Friday, October 31, 2008

Should you tip less in an Obama Administration?

Commenter gklyon in the previous post on PJTV makes a point in relation to going John Galt:

There is another aspect of pulling a Galt if the rich quit spending. Really scale back. People spend money more efficiently than the government. Thus people spending create more jobs.

The rich also employ people either directly as servants - maids, nannies, gardeners. These employees help the rich go out and produce more. If the rich scale back they will not need these people. And tipping, instead of tipping your server, tell her/him that you are going to redistribute his tip to the homeless guy outside the restaurant. If the rich reduce spending it will ripple through the economy and the people that supported Obama will be out of jobs.


Despite this post, I often tip generously both because I have been a waitress and because I think it is important to reward people who work. However, if Obama gets in (and it is still an if), perhaps tipping less or not at all would be a good way to save money as a way of "going John Galt." Yet, is it fair to the person who is stiffed? What about a compromise, just tipping less? What do you think?

UPDATE: I've been thinking. If Obama is elected, maybe in lieu of a tip I should leave a note like the following:

HOPE AND CHANGE FOR AMERICA: Spreading the Wealth Around.

In lieu of a tip, $_____ has been donated to the Re-Elect Obama for President Campaign. Thank you for supporting the man and the movement that are bringing America together!

If enough people leave notes like this, I'm sure it will galvanize waitpeople everywhere in support of The One!

UPDATE II: As a commenter said, this post really seems to have hit a nerve. I am guessing that a number of lefty types are upset that their livelihood may be threatened. In Rules for Radicals Saul Alinsky asks, "Does this particular end justify this particular means?" Perhaps for those of us who are right-leaning, the answer is "yes," perhaps it is "no," but it certainly worth exploring.

169 Comments:

Blogger Cham said...

Rather than stiffing the waitstaff, you can save lots of money and go John Galt by preparing food at home. No tip necessary.

7:56 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger JohnMcG said...

Let me get this straight -- one party and the presidency, led us into an unnecessary war, and a financial crisis.

Some people decide to vote against that party.

A valid response is to essentially dock the pay of a group of people who are working who may or may not have voted the way you wanted to.

Yeah, that makes sense...

8:01 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger Trust said...

@Helen: Yet, is it fair to the person who is stiffed?

Depends on how much of your hard earned money Obama gave to this person. (You know, his hand out disguised as a tax cut.)

8:11 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger javadoug said...

I just heard some internal state by state polling numbers. McCain is actually ahead by their internals. We all know the media lies to us with their polls. Don't lose heart that we may still win this. And be sure to vote. It's way too early to start talking about tipping less. We will be able to tip MORE with McCain in there.

JUST VOTE!

8:12 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger Jason said...

You are also assuming that the GOP hasn't been redistributing your wealth for some time, they just aren't as honest about it as BHO has been.

If you go out to eat tipping is part of the bill, stiffing people isn't the way to go about it, just eat at home and save your money.

8:13 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger javadoug said...

@JohnMcG :
You are so naive.
Tipping is the least of your worries.
A natural 'psychological' affect of higher taxes is income sheltering. That is a much more overriding effect on the economy.
Look for worse economic conditions under Obama than under McCain.
All the more reason to get out there and VOTE MCCAIN!
It is your patriotic duty to do so, for the sake of all Americans.

8:15 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger Trust said...

@JohnMcG said... "Let me get this straight -- one party and the presidency, led us into an unnecessary war, and a financial crisis."

You haven't got it straight.

First, you can look up quotes from President Clinton and Democrats throughout the 90s warning of Saddam's WMDs.

Second, the vote to depose of Saddam had significant bipartisan majorities based on evidence presented throughtout most of Clinton's and the beginning of Bush's term--difference is Bush final put some action behind the 12 years of "or else."

Third, President Clinton, far from the ecomonic dynamo that he is revered as, is largely to blame for the mortgage crisis. It is he who pressured for the sub-prime mortgage isue. Don't take my word for it, read the September 30, 1999 New York Times here:
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0DE7DB153EF933A0575AC0A96F958260&sec=&spon=&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink

Granted, Bush and the republicans spent to much money and did little about the crisis. But to blame them soley is to give a very guilty consituency a undeserved pass, plus overlook the obvious that things have gotten far worse since the Democrats took over 2 years ago.

The one president and one party theory is nonsense, nothing more than election year campaigning.

8:18 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Today's "wait staff" is largely a disappointing and surly group of emo-kids and goths with nasty hair and worse hygiene who think a tip is in order regardless of their attitude or service. You can't even order "to go" without getting hit up for a tip.

And apparently, spitting into your food has become an acceptable form of protest to many of these types.

Besides, low-end jobs are there to teach young people that they had better get an education and refine their manners.

Just wait until you meet the cold-hearted government health care nurse in your hospital stay!

8:20 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger Cato Renasci said...

Perhaps the best way is to ascertain if they supported Obama (this can be done by wearing an Obama button...) and, if they did, leaving the note -- I'm sure you'll agree with Obama and Biden we all have to make sacrifices... your sacrifice tonight is the tip I'm not leaving.

8:35 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger DaveG said...

I'm with Joan. I have long ago gotten over the idea that a 20% tip is mandatory. I tip old-school: good service = good tip, often in excess of 20% at a lower-cost establishment. Bad service = a rude awakening for the server that a tip is not an entitlement.

I also agree that I'd rather "spread the wealth" by tipping someone that is at least making an effort to provide for themselves, no matter how they voted.

8:38 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger shoveltusker said...

Sorry...all this John Galt stuff feels a bit too much like childish sour grape-iness. Life under an Obama administration simply won't be all that different. People aren't going to change the way they live day-to-day in any event.

I eagerly await the post-honeymoon backlash!

Also, there are many extremely cool people who are waiters/waitresses/bartenders. They work hard and bring goodness into everyday life. Don't stereotype them, fer Chrissake. That sort of condescension is so "coastal elitist"...

8:42 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger Jeff said...

And gee, if the server is Republican, I can give an appropriate tip this way: Leave a note saying that instead of giving them cash, I'll instead mail my tip to the CEO of the restaurant chain. The server can then wait for the CEO to pass it back down.

Are you people seriously considering stiffing hard-working people because you may not like the outcome of an election? Grow up, already.

8:43 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger Marbel said...

How high do you think Pres. O and his congress will raise the minimum wage? Tipping will become irrelevant: restaurants will have to raise prices to pay the wages; no one will be able to afford to eat out anymore. Wait staff out of work, tipping problem solved.

Or maybe they'll enact a "fair pay for food service" law which will mandate tips based on the customer's income as well as the calorie count of the meal ordered.
(Congress will be exempt.)

I do like the note though.

8:43 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger Lydia said...

This is a good solution for Helen - and for any woman living off a man - because she doesn't have to worry about where her money comes from (like waitpersonnel).

I have a strong suspicion that if she had to live off her income as a "forensic psychologist", she wouldn't be enjoying her current lifestyle.

Parasitic piece of crap.

8:44 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger cottus said...

I was living in Australia when the Liberal (read conservative) party lost power for the first time in 30 years. When the Labour party took over, Capital did indeed take a vacation. Those with money held on to it and the economic effect was most notable. Things swing quickly in a small economy.

Aside from making only pitiful progress in "Grand Theft Auto", one of the most discouraging things about aging is that you eventually have to relive history because nobody seems to learn from it. But Heck, I supported Gough Whitlam like the rest of the lemmings. When I got back to the 'States I voted for that worst of US Presidents, Jimma Carter. there should be a law restricting the young to video games, rather than voting booths. Or maybe you should have your health bar slide to zero if you vote stupidly.

8:52 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger javadoug said...

@Lydia:
Don't you realize that we are all willing participants in a psychological experiment being held by Dr. Helen. Look for your irate response being detailed in her upcoming book :-)

8:52 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger George said...

I have a strong suspicion that if she had to live off her income as a "forensic psychologist", she wouldn't be enjoying her current lifestyle.

Parasitic piece of crap.


---EEeeeewww hit a nerve did we?

Maybe this John Galt stuff has some power after all. The real parasites are those that are expecting Barach to pay for their gas and mortgage.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6ikOxi9yYk

If the producers decide to work less maybe Barach will only pay Peggy's mortgage.

8:54 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger javadoug said...

@cottus:
Not all young people are misguided.
When I turned 18, in 1976, I voted for Gerald Ford.

8:55 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger MB said...

<< "Maybe this John Galt stuff has some power after all." >>

How is a parasite a producer?

I don't know whether Helen is a parasite, could well be, but let's take a pure parasite, who has never worked or produced anything, but who lives off a man:

She has the power to cut off her spending and influence other people. She is not a producer. Now I'm confused. LOL

According to statistics I've seen, the majority of spending is done by women and the majority of decisions on house purchases are made by women, although men are more likely to be the earners in the background.

The person producing is not the person spending. Wrap yo' heads around that.

9:00 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger br549 said...

joan..

I knew an engineer who worked his way through college (like many of us). He worked at a restaurant in Philly as a waiter. There was a waitress there with an attitude. A regular customer (also with an attitude) was not her favorite person. He liked her, and liked to hassle her, always sitting in her area. The engineer told me this following story.

One evening the customer ordered a huge stacked burger and fries, and gave her some lip while ordering. She took the top half of his burger bun into the ladies room, and wiped it around the toilet rim before serving it to him. Spitting on my food is the least of my worries. It's a cinch we've all eaten that more than once. I would like to think one escapes that mentality at a high quality restaurant. So I eat out seldom, but eat out at such a restaurant when I do eat out.

9:08 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger Johnny Bravo said...

What about a compromise (something I've already begun doing)?

If your server/cabbie/etc makes their support for Obama known while serving you, i.e., wearing a button, talking loudly about the Messiah and the coming Golden Age, then you have every right to reserve a tip. If they have made your experience with them uncomfortable by thrusting their political views on you (something which is inappropriate in a social setting, much less in a service environment) then you have every right to not tip, or to redistribute that tip elsewhere to someone more deserving, as you see fit. All in keeping with the spirit of Obama, you see. If they keep their political opinion to themselves, then tip as usual.

9:15 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger Prime Designer said...

"Are you people seriously considering stiffing hard-working people because you may not like the outcome of an election?"

Interesting. "Stiffing" means not paying what is owed.

I had no idea I "Owed" a tip. In fact, I'm pretty sure I don't.

In that light, everyone will probably stop tipping. After all, it's an unnecessary expense.

9:22 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger LegalTender said...

There is evidence that more socialist or social democratic countries are less generous at the individual level.

Europeans tip less and also donate significantly less to charity (problems are for someone else's money to solve). Whether this is due to culture or policy (or policies long-term impact on culture) I have no idea.

However, based upon their history of meager charitable contributions, Obama and Biden have already embraced those values.

9:27 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger Andrew Garland said...

Class warfare is ugly and stupid. Maybe waiters want wealth redistribution, but assuming that your waiter is one of them is ignorant discrimination.

Even if your waiter is a Commie, you have a contract with him/her to pay for services. It's not written, but it is assumed.

If it is true, I suggest saying something like "It is so nice to get out for a great meal. We have cut back on restaurants since the government raised our taxes." That will make the point.

Andrew Garland
Easy Opinions

9:30 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger Ed Lilly said...

I think the new term-of-art in the PC lexicon is "waitron" for men and women who serve food and beverages for pay.

Leaving an obviously short tip, or a note explaining your efforts to help spread the wealth around or whatever, is probably a "sometimes" strategy at best. If you have a place you go to frequently, and are known by the "waitrons," you probably don't want to be known as the a&* who doesn't tip because of his political beliefs.

But if you're traveling and have a one-off meal somewhere, I guess it would be a safe, if socially ungraceful, political statement.

9:31 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger I R A Darth Aggie said...

Yet, is it fair to the person who is stiffed?

You shouldn't look at it as stiffing someone as much as helping them attain a sufficiently low income so they may qualify for The One's tax cuts that turn into direct payments from the Treasury.

See? plenty of tips available.

9:35 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger Pixelkiller said...

Back in '82 or '83 I think it was, my accountant and I were looking over my 1040 and it occurred to me that it had become too expensive to work. There was NY state, NY city, NJ state, FICA, commutation, parking, lunches, etc. So, I quit. Without all the expenses of working, it is quite easy to live well on a lot less.
Also, I read somewhere, perhaps here, of a fellow who is going to sign up for every "get-free-money" program he can find. Good idea as far as it goes. There is yet a third idea that has gone un-mentioned: sabotage.
Well, not exactly sabotage in the original sense; more like deliberate incompetence or exaggerated safety. You can still throw monkeys in the wrenches, dibble pee in the beer or pour sand in the vasoline, but as effective as that can be, it's dangerous, perhaps to an innocent. So, it is to be used with extreme caution.
My idea, and it works very well, is with safety and incompetence. Two examples come to mind and we can all use them.
1st. drive into the wrong toll collection lane and then wait for help.
2nd. And this works best if you ride a motorcycle as I do. pull into the correct toll collection lane. When you get to the collector, find neutral, stop the engine, put down the stand, get off the bike, take off your gloves, dig around for change or your wallet, (wallet's better), hand over a $20, get your change, put it in your wallet, (properly arranged), stuff the wallet back in your pocket, find and put on your gloves, get on the bike, raise the stand, start it, find first and leave. This can take 3 or 4 minutes if you do it correctly. The toll collector will appreciate the break, but the guys behind you will be chewing their steering wheels, (you can see this in your mirrors). The ones foaming at the mouth, the over-achievers, needed the break also, but didn't know it. You've done them a favor!
Life can be wonderful if you don't weaken.
PS: if "The One" is elected, I think we would be well advised to buy a double order of KY-Jelly in the handy Teddy Kennedy size bucket

9:42 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger TMink said...

Parasite? Someone who goes to court and presents scientific information to the court to assist in justice being carried out?

I don't think that word means what you think it means.

Trey

9:48 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger I R A Darth Aggie said...

According to statistics I've seen, the majority of spending is done by women and the majority of decisions on house purchases are made by women, although men are more likely to be the earners in the background.

Yes, and? you have a point in there?

I'm speaking as a single dude, but if I where a married man, and the wife wanted to decorate the house and make it more homey, I probably wouldn't care.

So long as she was judicious in her purchases - value, vaule, value, as well as judicious in her color choices. I. Wouldn't. Care.

Yeah, looks good honey. Excellent work!

I think it was a Marx that said the secret to a happy marriage was to keep you wallet open and your mouth shut. Another wise man said the best way to fight a woman was with your hat. Grab it and run.

And another philospher opined that men should marry. If they find a good wife, they'll be happy. If they don't, they'll become a philosopher.

9:49 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger TMink said...

johnmcg wrote: "Let me get this straight -- one party and the presidency, led us into an unnecessary war, and a financial crisis."

Whle trust already dealt with the myths that john wrote, I have to agree with the part about one party leading us into a financial crises. Chalk that one up to Barney Frank and Chris Dowd.

You can watch them deny any problems with Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae on youtube! They were denying the need for closer regulation as recently as 2007, Republicans were pushing for it since 1999.

Go watch them john. You are interested in posting the truth aren't ya?

Trey

9:51 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger The Ghost said...

Speaking as someone who works in the service industry, someone who doesn't leave a tip is an asshole, and essentially a thief.

Furthermore, a widespread movement of this sort would simply result in mandatory gratuities being added to your meal price.

9:58 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger Donald said...

Oh, come on.

I completely understand the interest in reacting to the incentives that an Obama administration would provide - i.e. work less and spend less.

But that doesn't necessitate being a jerk to a good waitress (whose voting preference you probably don't know) or holding up traffic at a tollbooth.

9:59 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger TMink said...

In response to the original question, positive reinforcement never goes out of style, it works in any administration. I tip 15% for normal service and 20% for good service. For sushi, I overtip. The sushi chef always remembers me, and man he gives me big pieces of fish and always something extra.

Some of the resentment people are feeling is class oriented. We feel like the government dependents are voting for Senator Obama to give themselves a raise from the producers. It is the anger I feel when I drop my kids off for school and the guy next to me driving a much nicer car (his is a beemer, mine a pt cruiser) and his kids go to the "free" breakfast. This kind of thing is really starting to piss off those of us who work hard for our money.

If things do not change, I predict violence. I will not be part of it, my religion forbids it, but there is a tipping point (heh) when too many Americans try to depend on too few.

Trey

9:59 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger Andrew Garland said...

You can't make a reasonable decision if you don't know who or what to blame. Which is more believable:
() All of the big banks together, along with the GSE's (Government Sponsored Enterprises) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, decided that they could make money by making or buying risky loans, against government advice and regulation, and contrary to all past banking practice, OR
() They followed government policy, regulation, and incentive to make loans and sell them to Fannie and Freddie, under the loan terms that Fannie and Freddie found acceptable.

The current housing and financial crisis was produced by the Government, by Rep. Barney Frank (D, MA, Chairman of the Financial Affairs Committee) and Sen. Christopher Dodd (D. CT, Chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee), and supported by most of Congress.

See my post We Guarantee It for the long and painful story about how the government pushed risky subprime lending of $1.4 trillion ($1.4 million million) and lost half of it ($700 billion)

10:04 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger The Dried Skink said...

I will still gladly leave a cash tip for good service given more than a few of the following reasons.
- Most cash tips go unreported and therefore untaxed. This was so prevalent when and where I waited that an estimated tip amount was taxed with the implied challenge being, prove us wrong. The amount was usually low so we didn't bother.
- We usually only eat at places where we know the people and so we keep our money within our community where we have a better handle on who is spending our money and for what.

As for your other halves post on the virtue of selfishness and Obama's Axleturfing, well, much like the implied income taxation method noted above - as well as the alternative minimum income tax we get popped with and the ability to now take your lands - the ground work is being done to outright seize your resources.
I'm so looking forward to being conscripted to build monuments to That One.

10:06 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger The Ghost said...

Oh, I forgot to add: class warfare anyone? The wait staff at a chain restaurant generally makes decent money, probably double the minimum wage for a hard night's work. Not tipping your waiter (and especially waitress, if she has kids) lowers their income, making them much more open to Obama's blandishments. And rightfully so, since you're essentially declaring war on her, daring her to get Obama to take more of your money.

The upper class haven't done so well in those kinds of wars recently.

10:08 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger peterike said...

I think the concept of this idea is a good starting point. But I'd refine it.

First, it only applies to a waitperson that flaunts their politics in your face: e.g. Obama button, tie, makes comments, whatever. I came here to eat, not for propaganda.

Second, don't actually stiff them. That's just wrong. But teach them a lesson. When you get the bill, say "You know, since you're such an Obama fan, I think I'll redistribute some wealth. Instead of giving you a tip, I'm going to give that money to the first homeless guy I see. What do you think of that?"

After they finish cursing you out, tell them: "That was just to teach you a lesson. How does it feel to see the money you worked for given away to someone who did nothing to earn it? Well the guy you're going to vote for is planning on doing that to the entire country."

You'll leave them with both the tip and a little more wisdom than they had before.

10:09 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger Richard said...

I own a seasonal restaurant at the NJ Shore. Each summer I employ about 25 servers who fall into the Obama infatuated age group, 18-25. I was surprised and gratified to learn that about a third of these deep blue NJ, university indoctrinated children of the upper middle class were voting McCain. Many of them disliked Obama's faux class warfare Hope and Change message extremely.

The scatter gun approach to punishing all servers due to the poor choices of some servers lacks the justice and discrimination that a conservative should be striving for.

If you see an Obama button, however, all bets are off.

10:22 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger Richard said...

I own a seasonal restaurant at the NJ Shore. Each summer I employ about 25 servers who fall into the Obama infatuated age group, 18-25. I was surprised and gratified to learn that about a third of these deep blue NJ, university indoctrinated children of the upper middle class were voting McCain. Many of them disliked Obama's faux class warfare Hope and Change message extremely.

The scatter gun approach to punishing all servers due to the poor choices of some servers lacks the justice and discrimination that a conservative should be striving for.

If you see an Obama button, however, all bets are off.

10:22 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger Fred Fry said...

"Europeans tip less"

Well many don't tip at all, instead believing some line that the tip is included in the price. While doing my MBA in Finland I tried to get the details of how that worked. The restaurant bill included 22%VAT (Value added tax/their sales tax). You pay the bill and no tip. So I asked "how much does a person get if they work no tables during their shift?" The answer: "They get their salary." Then I ask: "How much do they get if they work a full load of tables for the whole shift?" The answer: "They get their salary." The salary is the same no matter how hard they work which is why service in restaurants in Finland sucks. You have to almost plead to get a bill, because once you pay, they have to go back to work and serve new customers who replace you.

10:24 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger Earl Camembert said...

If Obama raises my taxes as much as I expect (and my wife and I don't make anywhere near $250K), tipping or not tipping is irrelevant; we'll be forced to cut back significantly on discretionary spending. Dining out will be at the top of the list.

Less diners = less need for restaurant employees.

10:26 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger MathMom said...

Jeff @ 8:43 a.m.

I'll instead mail my tip to the CEO of the restaurant chain. The server can then wait for the CEO to pass it back down.

Yo, Jeff - the CEO of the restaurant chain already passed it back down. He opened a restaurant and employs people, dude.

Didn't pass Econ 101, I take it?

10:28 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger Number Six said...

What pixelkiller describes above, protesting by using exaggerated safety, has been used for many years by organized labor. It's called work-to-rule or a slow down. Do the minimum you're required to do and no more. And follow every bureaucratic rule as carefully and as exactly as possible. And do it, if not slowly, then not fast.

The people in the DMV have been doing this for many years, even when they have nothing to protest.

Re tipping. I think John Galt would not eat in restaurants. He'd brown bag it or go hungry until he got home.

The sad thing is that nowadays making a hamburger at home costs almost as much as buying one from a chain.

10:30 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger Johnny Bravo said...

I agree with those who have proposed reduced or no tipping based upon displayed preference, not just indiscriminite stiffing. Who knows, maybe you'd turn a possible conservative against us.

The other week, I took a relatively short cab ride in NYC. The entire way, the cabbie has on the self-described "most progressive station in New York." It was playing some pro-Obama townhall in Madison, WI, which was typically borderline communist in bent. It was loud enough for me to clearly hear it (even over the cabbie's constant cell phone chatter), but that didn't stop him from turning it up.

When we arrived, I gave him a 50 cent tip on a $13 ride and suggested that he choose a different radio station.

10:32 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger Helen said...

i r a darth aggie,

Waiters and waitresses are notorious for not reporting all their tips, so you are nor really putting them in a lower tax bracket by withholding a tip or paying less. They will be in a higher one if an automatic gratuity is added also, so it will cost them more in the end to have this change come about.

10:52 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger LBJay said...

"mandatory gratuities" (Oxymoron)

Is that like voluntary taxes?

11:03 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger JohnMcG said...

Just so we have all our assumptions in order, we are assuming:

* All servers are Obama voters.
* They are Obama voters specifically because they want to steal the rich's hard-earned money for themselves.
* They are tax cheats.

But don't call it class warfare...

---

If you want to reduce your tip based on a negative experience with a server treating you as a semi-captive audience for their political diatribes, I have no problem with that. Their job is to give you a pleasant experience -- if they're more concerned with expressing how cool Obama is than paying attention to you, then they are doing a poor job, and reduced compensation is a proper consequence.

But to indiscriminately punish working people for the results of a national election is absurd.

11:05 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger Kyle Haight said...

Re: John Galt eating in restaurants. While I don't think Galt himself ever ate in a restaurant in Atlas Shrugged, his mentor Hugh Akston was working in a diner. As I recall he provided good service and Dagny Taggart tipped him well, though the government in the novel was substantially worse even than an Obama administration promises to be.

11:27 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger Auto Report World Editors said...

I wonder what a waiter or waitress would do if, along with their tip, a patron handed them a copy of an appropriately filled out 1099 form.

As for the folks here who think that it's stealing or thievery to refuse to tip, let me remind you what the word "tip" means. It's an abbreviation of To Insure Promptness so it's clearly voluntary.

One other thing for all of you who think that tipping is mandatory, when the restaurant owner acts as your server, do you still tip?

11:31 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger DADvocate said...

For the time being, I'll keep tipping unless the server has on an Obama button or something along those lines. Please keep tipping valet workers in Cincinnati. He might be my son.

11:35 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger Cato Renasci said...

What a fun thread!

I've worked in restaurants, and so usually tip well. I make it a point to tip in cash whenever possible. Tips that are added to the credit card statement are usually reported (or an audit will find them).

Perhaps the best thing to do is to make sure all tips are on the credit card where you do tip.

12:10 PM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger comatus said...

Thank you Kyle, you are a scholar. One quibble, though: Akston didn't just work there; he owned the joint.

And Dagny said it was the best "hamburger sandwich" she'd ever had.

Was that you I heard on the train, whistling Halley's Fifth?

12:10 PM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger Jeff said...

There is no such word as "waitperson". And get off my lawn!

12:14 PM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger Dave said...

Just so we have all our assumptions in order, we are assuming:

* All business owners or those making more than 250K/yr are McCain voters.
* They are McCain voters specifically because they want to steal the poor's rightful portion of the "shared wealth" for themselves.
* They are tax cheats because they won't give up more of their "hard-earned money" to those Obama thinks are more deserving.

But don't call it class warfare...

There. Fixed that for you.

12:32 PM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger Kristen said...

I work in a restaurant, so I have to throw in my two cents:

Some restauraunts report an "estimated tip income" on your taxes for you. I earn about $2 an hour in wage after these taxes are taken out. I also have to "tip out" the busser, host, and bartender, based on my sales. So if someone fails to tip (or tips less than 10%) I LOSE money on that table.

More people not tipping means that some servers would make less than minmum wage... Possibly driving them to seek government assistance (and this is what we want to AVOID). Many servers are waiting tables while they put themselves through school, and deserve respect for being self-supporting and working hard instead of leeching off loans and grants while finishing their degree.

12:34 PM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger Pat said...

"It's an abbreviation of To Insure Promptness . . ."

No, it's not. That's an urban legend.

It amazes me that people are willing to believe almost any random word originated as an acronym, even if the word is centuries old. Turning acronyms into words is a 20th-century phenomenon.

12:38 PM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger JG said...

"Possibly driving them to seek government assistance ..."

-------

Yes, because getting a job in a different line of work would be too much to ask.

12:39 PM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger JohnMcG said...

Fixed what?

Has someone proposed some sort of public action to reduce rich people's income in the event of a McCain victory on the assumption that all rich people voted for McCain to steal money from working folks and they're probably cheating on their taxes anyway so it won't hurt them?

12:40 PM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger JohnMcG said...

Yes, because getting a job in a different line of work would be too much to ask.

--

Yes, I think it would be too much to ask to force someone into a different livelihood because you didn't like the results of the last election.

12:41 PM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger JG said...

I frankly think that a good point was made above: There is a disconnect between the people who earn money (producers) and the people who spend it. The people who would be stiffing waiters in many cases would not be the people who produce.

I thought the whole point of Rand's book was that the producers "went on strike".

As pointed out above, how is a parasite stiffing a waiter remotely connected to producers going on strike?

12:42 PM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger I R A Darth Aggie said...

They will be in a higher one if an automatic gratuity is added also, so it will cost them more in the end to have this change come about.

Say, that is change I can get behind!

Share the wealth? share the pain, too!

12:49 PM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger Pat said...

Why is tipping necessary at all?

Why don't restaurants pay the waitstaff what they're worth and include that expense in the cost of the meal?

Why does the law exempt waitstaff from the minimum wage, forcing them to make up the difference in tips?

The whole system is stupid. I would be happy to have the equivalent of a 20% gratuity added to the cost of every meal in a restaurant that has waitstaff. It would be worth it to avoid the nuisance of calculating the tip every damn time. And if I'm not happy with the service, I'll just have a word with the manager on my way out.

12:51 PM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger br549 said...

So johnmcg, you're a waiter, then?

Just asking.

12:54 PM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger JG said...

Johnmcg sez:

"Yes, I think it would be too much to ask to force someone into a different livelihood because you didn't like the results of the last election."

-----------

I'm not condoning this action. It sounds kind of stupid to me.

I'm just sick of hearing: "She HAD TO go on welfare because ...".

In this case, a woman apparently would be FORCED TO go on public assistance if her waitress job didn't pay enough. The option of doing SOMETHING ELSE apparently doesn't exist.

12:55 PM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger JG said...

Yeah, "rich people" like Heather Mills stiffing waiters (who work very hard, by the way) is going to get back at Obama supporters.

But Heather has to get back to her important job of producing wealth.

12:59 PM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger Florida said...

Yea, you might want to be careful about not tipping lefty waiters.

You see, the young Democrat knows all about credit card fraud, and you'll probably be handing him your Visa to pay the bill along with your "redistributed" tip.

I know waiters who are writing down those credit card numbers and selling them to identity thieves.

So, remember ... if you're going John Galt, always use cash!

1:28 PM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger Pat said...

Interesting comment, Florida.

You appear to be saying that all Democrats are criminals. (Or perhaps that that all waiters are.)

Such frankness is refreshing.

1:38 PM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger SpeakDog said...

Hold on there, Sister!

I'm a server in a restaurant, and I have no intention of voting for Obama....nor do about 85% of the people working in my restaurant.

So, your idea of "redistributing" MY tip (aka my salary) to punish me for an Obama presidency is not only obnoxious, it is insulting.

Not all "middle-class" people are looking for a handout from the government, just like not all "rich" people are out to screw everyone around them.

1:39 PM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger JohnMcG said...

John Galt recognized that the system to compensate him for his services was unjust, so he withdrew his services.

Receiving a service and then withholding the socially conventional compensation for that service because one is unhappy with the political environment and suspects the server helped bring it about seems pretty far afield from that.

1:50 PM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger cpaforerp said...

Who are y'all kidding? Most of the people reading this blog are conservatives and you wouldn't stiff waiter because your earned your money by hard work and respect other people who do likewise. You won't reduce your charitable contributions either - you earned your money and you want to help others. Who stiffs waiters? Remember Hilary stiffing the waitress in Iowa? Charity? Compare Biden's tax returns with McCain's or Palin's. Most of you are all "talk" on this "stiffing the waiter" thread.

1:53 PM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger S said...

Joan of Argghh! said...

"Today's "wait staff" is largely a disappointing and surly group of emo-kids and goths"

As an old grown up goth, I'd just point out there were a lot of conservatives and Reagan fans in that group... in the last eight years or so it’s probably changed a lot now that conservatives have been painted as backwards religious bumpkins by the left.. but in the 80s and 90s... well, conservatives were associated with liking history, some social order / grace, and respect for excellence (re: non forced equality), respect for the spiritual / religion (vs. the left's materialism), and other things THEY also liked... so there was affinity... and overlap... Anyway, it’s just anecdotal but I'm and old one and I'm voting McCain...

1:54 PM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger Dudley Do-right said...

Cham had it right, right off the line. Stay home and cook your own meals. Brown bag it at work. "But I have so much to do. Where will I find the time?", she wailed.

Cut back. What is there about being less productive that you don't understand? It's the direction you'll be expected to go, under the socialist Obama, so why fight it. Productivity and efficiency will soon be a distant memory.

Better make plans for planting a garden and raising some animals too, while you're at it. Our highly productive Ag and food distribution sectors won't remain so for long under the socialists. The backyard may become the key to keeping body and soul together.

While you're at it read up on the hunter-gatherer lifestyle. The lefty tree huggers have a sort of romantic attachment to it as an ecological ideal. Once they've swept your backyard up into the local potato collective, you may get the opportunity to experience "the lifestyle". Why should Sarah Palin be the only one with enough smarts to survive?

Tipping waiters is the least of our problems.

1:59 PM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger Vicki said...

I think Helen's tongue-in-cheek comments have been taken out of context. I doubt she (or many of us) would cheat a server if they did a good job. But I think her point was the delusion of 'spreading the wealth', not restaurants.

2:20 PM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger JohnMcG said...

Right, and people wearing a "Free Mumia" shirt don't really want a convicted murderer released, they're just protesting capital punishment and the problems in the criminal justice system.

Words have meaning.

2:24 PM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger Rigel Kent said...

Being the son of a waitress I could never countenance not tipping, or even tipping less. Especially not based on th rather ridiculous rationale of who's President.

If you don't want to pay for the service, don't use the service. I.E., don't go where tipping is expected.

2:54 PM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger Tom of the Missouri said...

A few days ago on CafeHayek.com Don Bourdeaux posted the following quote he received from his collegue Walter Williams:

"Today on my way to lunch I passed a homeless guy with a sign that read 'Vote Obama, I need the money.' I laughed. Once in the restaurant my server had on a 'Obama 08' tie, again I laughed as he had given away his political preference -- just imagine the coincidence. When the bill came I decided not to tip the server and explained to him that I was exploring the Obama redistribution of wealth concept. He stood there in disbelief while I told him that I was going to redistribute his tip to someone who I deemed more in need -- the homeless guy outside. The server angrily stormed from my sight. I went outside, gave the homeless guy $10 and told him to thank the server inside as I've decided he could use the money more. The homeless guy was grateful. At the end of my rather unscientific redistribution experiment I realized the homeless guy was grateful for the money he did not earn, but the waiter was pretty angry that I gave away the money he did earn even though the actual recipient needed money more. I guess redistribution of wealth is an easier thing to swallow in concept than in practical application. "

I think this is a much clear illustration of the "not tipping" point.

2:58 PM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger wolfboy69 said...

So let me get this straight...I have to pay for the food, and then for the waiter or waitress to bring it to me as well? When did leaving a tip become mandatory?

I leave a good tip (20%) for good service. I leave a bad tip(0-10%) when service is bad.

But if you expect that I am obligated to tip you.....no.

Do you tip the kid in the movie theater who gets you your popcorn? Do you tip your cashier when they ring up your groceries?

Just like wealth distribution, when you give something to people for nothing, why should they then have to provide any kind of adequate service in return.

You want a good tip....provide good service. Just showing up doesn't cut it.

3:10 PM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger Larry said...

I'm guessing that under Obama the evaporation of our savings will accelerate and we won't be going out to eat much anymore.

3:20 PM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger Major-General said...

Since moving to the Peoples Democratic Socialist Republic of California, I don't tip: it's illegal to pay less than the state minimum wage ($8/hr) with the expectation that tips will make up the difference.

Unless I like the service. Put that happens so rarely now.

3:24 PM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger MarkyMark said...

Doc,

If Obama gets in and gets his policies implemented, the question will be moot. Why? Because, thanks to 'spreading OUR wealth around', we won't be ABLE to tip as much!

6:13 PM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger br549 said...

I can understand being a wait person (is that term ok? - humor!) as an interim position, or if working your way through school, etc. But it's not a career quality position. Been there, done that. Most of us who have worked their way to a better place have.

It is "customary and usual" to tip 15% for an expected level of service, 20% for exemplary service. Most people do. But why would one expect it to pay what a B.S. degree pays?

I also have little patience for the "I've been here 10 years, I deserve more money" types who do no more, produce no more, and are WORTH no more than someone who is 6 months on the job.

Hell, if you want to get paid what you're worth, try first being worth what you're paid. Then ramp it up, man. Be worth more! That has turned into a novel idea in this country.

We have people walk in to our offices dressed in clothes I would only wear to a pick up football game with friends. They want to "fill out an application". It is usually near the end of the month, when they have to turn in names of companies they applied to in order to get their check. You never see them again, and you wouldn't want to hire them anyway. So Obama wants to take a bigger chunk of my earnings and give it to them? Not only no, but hell no. It's all about what's between ones ears, or isn't. Opportunity should be equal, and this nation is still working on that. It's better today than yesterday, and better than any place else in the world. Outcome, on the other hand, is all about self.

7:04 PM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger Alex said...

Blogger Rigel Kent said...

Being the son of a waitress I could never countenance not tipping, or even tipping less. Especially not based on th rather ridiculous rationale of who's President.

If you don't want to pay for the service, don't use the service. I.E., don't go where tipping is expected.
2:54 PM, October 31, 2008


Sorry, but when the left made it a moral issue of who voted for President Bush or who didn't the last 8 years, Obama voters don't get off the hook so easy. No uh. No way in hell. It's payback time buddy. And it's gonna be hell.

7:46 PM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger John David said...

Dear Sir or Madam:

Here is your order. The homeless gentleman to whom you gave my tip is also eating half of your entree.

Regards,

Your Server

9:10 PM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger Larry said...

The places where I have to pay first before my meal is given to me don't have servers so the tip issue never arises.

But as I said earlier, under The One, I don't expect to be able to eat much, certainly in places with waiters.

9:48 PM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger br549 said...

The majority of the conversation here is moot. Obama is not going to be the next president.

10:00 PM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger wolfboy69 said...

Dear John David,

Since you just gave half of a paying customers meal to someone who will not pay, the paying customer is only paying for half of his meal. The rest comes out of your paycheck. Oh yeah, you no longer have a job here.

Regards,

Your Boss

10:25 PM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger TMink said...

I do not hold a person's political beliefs against them unless they are running for office.

But then I voted for Bill Clinton the fist time.

Trey

10:33 PM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger Pete said...

Speaking as someone who works in the service industry, someone who doesn't leave a tip is an asshole, and essentially a thief.

Speaking as someone who started their working life in the service industry, in my day a tip was for GOOD service.

Just showing up to grunt me a greeting, sullenly take my order, grudgingly refill my coffee but once, and get snotty with me when I remind you I wanted my toast/bagel/english muffin unbuttered gets you zip.

1:05 AM, November 01, 2008  
Blogger Rigel Kent said...

alex, how does me thinking people should pay for what they get lead you to the conclusion I'm an Obamite?

This is poor logic at best. Just for the record so there's no confusion I in no way support Obama for President.

As far as it being "payback time", talk is cheap, and semi-anonymous talk on a blog doubly so.

And I am not your body, understood?

1:11 AM, November 01, 2008  
Blogger Don said...

Just wait until all the waitstaff have been intimidated into union membership. The restaurants will go out of business a lot quicker than the automakers.

2:14 AM, November 01, 2008  
Blogger br549 said...

tmink - you voted for Clinton first time?

I admire the fact you admit it, and hold you in even higher regard for doing so.

However, I am thoroughly distraught and plan to leap from the nearest bridge just after I finish my morning coffee and Bays English muffin.

6:52 AM, November 01, 2008  
Blogger PikeBishop said...

Sorry Dr. Helen: I am a school teacher who has been delivering pizzas for some extra bread, and will be buying into our owner's next store as an investor.

I have gained many insights into society in the year and a half I have been doing this.

I love delivering to the houses in gated communities that have NO furniture in them. Oh and they also have a tricke out SUV in the driveway and a four-door sedan as well. Hmmmmm, want to bet its a sub prime mortage that I get to pay off for them. They usually stiff me too.

Also I deliver to a lower middle class/working class neighborhood as well. The other night at a house, saw a Ford F-150 in the driveway (and no it did not appear to be Dad's work truck) and a Toyota Camry. Nice Hispanic lady answered the door, married, three kids and what do I see in their living room? A 60 inch tv! Hmmm I work two jobs and can't afford a 60 inch tv. Bet they can't afford to buy thier kids health care huh?

Of our eleven pizza drivers, I no of no one who is voting for Obama, except for one spaced out kid who is a total idiot (and probably isn't registered anyway). And we have drivers all over the spectrum from "older guys (I am 43)" to young college age kids.

Please don't take it out on us.

12:37 PM, November 01, 2008  
Blogger David Tarrell said...

This is easily the most disgusting I've ever read, and also one of the most hilarious. To think that you and soft Glenn think of yourselves as "Atlases" is the funny part. To think that you believe you're a part of an army of "Davids" while advocating retaliation for an Obama victory via cheap tipping to waiters making about two bucks an hour is the disgusting part.

Wouldn't it be interesting if we could get a forensic psychologist or a legal ethics expert to examine the deranged personalities behind such beliefs? Oh, wait...

2:57 PM, November 01, 2008  
Blogger TMink said...

br549, What can I say? I have grown. I have matured. I started to pay taxes!

My first Presidential vote was for the gipper. I lied and told my liberal friends that I voted against him of course.

And then I voted for Bill. I was younger and honestly believed that liberalism was the way to help people.

Then I went to grad school and started to learn about human nature and well, I grew up. Part of it was actually thinking about what abortion is. Here in Tennessee, the yearly abortion stats are about 17,000 a year. When I had a child, that transformed my thinking about so many things, and it helped me to see just what abortion is.

And I learned, in many cases, to distinguish between shit and shinola. That is why I cannot call myself a Republican!

I am just a conservative now, and I would hate to lose a friend to a bridge!

Trey

4:17 PM, November 01, 2008  
Blogger MM said...

I think it's a great idea to punish people who may or may not have anything to do at all with an outcome I disagree with.

I for one, think that Oracle makes a terrible database server, so from here on out I intend to agressively cut off anyone in Denver who is driving towards the southern portion of town in the morning or away from thesouthern portion of town in the evenings. After all, at least one of them eventually will be an Oracle employee. When people honk or yell at me, I'll give them an article about application scalibility and a curt nod.

Thanks for the inspiration Dr. Helen!

6:17 PM, November 01, 2008  
Blogger exomike said...

Dr. Smith,
You appear to be a psychopath. I hope you do not work with living human beings. If you do, your license should be revoked. I would hope you do not work in a position where you could have an effect on any other human being’s life.

Looking through your blog it becomes evident also that your thought processes are such that you would be an unreliable witness in any court case.

I do not think Physician heal thyself would be in order here or possible. That would require self-knowledge and a shred of competence; both of which you obviously lack.

Ever So Sincerely,
Dr. M.D. Adams
Atlanta

6:26 PM, November 01, 2008  
Blogger Studio Guy said...

What an incredibly self absorbed self important entitled attitude!

I am beside myself that this was "authored" by a supposed adult!

My five year old was better at consideration and sharing than this unbelievably obnoxious sorry excuse for a civilized human being.

Get over your self, lady!

As I understand, Dr. Helen's degree in in forensic psycology. Dr. Helen must spend too much time with corpses and not enough time actually functioning with people.

Was she not raised with the Golden Rule?

Do onto others as you would have them do onto you?

What a pathetic and small individual, I feel sorry for someone as scared and alone as she must be.


If my children proposed behavior and rhetoric that was similar for any cause, they would be told that was inappropriate; plain and simple.

Where do these neophytes come from?

Dr. Helen sure aint setting any type of reputable example...

for shame, for shame...

6:31 PM, November 01, 2008  
Blogger Mike B. said...

I'm increasingly amazed by today's conservatives. Do you not realize why you are no longer the dominant political force in America? It's because enough of you aren't disgusted by ideas like this. Normal people are.

You can dress this up with any fanciful argument you like. Every waiter stiffed will still mean more time in the political wilderness for you. Perhaps eight years of Democrats in charge will bring some of you to your senses--stealing people's services is not the kind of idea you need to rehabilitate your movement.

6:56 PM, November 01, 2008  
Blogger Nylund said...

"In lieu of a tip, $_____ has been donated to the Re-Elect Obama for President Campaign. Thank you for supporting the man and the movement that are bringing America together!"

Except there isn't a chance in hell you'd actually donate to the Re-Elect Obama campaign so this would be an outright lie.

It would also be disingenuous since you are trying to portray the non-tipper as an Obama supporter when this is not true, hoping that the waitstaff will blame Obama supporters.

This is truly the suggestion of a very terrible and mean-spirited person who has absolutely no sense of humanity or community.

Oh, and I wouldn't recommend doing this at any restaurant you actually enjoy. Waiters and waitresses have great memories and I can guarantee you'll be eating a mouthful of spit (at the very least) in any subsequent meals eaten at that establishment.

7:01 PM, November 01, 2008  
Blogger Nylund said...

Dear Helen Smith,

I fully support you going all John Galt and moving to the mountain top.

We don't need you and we won't miss you.

Cheers,
Nylund

7:06 PM, November 01, 2008  
Blogger gawker said...

I am sure this post sounded more intelligent in your mind.

7:11 PM, November 01, 2008  
Blogger Nylund said...

This idea reminds me not of John Galt but of Marie Antoinette.

Your statement is the modern equivalent of "let them eat cake."

Needless to say that didn't work out for ol' Marie so well.

7:13 PM, November 01, 2008  
Blogger br549 said...

No one expected any one of you to get it.

By the way, Obama is not going to win.

7:27 PM, November 01, 2008  
Blogger T Hill said...

Seems anybody can get a Ph.D. these days -- social promotion?

7:52 PM, November 01, 2008  
Blogger Curt Hagedorn said...

You mock Obama as "the One" and then you adhere to a philosophy rife with misplaced hero worship...aside from the fact that anyone with any actual relationship to the nobility that is John Galt would never talk about "pulling a John Galt" like Ayn Rand's philosophy were some sort of upper class hobby rather than the foundation of all that is right and good :)

8:51 PM, November 01, 2008  
Blogger Moon Rattled said...

This isn't Helen's idea. It's a urban myth/idea that's being spread around the Intertubes by wingnuts. See John Cole's post on it over at Balloon Juice.
http://www.balloon-juice.com/?p=13082

He used to support Republicans until they turned into people like Helen here.

9:15 PM, November 01, 2008  
Blogger br549 said...

Wow, a lot of waiters chiming in on this one.

10:33 PM, November 01, 2008  
Blogger JohnMcG said...

No, br59, a lot of people with a shred of decency.

I know it might shock you that people might possible have motives for acting beyond their own personal material interest, but it does happen.

10:39 PM, November 01, 2008  
Blogger virgotex said...

one day people will look back on stuff like this the same way we now watch Wallace on the statehouse steps or white crackers spitting at the first black kids to integrate high schools.

Sadly for your kids you folks are on the wrong side of history. Plus, the whole mean and stingy thing.

Hope this all works out for you.

11:09 PM, November 01, 2008  
Blogger Nylund said...

It sounds Helen would have a lot in common with this woman who refused to give out candy on Halloween to any child who liked Obama or whose parents liked Obama:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbkBE0lWeYU

Not that refusing to give money to people who make $2 an hour is all that much better than denying little children Halloween candy. It actually may be worse.

11:17 PM, November 01, 2008  
Blogger wolfboy69 said...

Did any of you bother to really read the post? based on the comments....I guess not.

Either that or reading comprehension isn't being taught today.

Would one of you who seem to think Dr. Helen is a terrible person, please quote where she said that you shouldn't tip and deprive someone of said tip simply because they are Obama supporters? Please?

BR549...glad I'm not at a restaurant...all of the waitstaff seems to be here. It would have to be serve yourself. And please, I agree with tmink...please don't jump. :)

12:02 AM, November 02, 2008  
Blogger Mom said...

Ex-server trainer here = 10+years out of the industry. I was there night shift till my son was grown enough not to need 24 hour parental presence, days me-nights daddy.
We had our share of obnoxious customers even in the old days. But no server I ever worked with would even have THOUGHT about doing anything to a customer's food, not even the stalker who left the restaurant in handcuffs.

7:21 AM, November 02, 2008  
Blogger br549 said...

wolfboy, reading the original post and following the links that brought the post to life before commenting is way to logical a thing to do for many.

If the waiters and waitresses would have done so, they would realize it's not about them at all, eh?

But it is a blast to watch the heads explode as in "Mars Attacks". ACK ACK!!

I have always tipped 15% minimum, and more often than not tip 20%, because most wait staff are pretty damned good. However, I would never tell them that in a blog. It would spoil the fun.

I have as of yet to hear Obama guarantee 20% gratuity to waiters and waitresses. Maybe his proposed "citizen army" will keep their eyes on it for him. And all waiters and waitresses will be dressed in brown shirts someday.

9:39 AM, November 02, 2008  
Blogger djinn said...

I am charmed by your idea of punishing random people, who make below minimum wage, to what? Save yourself a few bucks in the name of some sort of self righteous tissy fit? How can you be so mean? In both senses of the word.

12:21 PM, November 02, 2008  
Blogger Helen said...

djinn,

I know waiters, waitresses and bartenders making 80,000 a year. This is not a hissy fit. It is an analysis of a systematic way for many of us to "go John Galt" should our pay be docked for being successful. It may not be the right strategy, but it might be. I am putting the ideas out there for my readers to discuss. Sorry if that frightens or angers you. Seems you and your buddies are the ones throwing a hissy fit. And btw, calling people mean as an insult only works in junior high. I could care less if I am perceived as "mean" by those who want to steal from one group to give to another.

12:29 PM, November 02, 2008  
Blogger MB said...

Frankly, the laugh-number here is that Helen is setting herself up to be the John Galt - the very high producing person that society just can't live without (along with his producing buddies).

I don't think that's the case with Helen, and I doubt society is going to crumble if she stiffs a few waiters (with Glen's money, basically) or if she quits her very important job as a forensic psychologist.

I've lurked on this site for a while, and for some reason my respect for Helen is dropping like a brick lately. Pride goeth before the fall, I guess.

12:42 PM, November 02, 2008  
Blogger MB said...

Yeah, the income tax should be eliminated (or, failing that, reduced).

We all have to pay taxes, Important Doctor Helen.

And ... I knew John Galt and Helen, you're no John Galt.

(Freely adapted from a debate in which that was said about Dan Quayle who was posing as John Kennedy).

12:45 PM, November 02, 2008  
Blogger djinn said...

Looking at actual income tax payments, here,

"If the federal taxation rate is compared with the wealth distribution rate, the net wealth (not only income but also including real estate, cars, house, stocks, etc) distribution of the United States does almost coincide with the share of income tax - the top 1% pay 36.9% of federal tax (wealth 32.7%), the top 5% pay 57.1% (wealth 57.2%), top 10% pay 68% (wealth 69.8%), and the bottom 50% pay 3.3% (wealth 2.8%).[11]

Other taxes in the United States with a less progressive structure or a regressive structure, and legal tax avoidance loopholes change the overall tax burden distribution. For example, the payroll tax system (FICA), a 12.4% Social Security tax on wages up to $97,500 and a 2.9% Medicare tax (a 15.3% total tax that is often split between employee and employer) is a regressive tax on income with no standard deduction or personal exemptions. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities states that three-fourths of U.S. taxpayers pay more in payroll taxes than they do in income taxes.[12] The Tax Foundation has stated that the burden of the corporate income tax (a 15-39% tax) falls on customers and workers of the corporations, who are often not rich.[13]"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxation_in_the_United_States

Since 1974, GDP has approximately doubled, but the median income worker's income (when inflation is taken into account) has barely budged. Rather,all that money has gone into increasingly fewer hands. It is clear from the numbers that the people getting stiffed are the same ones that you wish to stiff. Good luck with that.

12:53 PM, November 02, 2008  
Blogger djinn said...

If you didn't get the point of my comment, it is the rich that aren't paying their fair share.

1:02 PM, November 02, 2008  
Blogger br549 said...

McCain is going to win.

ACK ACK!!

1:04 PM, November 02, 2008  
Blogger Tyro said...

Refusal to tip when service rendered has been otherwise acceptable is a form of theft.

If my mechanic charges me money for repairs that break my car or don't fix the problem, it's acceptable for me to refuse to pay. But if he *does* repair my car but does so while wearing a political button I do not like, then I still owe him for his services rendered.

If you don't like the wait staff for their political stances, leave the restaurant or don't go there in the first place. Do not accept their services and then refuse to pay them for them. That is a form of theft. This isn't even something we should joke about, because it's treating the waitstaff in a way you'd never treat your mechanic, your plumber, or your cleaning staff. It's a form of class hostility that we have no place for.

2:02 PM, November 02, 2008  
Blogger Helen said...

Tyro,

Running out on the bill for food is a form of theft. A tip is optional. It's very definition is an "Optional payment given in addition to a required payment, usually to express appreciation for excellent service; here also called gratuity."

http://www.investorwords.com/4990/tip.html

2:25 PM, November 02, 2008  
Blogger aimai said...

Helen claims to have been a waitress but doesn't know that waiters/waitresses are taxed on the imaginary, optional, tip and that thanks to laws they are exempted from being paid minimum wage?

Most people on this thread lack reading comprehension. Helen thinks that a) all waiters are pro obama because all waiters are cheap hustlers who want to tax the wealthy so they can stop working. b) Helen suggests that she should try to undermine their confidence in their presumed choice of leader (imaginary, of course, because Helen isn't talking about any actual waiter) by stiffing them on the tip she usually would leave and pretending that she is contributing the tip to the Obama/Biden campaign.

Since she is not planning to do that she is proposing simply to stiff the waiter of the tip that they are expecting adn without which they can't make ends meet (see above, low pay for, waiters).

She previously asserted that she does, in fact, always tip well because she has some measure of empathy with servers having been one herself. She leaves open the implication that if she can't imagine herself in another person's shoes she can have no way of empathizing with them. Look for stunning new revelations as Helen discovers what its like to get old, what its like to have sick relatives, what its like to have your husband leave you for an automtated sex bot, and a host of other normal human events. Eventually, if she lives long enough, Helen may grow to be a real woman!

touching, really.

aimai

3:10 PM, November 02, 2008  
Blogger br549 said...

Then perhaps waiters and waitresses should give a portion of their tips to the restaurant owner, no?

The owner purchases the food for resale. He pays the rent on the building, buys the dishes,glasses, the utensils, the stoves, ovens, dishwashing machines, tables, chairs, linen, toilet paper, hand soap, carpet, pays for the phone lines and phones so people can make reservations, or your kids can call you if necessary, buys space in the yellow pages, pays for advertising, pays HALF of all taxes every employee pays (in other words pays as much taxes on your paycheck as YOU DO, light bulbs, background Muzak......

This can go on forever. However, the personal attacks stared long ago, as the waiters and waitresses ran out of logical arguments after the first couple words.

Obama is not going to win, OK? Get over it.

3:51 PM, November 02, 2008  
Blogger JG said...

br549 sez:

"... as the waiters and waitresses ran out of logical arguments after the first couple words."

-------

I'm not a waiter and I almost certainly make more money than you do, Bunky, but I agree with quite a few of the points above (the points you think must be made by waiters).

I'm not quite sure why you're Helen's defender-boy in any and all situations.

Basically, this idea of hers was not just stupid and unfeeling, it was stupid and unfeeling to such an extent that I almost have to reappraise my opinion of her.

5:40 PM, November 02, 2008  
Blogger wolfboy69 said...

br549 - "Did you ever see that scene in Scanners where that dude's head explodes?" - Waynes World


I keep waiting to hear the loud pops of those heads exploding. It is obvious that they don't understand the point trying to be made. If my money (that I earned) is taken and given to those who don't do anything but leach off of those who do, then that means I have less to give to those who do earn it (through hard work, and giving an enjoyable experience), such as wait staff. But when I get crappy service at a restaurant, I give a crappy tip. Tip commensurate with service. I usually give between 10-15%. Great service gets 20%. But at the end of the meal, it is my decision, not the decision of the waiter or waitress. My money, my choice.

aimai - Since she is not planning to do that she is proposing simply to stiff the waiter of the tip that they are expecting

Expecting? Nice entitlement attitude. Tips are in the nature of a bonus. Not mandatory, and given if the individual served thinks that the service merits it. I'm not obliged to give anyone anything (except my wife...but that's a given).

At this point, the wage to be earned for the redistribution is heading down. It started at 250k, then went to 200k, then Biden stuck his foot in his mouth yet again saying 150k, and no Bill Richardson, at an Obama fund raiser in New Mexico states it will be 120k. That hits right in the middle of the Middle class. So much for only hitting the rich. I expect it will bottom out at around 75k. And
since this money will be going to people who don't pay taxes, well....isn't that fair? /sarcasm

If this happens, my wife and I are going to get hit hard. Likely, we will have to stop going out to any type of restaurant. Guess that means I won't have to worry about tipping at all.

Hope you enjoy having less people to wait on, as less people will have discretionary income to spend on things like eating out. Tips won't mean much, as you will probably be happy just to have a job.

9:44 PM, November 02, 2008  
Blogger br549 said...

Bunky? Oh, owww, ouch. I've been called a name by a head waitress.

Obama is not going to win.

10:13 PM, November 02, 2008  
Blogger br549 said...

If those who make more are unfairly taxed for it, so it may be given to others who don't make as much, with the choice of who gets it made by the government, why work hard? Make less, they'll take less. The bar will then be lowered, and there will be less for all, less for everything.

It's not about waiters and waitresses. Sheesh. Well, I take that back. It is, because it's about everyone.

10:19 PM, November 02, 2008  
Blogger br549 said...

I just enjoy watching heads explode.

10:21 PM, November 02, 2008  
Blogger Marbel said...

br549,

Obama is not going to win.

I admire your optimism.

10:23 PM, November 02, 2008  
Blogger Tyro said...

Running out on the bill for food is a form of theft. A tip is optional.

Actually, no. Your bill is for the food. The customer is expected to pay for the service separately, and the remuneration of the waitstaff is expected to be part of a contract between the customer and the waiter. That's why not tipping your server is called "stiffing" the waiter. Seems people don't really understand what the purpose of a tip is at a restaurant. If you can't pay for the service, don't go to the restaurant.

1:04 AM, November 03, 2008  
Blogger MM said...

I know waiters, waitresses and bartenders making 80,000 a year. This is not a hissy fit. It is an analysis of a systematic way for many of us to "go John Galt" should our pay be docked for being successful. It may not be the right strategy, but it might be. I am putting the ideas out there for my readers to discuss

Bartenders, quite possibly. Waitstaff? No. No you don't. I will give you credit though. You're willing to admit that you are putting your plan into the marketplace of ideas. The problem is your idea is (as the marketplace has shown) just terrible.

1:10 AM, November 03, 2008  
Blogger Chris said...

good luck getting any kind of service or food without a large concentration of saliva and pubic hair in it once people start recognizing you as the person who doesn't tip. don't screw with people who handle your food. they go find a new minimum wage job but you have to cope with eating someones pubes forever.

7:53 AM, November 03, 2008  
Blogger Greg said...

Jeff above says it all. For those who missed it:

"And gee, if the server is Republican, I can give an appropriate tip this way: Leave a note saying that instead of giving them cash, I'll instead mail my tip to the CEO of the restaurant chain. The server can then wait for the CEO to pass it back down.

"Are you people seriously considering stiffing hard-working people because you may not like the outcome of an election? Grow up, already."

Dr. Helen, a trained professional and a functioning adult, is seriously proposing stiffing a server as payback for an election not going her way. Even if you're correct about the hypothetical server's political affiliation, he/she still must play by the societal rules already in place. In simple terms, that person is taxed for the tip you didn't leave. It's like morons who think it's hypocritical for "rich" people to advocate for move progressive taxation without voluntarily handing more of their money over to the IRS.

It's amazing that any of us needs to point this out. Dr. Helen--come back to your post in a year; I'll bet my house against a doughnut that you'll find it very embarrassing.

10:40 AM, November 03, 2008  
Blogger MB said...

Frankly, I don't even think Helen has carefully read Atlas Shrugged.

The nearest character I see her as is the wife of Hank Reardon. She lives off Hank's fame (because he is a producer), but she fancies herself an intellectual.

She fancies herself an intellectual.

And later in the book, Hank Reardon takes a good, hard look at all of his relatives and other hangers-onners. He goes to a lawyer and tells him to file a divorce and get the best deal he can, and to also jettison the other deadwood relatives.

Helen isn't even really a pretend intellectual. Even this Web site wouldn't have any traffic if it weren't a backflow for her husband's Web site.

Parasite central. Not-even-reading-the-book central. And I notice the smart people check in (probably through Glen's Web site) and then check out again, although she keeps a core of boys who chivalrously protect her. Sorry, just disgusting.

4:25 PM, November 03, 2008  
Blogger JG said...

Greg:

I agree 100%.

Helen has an ego the size of Montana, though, and it is backed up by Glen's money and (relative) fame. In other words, I agree, she is a parasite.

But she is not going to come back and read her words, I've already seen her in action. She won't even acknowledge you or anyone with anything the least critical; not now or in a year.

4:29 PM, November 03, 2008  
Blogger JG said...

Helen, your youth only lasts while you are young. Manipulate while you can. And by some anti-aging cream.

LOL

4:30 PM, November 03, 2008  
Blogger JG said...

Sorry,

by = buy

4:31 PM, November 03, 2008  
Blogger Robert Miller said...

I've just paid my last tip in San Francisco, thanks to Obama. It's like getting a pay increase!

And Johnmcg, let's get something STRAIGHT:

1. This war was NOT unnecessary - it was more than 8 years in the making as the Taliban grew and Saddam violated sanctions throughout the Clinton Administration. Bush cleaned up Slick Willy's mess.

2. George W. Bush did NOT cause the housing crisis: Bill Clinton's National Housing Policy did. HE created the subprime instruments and the securitization that spread this contagion. Liberals in charge of Fannie Mae (Jim Johnson, Franklin Delano Raines, and Jamie Gorelick) were the ones who continued to forge ahead with his policies. Government intervention in the housing market, NOT laissez fair policies caused this.

10:40 PM, November 03, 2008  
Blogger JohnMcG said...

My point is that there are plenty of reasons why someone might vote for Obama besides a desire to steal your hard-earned money.

10:45 PM, November 03, 2008  
Blogger Realist said...

You cheap bastards are just looking for any excuse to stiff your waiter or waitress. Typical conservatives.

7:23 AM, November 04, 2008  
Blogger wolfboy69 said...

br549...

hahahahahahahha....kaboom.


realist - isn't one. Again, shows the typical "Progressive" attitude. Call people names and make up stories about what people are doing.

9:48 AM, November 04, 2008  
Blogger br549 said...

realist....

(yawn)

10:57 AM, November 04, 2008  
Blogger JenJen said...

You don't sound like the kind of person who's probably a good tipper to begin with.

Tell ya what though... try your cute little dick-trick and enjoy the moment. Because you're never going to get to go back to that restaurant again.

4:31 PM, November 04, 2008  
Blogger br549 said...

The restaurant police. Who'd of thunk? I guess all the wait staff wear brown shirts at you restaurant, hey jenjen?

Republicans tip more than democrats. Look it up. Republicans give more to charity than democrats. Look it up.

7:03 PM, November 04, 2008  
Blogger Xiaoding said...

Well, no-tipping is a bad idea, but I applaud the spirit of it!

Because, class warfare is just that...WARFARE. Don't make it pretty folks, innocent people get hurt! And that's no reason not to fight the war!

7:20 PM, November 04, 2008  
Blogger wolfboy69 said...

br549 - we really need tmink in on this. I think some of these people could use some help.


It's like being trapped in a room with 20 5 year olds hopped up on sugar. they run around in circles and make little sense. I honestly doubt that many of these commenters have bothered to read the 3 posts regarding this.

When all they do is resort to personal attacks laden with profanity, you know they really have nothing with which to argue with.

It is fun to play with them though.

And just imagine....they get to vote. My question is, with their heads buried so far up their A**es, how will they see the lever?

11:07 PM, November 04, 2008  
Blogger Reshma said...

Unfortunately, not everybody is generous with their tips. The problem is the that while rich people do employ people and support the working class, they don't always compensate them fairly. If you make an extra $100,000 this year do you increase the amount you tip each time you go out to eat or take a taxi? Or do you increase your maid's salary by the same amount yours increased by? Some do and some don't. Therefore, we need government to help keep greed in control.

Reshma
A rich investment banker who is little less rich because of the deregulation of the financial services industry

2:15 PM, November 05, 2008  
Blogger Mel said...

To answer your original question, no, it is not fair.

4:37 PM, November 05, 2008  
Blogger class-factotum said...

"I make it a point to tip in cash whenever possible. Tips that are added to the credit card statement are usually reported (or an audit will find them)."

And why shouldn't tips be reported? I have to pay taxes on my earnings; why shouldn't a waiter?

6:27 PM, November 05, 2008  
Blogger cchamberland said...

"If the rich reduce spending it will ripple through the economy and the people that supported Obama will be out of jobs."

Really? Prove it. If everyones out of a job then there won't be any waiters to tip anyway. Problem solved.

10:20 AM, November 07, 2008  
Blogger charlie said...

It has often been said you can judge a person by how they treat those in a position of lower power and/or means than themselves.

Classic example is someone yelling at a waiter because the steak was cooked wrong.
The waiter had no control over that, and certainly does note have x-ray vision to check the doneness. However, the jerk customer just starts yelling at the first person around.

Generally speaking, such a person is a jerk.

This whole post seems to have been written by such a person.

4:14 PM, November 07, 2008  
Blogger The Ridger, FCD said...

So - I assume you're all not tipping now? Since Obama won? How's that working out for you?

10:37 AM, November 08, 2008  
Blogger Dana said...

I think you are just a bitter moron, I can't tell if you actually liked McCain or you maybe one of the rich people in a year getting your taxes raised but thats cool.

Cause even if you don't spend there are 15 new Mexican border hoppers of Cuban refugees doing it for you.

10:32 AM, November 10, 2008  
Blogger ignorance said...

Ignorance. Did you know? Servers work COMPLETELY for tips. They have to give a portion of their tips to other employees in the restaurant? Most do NOT get a paycheck. Many (like myself) pay $2000 in taxes every year! Maybe you should think next time you decide not to tip....would you like someone to take money out of your check randomly everyday??? (in addition to what is taken out for taxes)

3:14 PM, November 18, 2008  
Blogger dtownla said...

I'm sorry your party of the rich and for the rich failed the majority of Americans, but maybe a little soul searching might be in order. I think that really would be the psychological approach rather than "acting out" against som underpaid waiters just trying to get by. Just saying.

7:03 PM, December 30, 2008  
Blogger Elphage said...

So how is the tipping going? I am sure, if you are indeed not tipping, people are spitting in your food, or worse.

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10:18 PM, March 14, 2009  
Blogger Kristin said...

Seriously?

Grow up! Go "Galt" by stiffing servers? Try not buying another expensive thing you don't need. Besides, many wealthy folks don't tip as well as they should anyway, unless of course they became wealthy because they had to work hard at it. Which Dr. Helen at least has a modicum of understanding for.

My mother is a lifelong waitress and bartender. She works in a fancy restaurant where a lot of rich folks go. She makes the best Cosmopolitans in town. She is efficient, hard-working and smart. She raised me and my brother on a waitress salary, for a long time by herself. We had baloney sandwiches and never owned a house. We still don't have much, but we have love, family, happiness and strength. We will survive this downturn by making sacrifices, and we won't whine about it.

She and I are both fans of Ayn Rand.

So tell me...is this the proper and mature method of going about your economical protest?

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