You know, there are plenty of Econ 101 students who could tell you that raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour is a bad thing for the U.S. economy. Plenty of waiters and busboys, too. So the counter argument must get away from the facts of the issue and offer something a little more emotionally-charged, like “the racist history of tipping,” in order to push for higher wages in the service industry.
Everyone knows that even a whiz kid econ student is weak-minded against the assault of woke social justice politics.
Politico Magazine argued for a $15 minimum wage by asserting that the alternative, in this case, tipping, is something with a deeply “racist” past. Oh wonderful. On Wednesday July 17, Dr. William J. Barber II wrote, “this week, the House of Representatives will have a chance to end a pernicious legacy of slavery. Lawmakers will vote on the Raise the Wage Act, which would boost the minimum wage across the country to $15 an hour by 2024.”
Barber wrote, “You might not think of tipping as a legacy of slavery, but it has a far more racialized history than most Americans realize.” Surprise!
“Tipping originated in feudal Europe and was imported back to the United States by American travelers eager to seem sophisticated,” Barber went on. “The practice spread throughout the country after the Civil War as U.S. employers, largely in the hospitality sector, looked for ways to avoid paying formerly enslaved workers.”
Barber cited several examples of cruel white employers who refused the dignity of their newly-freed African American employees by forcing them to accept tips rather than pay them a “real wage.” Any of you readers who have ever tipped or dined at restaurants, flog yourselves now. You are as guilty of reinforcing slavery’s bitter memory as much as a Thomas Jefferson birthday party.
The left never tires of trying to shame America into adopting the progressive agenda, and never acknowledges that its policies will probably harm Americans of every color. The reality is that serving jobs just don’t pay exceptionally well. Padding out servers’ paychecks would throw off the food service industry regardless of how nice the idea would be. And besides, there are probably plenty of servers looking to earn a generous tip rather than a flat wage.
So here we are. While we can point out Paul Krugman’s assessment of the issue with economic theory: “the higher wage reduces the quantity of labor demanded, and hence leads to unemployment,” or the fact that “72% of U.S.-based economists” disagree with the upcoming legislation, it seems we will just bow out because we are afraid of being called the “R” word.