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    letters | restaurant workers’ rights

    Bostonglobe.com commentors respond to ‘Service Not Included’

    When you see how restaurant workers are paid in Europe, even a 20 percent tip for a normal meal here seems trivial. If the Congress would just do its job and raise the minimum wage and end the exemption for waiters and waitresses, we could do what the rest of the civilized world does: tip when the service is truly exceptional, not every blessed time. Why should anyone’s basic wage be dependent on an individual customer’s mood every single day?

    — Goldsky

    [The editorial series] never mentions government’s role in wage stagnation by encouraging illegal immigration. Wages are determined by supply and demand, and restaurants get away with paying minimum wages because they have a steady supply of cheap labor willing to work for this. It’s just plain false to say immigrant workers are needed for the jobs Americans won’t do. Americans will do these jobs if the pay is high enough.



    The Globe has this all wrong. Many industries rely on the customer to set a wage. These industries all rely on sales. A waiter or waitress is not an automaton who just takes orders and carries trays. They are the restaurants’ sales staff. They present a positive image of the establishment, tell us about the food, and establish a relationship with the customer. The better they sell, the bigger their paycheck.

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    Over time there have been many examples of folks who took the low-paying job and maybe another while studying and expanding their mind to better themselves.

    Equality of opportunity is what the free market offers. Quotas and direction by others are what socialism, a.k.a progressive liberalism, offers.


    Nonmoonbat conveniently ignores the facts. This is not a free market because it is heavily subsidized by the public dole extended to these corporations. Since they do not pay their employees enough to provide themselves and their families with the necessities of life, the public makes up the difference, in the form of food stamps, housing aid, the earned income credit.


    It’s become predictable, though no less amazing, to hear the dashing free marketeers decry any plan that seeks to improve the lives of the poorest among us, while failing completely to acknowledge the many public subsidies provided to large and affluent corporations.

    — RZwarich