[Sca-cooks] OOP/OT Politics of Minimum Wage (was RE: food manners/tipping )

Celia des Archier celiadesarchier at cox.net
Thu Nov 2 13:04:41 PST 2006

Niccolo said: 

<<I offer that there is a much more complicated picture here than just
a living wage" to servers.  I suspect that the servers at the higher end
establishments, or in more affluent areas, or who have established a strong
work ethic and relationship with their clientelle will disagree with
changing the status quo.  I good restaurant in the current system will
garner a server darned good cash.

Additionally, there is the higher economics of this whole "living weage
argument" in that it is a moving target that will never be satisfied.>>

And I won't get into that argument with you.  Having a pretty good grasp on
economics and also recognizing that far too high a percentage of this
country live under the "poverty" mark while a very small percentage garner
much more than their share, and having also an understanding of
International Economics and the fact that so many other countries do it
better than we do, I have an informed opinion that isn't swayed by the
"Robber-Baron" mentality capitalist propaganda that paying people a living
wage is an impossible and undesirable idea.  Just as I suspect that your
political viewpoint is likewise pretty solidly formed.  

My original point was simply this... IMNSHO, if we *have* a minimum wage
(which we do), then no one should be "exempt" from that requirement on the
basis of the idea that they garner "tips" as part of their "compensation".
IMHO, a *gratuity* should be a *gratuity*, a show of thanks for a service
well performed, and it looses its meaning by making it part of the tip
earner's expected salary.  If it is expected, it should not be called a tip,
it should be called a "service charge" and should be added to the bill as a

<<You force me to pay my servers higher wages, so my overhead increases, and
I have to charge more for my goods/services to meet the same revenues.>>

This is undoubtedly true, however that increase not only seems minimal on my
bill (a fact of which I'm firmly convinced because I've lived both in states
which do require the employer to pay minimum to their tip earners and in
those which do not, and the difference on what is charged for a meal out is
insignificant in comparison), and I also know that I can tip more reasonably
while still being assured that I'm not using slave labor when I eat out,
something which makes eating out a much more satisfying experience for me.
For paying someone $2/hr in a city where the median income puts anyone
making less than $12/hr in the lowest 25% of the income bracket (and anyone
making less than $10 at poverty level) *would* be equivalent to using slave
labor in my book. 

Perception is everything.


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