up to the vote..."

    How many is a "deal"?

  • patskelley||

    40 years ago I told my daughter we could not buy something she wanted because we literally were out of money between paydays. Her response was "You still have checks. You can write a check." Sounds appropriate.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Does she work for the government now?

  • Longtobefree||

    DNC contributions chair - - - - - - -

  • Brian||

    These people don't understand that when you push the economy one way, it moves in a lot of other ways.

    Ok: you raise waiter staff wages from $3.33 to $15. Customers know their waiters make more money, so they tip less. Waiters know their income depends less on their serving ability, so they put less effort into customer happiness.

    Is it clear that the result is a benefit for waiters? Is it clear that the only downside is for rich employers. Hardly.

    But the supports act as if they're just boosting waiter wages, and nothing else changes. As if there are no other effects but first order effects.

    And that's all you need to know that they have no understand of economics at all. Or that, perhaps, they're just dishonest.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    "Essentially, the initiative attempts to fix something that is not broken."

    I think you just described 90%+ of modern government.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    I have NO idea why the above appeared where it did.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    I like the idea of pushing more restaurants into the counter service mode. I can put my order in faster, either carry my own food or have it delivered to my table when ready, and then just leave (since I already paid at the counter).

    Unless I am looking for entertainment as well as food, what good is another layer of labor, i.e. the wait staff?

  • Brian||

    Well, there's the fact that everyone else in the world might not have your preferences.

    But, hey, why should you give a fuck about other people?

    That's why an active government is pure compassion and concern for others.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Yep, Mao sure had that compassion thing working.

    I have friends and family that I care about. I interact with other people for reasons of commerce, as long as we come to mutual agreements. Everyone else can fuck off.

  • Rufus T. Firefly.||

    So if waiters receive $15 an hour, what do the supporters of this policy think will be the logical outcome of this? They do not factor into their equation, or lack there of, that those workers already recieving $15 are going to demand higher wages, subsquently making $15 the new minimum wage. So the market eventually reaches equallibrium.

  • Rufus T. Firefly.||

    *equilibrium

  • Ralph Wiggum||

    When I waited in college, many years ago, 15 an hour would have me looking for a new place to work. I never made less than 20 an hour, even with lots of bad customers like Cy.

  • Cy||

    "Bad customers?" So i guess you don't know jack shit about business.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Ralph does not understand that higher food prices to cover a $15 minimum wage will result in less people eating out.

    I don't eat at places that include gratuity for small patrons. I do not want bad service and pay for that bad service. Bad service gets you a penny to let you know how bad your service is. Plus, I will let you know.

    If your food is great and service is great, I tip 15%. If its excellent service, I tip 20% or more.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    FYI - 15% at a typical restaurant is generally considered on the low end. Especially in cities.

  • Nardz||

    Yea, I remember as it's gone from 15 to 20. Seems like sometime around 2010. Annoying

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I was taught 12% was reasonable for good service. It probably went to 15% because people cannot do math. I remember people asking what the tip was because 12% was hard for people to figure.

    It went to 20% because of service industry entitlement and because that is easier to calculate for math dumb dumbs.

    The problem is some people dont tip even when the service is good. Another problem is tipping when the service is horrible. Its the wrong incentives.

  • MarkLastname||

    What is your point?

  • Bubba Jones||

    I don't get too upset when Democrats get what they want because they are typically the ones who actually suffer as a result.

  • Bubba Jones||

    The best part is when you sign a credit card slip at a counter and it has a tip line. Um... you haven't done anything yet to earn a tip, but what happens to my food if I don't tip?

  • santamonica811||

    Agree 100%. I even saw a tip line on my credit card receipt at a Los Angeles supermarket!!?!???!!!

  • Nardz||

    Yea, this one feels like an implicit threat...

  • OGREtheTroll||

    I'm all for it, for exactly the reasons that the servers are against it.

    Because of the tipping system servers make far more money than anybody else in a restaurant, often times more than the General Manager. Does a server really deserve 20-25/hr? Would they be paid that if the government didn't manipulate labor laws and the tax code to encourage tipping? If the market rate for a servers pay rate is less than what they are paid because of the distorted tipping system (and it is), then the total cost to a customer will decrease.

    As it stands now, for every $100 spent by a customer in a full service restaurant about $20 goes to the service staff (via wages and tips). (Think an $85 bill plus 18% tip of $15, not factoring any taxes.) This is the biggest individual expense aside from food cost. The owner will get about $4, the kitchen staff will get about $8, management about $5. Even rent and utilities combined will come out to around $10-15. Does it really make any sense for a full 1/5th of a customers expense to go to straight to the service staff?

    Let the market determine the pay rates and the total cost of dining out will trend down as its inflated by the distortion caused by tipping culture. And the pay inequalities between front and back of house employees in restaurants will start to even out as well.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    Does a server really deserve 20-25/hr? Would they be paid that if the government didn't manipulate labor laws and the tax code to encourage tipping?

    Yes.

    The owner will get about $4, the kitchen staff will get about $8, management about $5. Even rent and utilities combined will come out to around $10-15. Does it really make any sense for a full 1/5th of a customers expense to go to straight to the service staff?

    Not sure which Applebee's you're going to, but real chefs do extremely well for themselves. As do managers and owners. Bartenders at primarily eating establishments will sometimes get tip sharing, and so will the hostesses in restaurants where such a job is important.

    Kitchen staff tend to get fucked, you're right about that. So do bar backs. But honestly that's why you often see kids, ex-cons, or immigrants in those roles.

  • OGREtheTroll||

    In the large cities at very expensive restaurants, and at the hotel restaurants and banquet halls yes chefs (not cooks, they still get dirt wages) can make a decent salary. But in a less urban state there won't be a single chef making over $50K unless they are also the owner or running dining for a resort, and even $50K is the very top end. GMs at successful chains will make good money (and they'll work for it too) far beyond what most servers could pull in tips, but assistant managers often don't and their salary can easily fall below min wage if factored out by hours.

    But if you think servers would get $25/hr in wages absent the tip system I think you're way off. Maybe at Le Cirque they'll make over 50K a year, but at Olive Garden they won't get anywhere close to that.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    I agree with what you say if you took "very expensive restaurants" out of the first sentence. It's not uncommon for chefs at even dive bars to be sought after, and even written up in newspapers, etc. I was at such a bar on Saturday. The chef (now owner) had been on food network a dozen times. The place was a hole and the prices were Applebee's level. I'm sure now that he's owner he's doing much better than when he started, but that's often the career trajectory for chefs with even a little talent.

  • OGREtheTroll||

    But those chefs at dive bars and small chic restaurants that seat 25 aren't getting paid a lot unless the restaurant can make bank off its wine list or can somehow average $50 per cover. And for every chef who makes it onto food network, theres tens of thousands who don't.

    Just to give an idea of the numbers: In order for a chef to get paid 50K/year and for his salary to be under 2% of the restaurants gross revenue, that store needs to bring in 2.5M/year. The average check per person at Applebees is only like $12, so lets go with Outback where its $20. At $20/cover you need 125,000 covers per year to make $2.5M/year. Thats 340 customers a day, every day, spending almost 7000 day. Most 100 seat establishments can't do that many covers on a daily average, much less your small 40-60 seat places which would have to do 7 full turns every day to do that. Knock the average cover down to Applebees price levels and you'll see how it quickly becomes a Herculean undertaking to bring in that kind of revenue in a small establishment.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    Could you explain your 2% figure?

  • OGREtheTroll||

    Factor in payroll taxes and expenses on top of that 2% to the store's cost to pay that chef. Consider other management and staff and that paying above 35% of revenue in labor costs will sink almost any restaurant. Theres not a lot of wiggle room to pay any one employee more than 3-4% of gross revenue. You can drop down to skeleton crew for a small place to up your percentages, but your revenue drops considerably, to where doing 100 covers a day is a very good day and breaking 1M in annual revenue requires $30 per cover.

    My point is that at Applebees price points ($12/cover) it takes a whole lot of covers to generate a lot of revenue (228 covers/day to make 1M/year). Most restaurants of any size can only turn the dining room once at lunch and twice at dinner--on a good day. In a cozy little restaurant or a dive bar that seats 30 (and that might not even be open for lunch) theres no way in hell they can get that kind of revenue without much higher price points.

    I worked as a sous chef in a fine dining restaurant with an award winning wine list from Wine Spectator, as sous at a small gastropub, and as executive chef at an upscale barbecue restaurant. All of these in a college town with the cost of living at exactly the median for the US. The most any chef made at any of those places was the EC at the fine dining restaurant...$36K/year in 2011. Thats with no benefits and expected to work 6 days a week, 10-12/hrs a day.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    This is all perfectly reasonable for a business plan. But it doesn't explain how some relatively low volume low price restaurants are able to pay their sous chefs $50k? I personally know three. A quick glance at the job sites shows that the median sous chef salary reported in my city (Philly) is $48k with a range of $40k-$60k. Granted, using a median is a bad idea considering it could include a number of high volume or high end restaurants. But looking at the actual list shows that it consistently includes some of my favorite bars in the city that are half empty most of the time and have Applebee's pricing. This is all consistent with the conversations I've had with friends in the business.

  • sarcasmic||

    Making it in the restaurant biz isn't easy.

    Requiring a huge out of pocket expense for employers isn't going to make it easier.

  • WCLee||

    "It's not untrue that eliminating the tip credit will negatively affect the consumer."

    Protip: best not to force your readers to do Boolean logic on your sentences.

  • Longtobefree||

    Boola Boola!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Washington, D.C.'s Fight Over Restaurant Tips and Wages Is Coming to a City Near You

    More Cosmo Bullshit. Most American don't live in large cities. More people live in metro areas around mega cities (suburbs) and rural areas.

    Big city politics tends to be far different than suburbs and rural areas.

    In Georgia, Atlanta is very lefty and they run that city like a drunken sailor on leave. If Atlanta chooses to make this wrong choice and set a minimum wage for servers it will not affect the surrounding counties and small cities in the Atlanta metro area.

    When food prices go up after setting some minimum wage, they should not be surprised when people don't frequent restaurants as much and even if they do will tip far less than the current norm of 10-20%.

  • damikesc||

    Speaking from experience...cities have a tendency to annex territory in smaller towns.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Definitely. My tiny town annexed some surrounding land to "make the city limits look good". They wanted a more pleasing geometric shape than what we had for city limits.

    I shit you not.

  • GILMORE™||

    Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC), an advocacy group...

    will guess without looking - that, much like the story of the "protests about working conditions at nail salons in NYC"...

    ...that the $$ backers of this group are actually ASFCME and SEIU, and other 'big business' labor orgs, simply funding these sorts of initiatives through the backdoor.

    close enough.

    and they've got an ASFCME guy on their board

    Of course, reason can't point out the obvious on this sort of thing because its too easy to tu quoque and point out the sources of $ for libertarian orgs, so its a polite game of leaving certain truths unspoken.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    The whole thing is a real shame, because libertarians always had tipping as a great example of voluntary transaction that helped the (usually) less fortunate without government mandate. Brings to mind Jacon Hornberger's piece on tipping from over 15 years ago.

  • bertwest||

    $3.33/hour - are you kidding. What if business is slow, did I just work all 8 hours for $26.64?
    Save that for somebody who might believe it.
    Personally, I'm adamantly opposed to "tipping as a requirement". Come on - if the service is really exceptional, I'd perhaps consider it. But give me a break, where does this end. Suppose the cashier at the grocery store expected a tip to make ends meet? How about the guy who works at the hardware store when I ask him where something can be found - does he expect a tip, too?
    Look, I've never worked in an industry where tipping is expected, and you know what - even though I'm very polite and provide exceptional service - rarely has anyone even offered me a tip.
    Restaurant owners alert: If you can't pay your employees enough money to work for you, if you can't pay them by the prices you charge - raise the prices so they don't need to wring their wage out of me.......on top of what I pay you, plus sales tax. If that's not good enough, I'll place my own order, pour my own beverage, and pick-up my food when it's ready. That way, all you'll have to pay are cooks, busboys, and dishwashers (the busboy can double as cashier) - if that's not asking too much.

  • creech||

    Wait staff is basically on commission and the owner knows they will be doing their utmost to upsell the patrons:
    "How about another glass of that great merlot? Did you save room for dessert? We have some great new appetizers.".

  • OGREtheTroll||

    They do that at the drive-thru too without relying on tips.

    What I see in the restaurants I've worked in is that the servers focus far more just on their own customers to the exclusion and detriment of the other customers and their coworkers...because its just from their own customers that they will get paid. Some servers won't hesitate to throw the kitchen into turmoil for their one table even if it means causing a diminished experience to the rest of the customers that evening; they won't even think in those terms because of the perverse incentives. There is an adversarial component in most restaurants because of this, and the FOH vs BOH war is very real.

    But the rest of the staff in a well managed restaurant will work together as team, their pay depends on the success of the entire restaurant not just a subset of customers. Take away the tipping incentive and servers can start to work as a team too.

  • Sevo||

    "Take away the tipping incentive and servers can start to work as a team too."

    Strange that lefties find incentives to be worthless until the incentive is a new tax, when it magically becomes effective.
    You been busted.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    They do that at the drive-thru too without relying on tips.

    Asking if you want fries with that is not the same as having a conversation with someone, gaining their trust, demonstrating your expertise, and upselling them in the process. Bartenders especially, but some (good) servers for sure.

  • Happy Chandler||

    If a boss wants to do that, they can give them commission. Add up all the checks at the end of the night, the server gets X%.

    Tipping works on a double roll of the dice. You need someone who buys a good amount of food, and decides to tip well. You can do a great job, sell a bottle of wine for everyone at the table, and have a dick who doesn't tip. If it was to increase the upsell, make it commission like at Best Buy.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    f that's not good enough, I'll place my own order, pour my own beverage, and pick-up my food when it's ready. That way, all you'll have to pay are cooks, busboys, and dishwashers (the busboy can double as cashier) - if that's not asking too much.

    That's called Panera Bread. At good restaurants, you also rely on the expertise of the waitstaff. They do more than just courier shit between the kitchen and the customer.

  • OGREtheTroll||

    At "good" restaurants thats true. But outside the largest cities those are few and far between in the modern culinary landscape. And most servers even at the good restaurants aren't providing the actual guidance and management to the dining experience that would be expected. If that level of expertise is required then the owner can pay the market wages for it and charge the customer accordingly. Setting a mandatory 'suggested' pay rate distorts the market as it seeks to determine pay based on factors unrelated to the owner's and the diner's utility; its a factor of consumption and playing on the emotions of the diner (power and guilt primarily).

    Does a diner gain an extra $160 of utility from a server doing a wine presentation on a $1000 bottle of wine compared to a $200 bottle of wine? ($200 tip vs $40) Could that extra $160 not have been spent on other goods and services to the benefit of the diner and owner and other staff members?

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    I have to admit I spend virtually zero time eating out outside cities (sometimes large cities, often not) so I can't speak to that. But with cities, even small ones with less than 100k people, it's waaaay more common than what you're suggesting.

  • OGREtheTroll||

    I don't think you realize how ubiquitous the chain restaurants are in flyover country now. I'd estimate that the number of restaurants where a server acts as a guide to the dining experience vs those where the server is essentially a food runner/order taker are about 1 to 100. Take a drive along an interstate highway and count all the IHOPs, Olive Gardens, and Chili's that are out there, plus all the Mexican restaurants and pizza joints and spaghetti houses and chinese buffets and truckstop diners. Now think for all of these type places, how many full service restaurants are there with an actual wine list and an actual chef doing a menu beyond beef wellington and duck l'orange?

    Remember the deal a few years back when Bourdain defended that woman who wrote a nice review of Olive Garden? The culinary elites were shocked to discover that this was the reality for the typical american diner...that a new olive garden was a newsworthy highlight.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    Fair enough. But why are these laws popping up in large cities when it sounds like the IHOP servers need it more? (this is rhetorical)

    If the conversation is about cities, then none of that is relevant to the topic at hand.

  • ByteRot||

    Even so.. when I go into the diner, I'm going to ask the server if the meatloaf is any good here. They're not going to suggest a wine pairing, but it's still their job to know the menu, and I expect them to be in a position to make recommendations if I'm unfamiliar with it.

    Which works out, because their 15-20% of my $10 bill is worth that basic recommendation, whereas when I'm getting the suggested wine pairing, they're getting 15-20% of a $200 bill.

  • tgrondo||

    bertwest...You should just admit the reason you're against tipping is....you are a cheapskate.

    If you would rather place your own order, pour your own drink, pick-up your own food...why not stay home and eat by yourself?

  • Praveen R.||

    Chik Fil A has some of the best service I ever get at a food establishment. If your order is not immediately given to you , they sometimes even bring the food to your table even if they dont have to. Management quality, not tipping is more important for excellent service. A good manager will know how to motivate, incentivize his or her employees the best way.

  • Sevo||

    Praveen R.|6.25.18 @ 12:14AM|#
    "Management quality, not tipping is more important for excellent service."
    An assertion is not an argument; it lacks evidence.

  • Sedona Vortex Hunter||

    pretty sure chik Fil A does not pay minimum wage and that they pay more than most other fast food places

  • MarkLastname||

    Sigh. Supply and demand applies to labor, and the restaurant business is an extremely competitive market. Who deserves what has fuck all to do with it.

  • josh||

    The poor really need to stop voting against their own interests.

  • Sedona Vortex Hunter||

    why is it that suddenly in the last 5-10 years I hear this constant whining about having to tip waiters? This system has worked for the US for a long time and both workers and customers have generally been happy with it..why does it feel like in the last few years there has been a stronger than normal movement to push us into the European way of doing this?

  • gphx||

    Expecting the advertised price of something to reflect the actual cost (other than taxes) to the customer is the retail standard and hardly unreasonable. When you buy an electronic gadget in store they don't charge you a '15% mandatory service fee' for having gotten it out of the case and setting it on the counter. Buying a $10 sandwich, leaving a 15% cash tip, then getting charged a 15% service surcharge at the register anyway is not reasonable. Better to go next door to the place that serves an identical sandwich for $10 at the counter and doesn't charge you extra to have to deal with an SJW who finds the very idea of you offensive and probably spit in your food to make a snowflake statement.

  • sarcasmic||

    It's hardly unreasonable to understand that when you go out to eat at a restaurant and are served by a waiter or waitress, that a gratuity is expected.

    My daughter understands this, and she's eight-years-old.

    So what you are basically saying is that you have less common sense than a child.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    You left out that bad service gets you zero tip.

    My 5 year old understands this.

    So what you are basically saying is that you have less common sense than a child.

  • sarcasmic||

    You left out that bad service gets you zero tip.

    I didn't think it needed to be said. And I generally don't leave a zero tip unless the service is absolutely terrible, and can be pinned on the server. It isn't reasonable to blame the server for the dining room being understaffed, for food coming slowly out of the kitchen, or for a slow bartender. It is reasonable to blame the server for not knowing the menu, for screwing up an order, for bringing out cold food, or for being rude.

    Neither of those lists are intended to be exhaustive.

    To be honest I'm surprised you tip at all. After all, there is no law saying that one must tip, which makes it perfectly legal to leave no tip. Since you support rule of legislation written by man, and shun rules of society that are not enforced by government violence, it is frankly shocking that you would voluntarily do anything for another human being without threat of organized force.

  • josh||

    "It's hardly unreasonable to understand that when you go out to eat at a restaurant and are served by a waiter or waitress, that a gratuity is expected."

    I don't think many people object to it being "expected". I think most people object to the suggestion it's a requirement and if you don't do it, you might be publicly shamed.

  • Sedona Vortex Hunter||

    okay, but what has changed? Why is this suddenly a problem after decades and decades of content customers and workers happily living with the system? What has changed? I think this would be terrible for younger and or working class people and basically be a transfer of money to the owner and manger classes, but even more to government.

    I worked as a pizza delivery driver in college and was able to make 20 an hour which allowed me to only have to work friday and sat nights while in college. A forced 15 dollar an hour and no tips will be a huge decrease in wages for 95% of tipped workers while making the end product the same price or even more expensive. Great, now you will know the price. It will be a more expensive price, but you will know it...

    to me it seems like it will just move around the way the money is distributed, and not in a good way for the workers, the biggest benefit would seem to be the state.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Employee and regulation costs have shot thru the roof.

  • sarcasmic||

    I worked as a pizza delivery driver in college and was able to make 20 an hour which allowed me to only have to work friday and sat nights while in college.

    When I was in college I made close to $400/wk waiting tables on the weekends. My take home pay (not to be confused with total compensation) from my first job as a software developer was less than that.

    If not for the ability to make that kind of money on the weekends I don't know what I would have done.

  • Happy Chandler||

    People are starting to listen to the immigrants in the back of the house.

  • gphx||

    Robots suck but at least they won't roll their eyes and impatiently interrupt while you're trying to propose to your girlfriend over dinner.

  • torgo98||

    I'm not sure how to enforce it - but I'd like to see tipping be done away with. Tipping means prices are artificially deflated - I'd rather you just add 20% to prices so I know what I'm paying. Tipping means employees don't really know what their salary is.

    I don't like tipping, but I don't see a way to enforce scrapping the system.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    Lots of people don't really know what their salary is. That's life.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Waiters/waitresses don't have salaries. The term salary is typically used to denote non-hourly wager earners.

    Serve staff are hourly and paid in tips.

    Food is already too expensive at restaurants for what you get. A $15 hamburger (taxes and tips included), WTF? $20 pasta bowl?

    Employees costs are very high for businesses and it reflects in higher prices.

  • sarcasmic||

    In reality most servers get paychecks that are zero or negative (not meaning that they owe the restaurant, but that the hourly wage didn't cover the taxes on the declared tips).

  • ||

    I worked for tips in the early '70s and didn't pay tax on them. I was told by the IRS reporting was voluntary. It's in their lit (you can look it up). So I filed a form that kept my employer from deducting anything and then I didn't "volunteer", i.e., didn't file. Everyone told me I was going to jail. I belonged to a tax resistance group and lots of them wrote letters to the IRS explaining income taxation was theft and illegally done. They asked the IRS to explain to them why they disagreed. The IRS wrote back and said they would be in touch. The "in touch" was an arrest, charges, convection, and jail. If you read the prosecution's case as presented in court, it is laughable. No evidence of guilt or law was presented. They only told the jury the IRS had "authority" to collect and the defendants knew it, lied about that, and were deadbeats. No proof. Just assertions. The defendants were not allowed to present their evidence. Why? The judge ruled it was "frivolous". That was typical "justice".

    One judge did make a strange comment at the end in his "jury instructions". He told the jury, that even if the defendant had a valid case, they should convict because without the income tax the country would collapse. Of course, he was grossly exaggerating, if not outright lying. The country grew to be the most affluent in the world BEFORE the income tax. Meanwhile, those who get the money, Congress/Executive branch have continued to collect (rob) without mercy.

  • Happy Chandler||

    I understand the libertarian argument against minimum wages.

    But, given that we have a minimum wage, what is the libertarian argument to singling out one occupation and treating their wages differently? If there's a minimum wage, it should be applied consistently. Make the servers work on the same rules as the back of the house and the guy who changes your oil.

    The separate tipped wage is not a libertarian argument.

  • sarcasmic||

    Make the servers work on the same rules as the back of the house and the guy who changes your oil.

    Severs work in sales and they get paid on commission. The more they sell, the more they get paid.

  • ||

    Happy: "But, given that we have a minimum wage..."? This libertarian (voluntaryist) does not accept the morality of a political paradigm based on violence, threats thereof, or fraud. Therefore I don't consider it a "given" any more than I accept the morality of "honor killings" even though they exist here. The majority is wrong to allow themselves to be ruled in violation of their rights and wrong to force me to submit with them. I would let them sacrifice themselves because it's their life, but when they tell me I have to sacrifice too, under threat, I resist, I rebel. They are wrong to tell me I have to live like them like when they conform and comply with immoral laws. They have no reasonable arguments, only threats, and that is fine with them, NOT me. I retain my sovereignty. I will never sell out, period.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    Because we're not suggesting that the government step in and force participants to structure their compensation in a particular way. Nobody here is against the idea that restaurants willingly ask that you don't tip and that they provide a higher salary to their waitstaff. And before you say "That would never exist without a law requiring it", I can name some restaurants in my city that do it.

  • ||

    What? Government regulation destroyed a profession? Again? You can fight it, one reg at a time, one law at a time, or strike at the root of the cause, e.g., govt. control of everybody, everything, by the threat of violence, violence, or fraud. Want to keep this political paradigm? Then don't claim to be free or have rights or value reason. "Govt. is not reason; ...it is force.".

  • Whorton||

    Washington DC better get used to the McDonalds style ordering kiosks with a printed number to pick up your drink and or dinner. This will kill tips (except for the heavily inebriated) Server jobs and affordable restaurants.

    So be it. I will miss dinner at Chili's, but screw 'em if they think their service is worth a 40% increase in prices AND a voluntary tip.

  • Whorton||

    I'm not really convinced about the tax argument and here is why.

    Given that we cannot stop employers from hiring illegal aliens (remember I-9 forms and all the crap you have to fill out at a new job? It does not seem to prevent illegal workers with bogus SSN's from getting jobs. By the time someone figures it out, the illegal is long gone.)

    What is to stop restaurants from charging less for paying with cash, and hiring off the books servers who work for tips?

  • AD-RtR/OS!||

    Do you have to tip "Flippy"?

  • BILKER||

    "Essentially, the initiative attempts to fix something that is not broken." This true of everything the progressive/liberal/socialists attempt. They feel that they know way better what's good for the workers than
    the workers themselves. Hope the recent SCOTUS decision on union dues will make the wages a bit higher just by eliminating the union dues bribe to continue to be employed.
    BTW F*CK DENIRO, F*CK WATERS, F*CK LEE.

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