Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Americans have always agonized over tipping
Tipping is back in the news. The Sun-Times ran a full page analysis on Monday.
“Fourteen years ago,” Ohio journalist Connie Schultz began, in a column syndicated across the country, “I wrote a column about a tip jar in Cleveland and how the managers took all the money….”
She goes on to discuss the Labor Department’s latest efforts to make it easier for tips to flow into the pockets of management and not, necessarily, to the workers for whom they are supposedly intended.
There’s no reason why our view of the topic should stop in 2004. Tipping has been an issue of heated debate in this country for over a century, with the discovery of who really benefits from tipping being a reliable scandal that, though periodically revealed, somehow never quite sinks into general public
“The bestower of this always reluctant largess is a notably unsophisticated person if he thinks that it goes to the young man or woman who collects the coin,” the New York Times noted on Aug. 31, 1917. “Neither one or the other receives more than a minute weekly salary, paid by the corporation that employs him or her. All the rest, and by far the larger amount … is divided between that corporation and the proprietors of the hotels and restaurants.”