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Myrhaf

A World Without Tipping?

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I just meant that these students are paying thousands of dollars for the schooling already and probably a lot have to take loans and work extra hours as it is, and thats trying to pay all those fees associated with school. Now you want to add another expense to that bloated list. And this is when you already have your career established and a pretty good salary. What about compassion?

Pfft. Same thing could be said about a pizza delivery guy who's delivering to a poor student. Or a restaurant serving a poor student.

Besides, he's not asking for an extra fee. He's asking for a tip, which is entirely voluntary.

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I just meant that these students are paying thousands of dollars for the schooling already and probably a lot have to take loans and work extra hours as it is, and thats trying to pay all those fees associated with school. Now you want to add another expense to that bloated list. And this is when you already have your career established and a pretty good salary. What about compassion?

Stop this. By "this" I mean this pity the poor, the rich have enough money, we need compassion bit. If you do not understand why such statements are unacceptable in a reasonable discussion generally, and on this forum particularly, then you have far more significant philosophical matters to resolve than whether somebody should drop you an extra couple bucks for bringing him a hot, cheesy, delicious pie. Explore what the underlying issues are, and work them out. If you seek input from others, do so in an appropriately inquisitive tone consistent with the forum's purpose. That will get you much farther here than slinging socialist bromide.

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If you seek input from others, do so in an appropriately inquisitive tone consistent with the forum's purpose. That will get you much farther here than slinging socialist bromide.

Arent you aware that humans arent born with automatic knowledge? People arent born an Objectivist. If you see an incorrect statement by me, then feel free to correct my mistake. Thats why I come on here, to learn. I dont appreciate when people yell at me for a lack of understanding something though.

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What about compassion?
I'm compassionate: my tips will be optional, and only to persuade me to put full effor into the job. You don't accept tips from students of other low-class people, do you -- I assume that you're compassionate.
As for who I think should tip(when deserved), it makes sense to me that poorer people should be less willing to tip(or smaller amounts) than richer people because of their budgets. One can be a little looser with their money and the other should focus more on their essential necessities.
Or, to be more succinct, from each according to their abilities.
So youre saying you dont always try hard at your job?
I'm just saying that tips ensure the best service from me, just like with pizza boys.
I think tips are more relevant in terms of motivators with low-level type jobs than say, a more professional profession that tends to be moreso a choice than just a means to make ends meet.
Right, working class, blue collar types, the ones who are oppressed by The Man. So why, then, are we supposed to tip? I forgot. Is it so that everybody can earn a Socially Just Living Wage? Income redistribution?

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I wonder if that holds for pizza delivery -- like, do people shy away from delivery because that don't want to tip?

I know for a fact it does because I myself do shy from it because of the tipping thing.

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Thats why I come on here, to learn.
Alright, I would like to find out to what extent you have actually learned anything about Objectivism, as opposed to getting us to dance your socialist jig. What I would like from you is a summary of your current views on:
  • whether people should tip
  • what people should give tips
  • who should they give tips to
  • under what circumstances should they give tips

giving reasons for your answers. To the extent that your reasons conflict with the philosophy Objectivism and are simply Marxist bromides, we will be able to observe whether you have in fact been using the forum for a purpose other than learning and discussing the philosophy of Ayn Rand.

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Arent you aware that humans arent born with automatic knowledge? People arent born an Objectivist. If you see an incorrect statement by me, then feel free to correct my mistake. Thats why I come on here, to learn. I dont appreciate when people yell at me for a lack of understanding something though.

Since you ask:

Objectivism utterly repudiates "need" as a claim on the property of others, or as a claim on pretty much anything else. Man's rights begin with ownership of self, from which ownership of property derives. As a corollary of this self-ownership, you have absolutely no claim on others or on their property, other than what all parties voluntarily agree to do. The "need" of students or anyone else, therefore, has no relevance to a discussion on an Objectivist board, since it is assumed that we all reject altruism, Marx, and the idea that we are "our brother's keeper."

It also utterly rejects the idea of primacy of consciousness, including the social variety that you express in saying that "It would be hard not to feel guilt or some unpleasant emotion if you are constantly subjecting yourself against the majority." The fact is that the majority can be and in today's world usually is, wrong. A rational man is capable of rejecting an irrationality, no matter how many people espouse it, without the slightest trace of guilt or hesitation. Among the cardinal virtues of Objectivism is independence, the idea of thinking and acting for yourself. See The Fountainhead for more of this, as it's a major part of the theme.

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I'm compassionate: my tips will be optional, and only to persuade me to put full effor into the job.

I think the students will figure that since you have the balls to put a tip jar there, that you must think you deserve quite a few tips. So they may feel guilty if they leave no tip, and therefore may be hesitant to ask your help in the future. And isnt your main goal as a teacher to help the students learn?

So why, then, are we supposed to tip? I forgot. Is it so that everybody can earn a Socially Just Living Wage? Income redistribution?

No, I meant the low-level workers(as opposed to higher salary workers) will be more motivated by a dollar tip because a dollar or two is of much more importance and "more money" to them. Also because a person with an established career wont need that dollar tip to persuade him to do a good job at a job he already enjoys doing.

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Also because a person with an established career wont need that dollar tip to persuade him to do a good job at a job he already enjoys doing.
Good!! That completes the equation -- "to each according to their needs". Now please address the "have you learned anything" question.

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[*]whether people should tip

It depends on what the persons own belief is. Some people think tipping for regular service is in their rational self-interest because as the customer they will receive better service than the one who doesnt tip. They also believe tipping is a somewhat personal thing, that the customer is in a better situation to judge the performance of the worker. And tips also can serve as a motivator to get the worker to work harder.

On the other hand, some people believe tipping should only be done when they have received extraordiary service, when the worker has done more than just his job duties. They believe the custom of tipping a select few service workers while leaving others dry doesnt make sense and is too arbitrary. They think the workers who expect a tip from each customer has the mindset that other people owe him a living.

With that said, I'll say that I dont have a clear answer to the question. My intent with my "Pizza Delivery" thread was to figure out if customers had an obligation to tip the delivery driver. I learned there is no obligation, and that its an act of gratuity. There is no implicit agreement between the customer and driver in this situation, the price of the delivery is included in the total cost they pay to the company. If I have a problem with my wages, the proper thing to do is to speak to my employer or get a different job.

[*]what people should give tips

Whoever wants to, whoever deems its in their self-interest. But I dont think a person on a tight budget should tip very much at all(when the time comes in his belief). And I dont think a rich person necessarily has to tip larger amounts than poorer people, but I think he at least has the option(associated with his budget) to tip more than the average amount.

[*]who should they give tips to

[*]under what circumstances should they give tips

I think I answered those in my reply to the first question. It depends on their own beliefs. I know Ayn Rand said there are no conflicting interests between rational men, but it seems like there is on this issue.

Personally, contemplating this issue is of not much interest to me. I cant even remember a situation that occured when I should have tipped another person. If it does happen, like with a pizza guy or waiter, I'll probably just leave a dollar if its fine service. That way I'll be able to go back to the place and wont cause a commotion. I think that alone is worth a dollar.

So, do you think I learned anything? Keep in mind, I did all this on memory.

Edited by BaseballGenius

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Objectivism utterly repudiates "need" as a claim on the property of others, or as a claim on pretty much anything else. Man's rights begin with ownership of self, from which ownership of property derives. As a corollary of this self-ownership, you have absolutely no claim on others or on their property, other than what all parties voluntarily agree to do. The "need" of students or anyone else, therefore, has no relevance to a discussion on an Objectivist board, since it is assumed that we all reject altruism, Marx, and the idea that we are "our brother's keeper."

I understand why you should reject altruism. But my point with Davids example is I didnt think it was fair to target the poor for tips, especially when they are already paying so much for his service already, and when he is already making a good salary as it is. And if he puts a tip jar there I think that may create a feeling of obligation to the students because he is voluntarily making such an unprecedented move like that.

It also utterly rejects the idea of primacy of consciousness, including the social variety that you express in saying that "It would be hard not to feel guilt or some unpleasant emotion if you are constantly subjecting yourself against the majority." The fact is that the majority can be and in today's world usually is, wrong. A rational man is capable of rejecting an irrationality, no matter how many people espouse it, without the slightest trace of guilt or hesitation. Among the cardinal virtues of Objectivism is independence, the idea of thinking and acting for yourself.

I didnt mean rational men. I meant the average person. I was responding to the question if people shy away from ordering pizza because the majority says to tip, even though that person doesnt want to. The average person would feel guilt for not tipping since he wont have a strong conviction, and the rational man will feel angry(unpleasant emotion as I mentioned) because he knows it may create some fuss, either with pissing off the delivery person, getting bad service in the future, etc.

Do you see anything incorrect with my statements?

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I understand why you should reject altruism. But my point with Davids example is I didnt think it was fair to target the poor for tips, especially when they are already paying so much for his service already, and when he is already making a good salary as it is.

I do not think it is appropriate for a non-altruist to even consider such things in the way you are.

And if he puts a tip jar there I think that may create a feeling of obligation to the students because he is voluntarily making such an unprecedented move like that.

Does not all tipping create a feeling of obligation?

I didnt mean rational men. I meant the average person.

If you mean to discuss rational feelings, identify them as such. If you mean to discuss irrational feelings, then also identify those as such. Otherwise you only create confusion. I think you've got it much more clear now.

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I do not think it is appropriate for a non-altruist to even consider such things in the way you are.

I like to be selfish, but I also like to be nice. Because what about the poor students? If I were a student in Dave's class, then I'd be pissed since I wouldnt feel completely free to ask for his help because I would be afraid of him giving me great service and me feeling like I should tip him. I think it would just cause an awkward debacle.

Does not all tipping create a feeling of obligation?

Once it becomes a custom to tip specific service workers, I think most people tend to start feeling at least a little obligation to give them a tip. Thats why people always tip the same type of service workers and not others, because its custom and everyone expects it from them.

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Some people think tipping for regular service is in their rational self-interest because as the customer they will receive better service than the one who doesnt tip?
Utterly non-responsive. This isn't an opinion survey -- do you form your ideas and reach your conclusions by consulting the latest opinion poll, to see what current thinking is. The question is whether it is objectively in a person's rational self-interest to tip. Ever. Your ostensive reason -- will receive better service than one who doesn't -- boils down to saying that you have to pay blackmail to avoid the threat of poor service. I've basically proven to you that a man does not require tips to do the best job possible, and yet you continue to give credence to the idea that people won't do their jobs well unless you give them a little something extra. Such cultural depravity may well exist, but that doesn't make it rational to pander to it.
With that said, I'll say that I dont have a clear answer to the question.
I find this incomprehensible. How could you not understand the basic principles? Is it simply that you don't grasp the concept of "excellence" as distinct from "competence"?
Whoever wants to, whoever deems its in their self-interest.
What principles can a rational man appeal to in making that determination? Are you claiming that men are born with a third eye, a "self-interest" detector, that can pick up the magical "rational self-interest" waves emitted by actions? What kind of emotional intuition is the feeling that something is in your rational self interest? This is the central point of this debate -- that you should not mindlessly tip because it's traditional, or because you "feel" that it results in social justice, or because you mystically feel that it's in your ational self interest. Rational self interest means not just self-interest, but that it's a conclusion reached by rational means. Using reason. Relating conclusions to your sensory apparatus. What is the reasoning process that leads you to conclude in some or any instance that it is in your interest to tip? Until you can explain why you tip, your act of tipping is irrational. No reasoning... not rational... irrational.
I didnt think it was fair to target the poor for tips, especially when they are already paying so much for his service already, and when he is already making a good salary as it is.
First, this is extremely inaccurate as a characterization of my tipping plan. I do not "target the poor", in fact I don't inquire into or know anything at all about students and their individual incomes. Some are rich, some are middle class. Occasionally, some are poor. The opportunity to tip is made available to everybody. Second, you are repeatedly reaffirming the basic Marxist tenets of your reasoning. The only reason which you're offering for me to not give students the opportunity to tip is the salary disparity thing, i.e. the principle that the economic upper classes should give charity and redistribute their wealth downwards to the lower classes. This argument falls on deaf ears here for many reasons.
And if he puts a tip jar there I think that may create a feeling of obligation to the students because he is voluntarily making such an unprecedented move like that.
But that doesn't happens with pizza boys and waitresses? If a student emotionally feels that it is in their rational self interest, they will tip. Those who don't have that same realization will act accordingly. And as for precedent, some pizza boy back in the 70's had to be the ground-breaker in demanding a tip. Why should I too be an innovator?

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I like to be selfish, but I also like to be nice.

You phrase this as though these two things are at odds. They don't need to be.

Because what about the poor students?

What about them?

If I were a student in Dave's class, then I'd be pissed since I wouldnt feel completely free to ask for his help because I would be afraid of him giving me great service and me feeling like I should tip him.

He's not responsible for your emotional reactions to things, you are. Perhaps you could do some introspection on why you feel guilt that should be otherwise unearned.

Once it becomes a custom to tip specific service workers, I think most people tend to start feeling at least a little obligation to give them a tip.

Okay, but what does that have to do with anything? How about exploring the rational or irrational thought process behind what evokes that "feeling" of obligation and be less concerned about just the "feeling".

Man does not live by feeling alone. Deciding the proper course of action to guide one's life is best left to reason.

Edited by RationalBiker

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The question is whether it is objectively in a person's rational self-interest to tip. Ever. Your ostensive reason -- will receive better service than one who doesn't -- boils down to saying that you have to pay blackmail to avoid the threat of poor service. I've basically proven to you that a man does not require tips to do the best job possible, and yet you continue to give credence to the idea that people won't do their jobs well unless you give them a little something extra.

DO, I've been pondering this, and I'm wondering about the scenario where the service person for some reason can not provide excellent service to all his customers. For simplicity's sake, let's assume that the reason is one out of his control. For example, a good waiter at an understaffed restaurant.

I don't think this is a far-fetched example, at least at my restaurant, where we often have periods of less than optimum numbers of staff. Sometimes it's because we have an unexpected rush in business, sometimes because we have an expected rush in business but an unexpected staff shortage (e.g. someone unexpectedly quit and could not be replaced for that shift), and sometimes because management did not adequately manage staffing needs. I'm a good waiter, but of course there's a limit to what I can do. If I'm responsible for 100 customers at a time, there is no way I will be able to provide excellent service to all of them in the context of my restaurant.

So in the scenario where a staff person, due to circumstances beyond his control, can not provide excellent service to all customers, is it blackmail to tip him in the hope (or even explicitly made expectation) that you will be one of the customers to whom he provides excellent service? I'm not suggesting this is the reason for the development of the tipping custom, nor the reason why any particular person tips. Rather, I'm posing it as a realistic scenario where (1) it could be in a person's rational self-interest to tip, and (2) a man might require a tip in order to do the best job possible for you during a particular encounter.

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So in the scenario where a staff person, due to circumstances beyond his control, can not provide excellent service to all customers, is it blackmail to tip him in the hope (or even explicitly made expectation) that you will be one of the customers to whom he provides excellent service?
No, since I understand the notion of excellence contextually. Admittedly I'm not a frequent restaurant patron, but I go often enough that I can identify situations like 100 tables and 4 waiters (yikes) versus 1 waiter and 3 customers. Being ignored is not a good thing, from my perspective; a skilled waiter will attentive to the fact that a customer is trying to get his attention, and will acknowledge the customer even if it's impossible to actually deal with them. A simple nod suffices. Of course, a nod and then disappearing for a half hour when there aren't that many customers isn't excellent service.

One and the same acts could be merely adequate v. excellent, depending on the surrounding context. This doesn't touch the issue of whether I should / would tip because it's in my interest to do so, but as I've said before, in the waiter context I am maximally inclined to reward excellence and to pay for what I actually get -- if I do actually get it. I can't even conceive of "excellent" pizza delivery.

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I like to be selfish, but I also like to be nice. Because what about the poor students? If I were a student in Dave's class, then I'd be pissed since I wouldnt feel completely free to ask for his help because I would be afraid of him giving me great service and me feeling like I should tip him. I think it would just cause an awkward debacle.

NOW YOU KNOW WHAT IT IS LIKE FOR ME TO GO TO A RESTAURANT.

Sorry for the caps there, but that was quite a moment for me.

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So in the scenario where a staff person, due to circumstances beyond his control, can not provide excellent service to all customers, is it blackmail to tip him in the hope (or even explicitly made expectation) that you will be one of the customers to whom he provides excellent service?

How do you mean? He has to decide well before the tip whether to serve you or not. Or are you suggesting (as I am) a revision of the custom?

Edited by Inspector

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I've only read the last 1.5 pages of this thread, so if this has been answered elsewhere just point the way...

Okay, I left this alone for a while, but...

No.

Read the thread. Come on, man!

//back to your regularly scheduled programming.

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Utterly non-responsive. This isn't an opinion survey -- do you form your ideas and reach your conclusions by consulting the latest opinion poll, to see what current thinking is.

No, but along with my convictions you also wanted to know if I had actually learned something from my thread. So I gave an overview of the both sides. And then I put my own opinion at the bottom.

The question is whether it is objectively in a person's rational self-interest to tip. Ever. Your ostensive reason -- will receive better service than one who doesn't -- boils down to saying that you have to pay blackmail to avoid the threat of poor service.

I guess you can call it whatever you want, but constant no tipping is bound to get you worse service.

I've basically proven to you that a man does not require tips to do the best job possible, and yet you continue to give credence to the idea that people won't do their jobs well unless you give them a little something extra.

Yes, but thats at a job that you enjoy doing and receive a good salary for it. Its not an unpleasant job with small wages taken just to make ends meet. Thats why tips work better for the latter. And besides, you were the one who said you might need a little extra incentive to always work hard at your job. Did you change your mind?

I find this incomprehensible. How could you not understand the basic principles? Is it simply that you don't grasp the concept of "excellence" as distinct from "competence"?

I understand each side to the argument. If I tip(at least a little), then it will cause no problems. If I dont tip because I dont think the worker deserves it with less than excellent service, then its giving the worker what he deserves but it may cause problems for me later. So why not just give a dollar or two?

What principles can a rational man appeal to in making that determination? Are you claiming that men are born with a third eye, a "self-interest" detector, that can pick up the magical "rational self-interest" waves emitted by actions?

No, theres no third eye that Im aware of. Its just that some people come to different conclusions. You think not tipping for less than extraordinary service is in your self-interest, and the other side thinks its in their self-interest to tip for the customary things. Unless you can explain to them how they will benefit more with tipping your way, then they wont change their minds.

Until you can explain why you tip, your act of tipping is irrational. No reasoning... not rational... irrational.

I put the answer in earlier in this post, so now I want to know why your way of tipping is rational. Why do you benefit more from tipping only when the worker provides extraordinary service?

The only reason which you're offering for me to not give students the opportunity to tip is the salary disparity thing, i.e. the principle that the economic upper classes should give charity and redistribute their wealth downwards to the lower classes.

I didnt say you should do them a charity by teaching them. I mean that they are already paying a boatload for your services and yet you think that you need to go back to them again for money just to do your job well. And I do think you are targeting the poor and the ones who are currently in weak monetary positions. They are paying like 100K for the schooling, how much money could they have?

But that doesn't happens with pizza boys and waitresses?

Yes, the tip custom has created a sense of obligation to pay these workers. But it wasnt me who attempted to create the custom, like you are trying to do with tipping the teacher.

If a student emotionally feels that it is in their rational self interest, they will tip. Those who don't have that same realization will act accordingly.

You dont think everyone is going to feel obligated to tip you, and then guilty if they dont?

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I guess you can call it whatever you want, but constant no tipping is bound to get you worse service.
Okay, this may be true or false, depending on one context factor. Assuming decent staff in a restaurant, not jerkweasels, then the tip follows the service. From a game-theoretic POV, and you are engaging in game theory, you would not give bad service based on an unknowable: therefore, tipping has no consequences for service. If you are a constant customer so that you are known, the rules are different. But still, it's false that non-tipping leads to bad service, since I only give under-a-dollar rounding tips up here, and there are no bad consequences for me. That falsifies your assumption that non-tipping is bound to give you bad service. Are you making a claim that only in your little Marxist town that non-tipping leads to food-spitting? I just want to see the evidence that not tipping does lead to bad service. Without that evidence, all I can see is that you're engaging in Marxist rationalism, and I doubt that you really want to do that if you think about it for a half a minute or so.
Yes, but thats at a job that you enjoy doing and receive a good salary for it.
Okay, so what's the underlying principle? You should tip a person only when they don't "get enough" (spiritually or economically)? That assumes a standard dole of spiritual and economic goods which others should provide to you. I.e. "to each according to their needs". Do you now deny that tipping has a magical effect on services, that some people (those earning more than the lowest proletariat) are incapable of greater economically-caused motivation, and that tipping them (us) is wasted money? So in other words, it's only in your self interest when dealing with the lowest economic classes, who despise those who make more money, and who are thus willing to take revenge on us -- revenge only ameliorated by a tip?
Unless you can explain to them how they will benefit more with tipping your way, then they wont change their minds.
I actually agree with that; my interest is less in persuading people to stop tipping, and more in persuading people to stop acting like sheep, zebras, or ants. I believe that men survive by using their minds, and not by acting like herd / hive animals.
Why do you benefit more from tipping only when the worker provides extraordinary service?
It's true that I could take the strong no-tipping position. If I were, just for chuckles, to assume that tipping serves a function that is rational w.r.t. my life, I'd start from the assumption that it's a means of identifying and encouraging value. Thus it falls under the general rubric of rewarding excellence. I assume you get that principle.
I mean that they are already paying a boatload for your services
That's just a crock. Totally false. Not in any way true. Get a realistic clue. They are getting what they have paid for, and not more. If tha want more, they can pay me. You owe me $1,000 for basic lessons in ethics, BTW. I regret that this obligation isn't legally enforeable.

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But still, it's false that non-tipping leads to bad service, since I only give under-a-dollar rounding tips up here, and there are no bad consequences for me. That falsifies your assumption that non-tipping is bound to give you bad service.

Wrong. Thats the problem with everyone coming to the same conclusions. It mostly matters about your own personal observations and experiences. You havent received poor service from not tipping? So what. Maybe I have, or a guy reading this has. Try to convince those people that not tipping doesnt result in poor service because you havent noticed it. I heard bartenders especially neglect non-tippers, and at bars people tip after each drink served to them so a non-tipper is bound to get poor service.

Okay, so what's the underlying principle? You should tip a person only when they don't "get enough" (spiritually or economically)?

No, I didnt mean it as a should or shouldnt thing. Only that a minimum wage worker probably is more motivated by a little tip than a person making 50K. You disagree?

That's just a crock. Totally false. Not in any way true. Get a realistic clue. They are getting what they have paid for, and not more.

Easy, easy. I didnt say they werent getting what they paid for. I said that since they have to pay such a large amount of money for schooling, they are probably either poor now or in a weak monetary position. And now youre saying to these unwealthy kids, "Hey all you poor kids, I expect you to give me your last dollar if I provide you excellent service. Im not saying its mandatory, but when a person provides excellent service he deserves a tip."

If tha want more, they can pay me.

What is more exactly?

You owe me $1,000 for basic lessons in ethics, BTW. I regret that this obligation isn't legally enforeable.

You havent even persuaded me to accept your viewpoint. When you do that, then I'll pay you 1000 doll hairs.

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Thats the problem with everyone coming to the same conclusions. It mostly matters about your own personal observations and experiences.
Is it that you just don't know what "bound to" means? It's not the same as "could".
Only that a minimum wage worker probably is more motivated by a little tip than a person making 50K. You disagree?
I do, though I might discover that I'm wrong. That's why I'm making tipping an option in the future, since I don't see why I should be any less motivatable that the next proletariat guy.
I said that since they have to pay such a large amount of money for schooling, they are probably either poor now or in a weak monetary position.
So it is the case that you're only advocating that tips should be made to be an option if it's just the rich that would pay, right. Alternatively, your response is irrelevant to the question of whether they should pay or I should make available the option of paying. I just want the same rights as a pizza boy. Haven't I earned that?

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Is it that you just don't know what "bound to" means? It's not the same as "could".

If you consistently dont tip at the same place or a bar, then you have a good chance of receiving less than their usual performance.

I do, though I might discover that I'm wrong. That's why I'm making tipping an option in the future, since I don't see why I should be any less motivatable that the next proletariat guy.

Try it then. Put the tip jar out and see how it goes. I dont think either of us could possibly know ahead time how exactly the students will respond to the action and how exactly you may respond to it.

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