Tipping In American Culture

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If a practice or belief fits the status quo, does that mean it is justified? From the founding of the American colonies until 1865, African slavery was the backbone of America’s economy. Slaves were shipped across the Atlantic Ocean in horrendous, fatal conditions, sold as property, branded, and forced to perform grueling labor. In our modern American society, it is commonplace to tip servers and waiters after eating at a restaurant due to numerous extrinsic motivations such as societal norms, and service quality. The cultural practice of tipping fosters a legal environment that promotes poverty, as many states allow servers to be paid less than minimum wage. Although many employees make a significant amount of money in tips, many employees…show more content…
So it must be prompted: what motivates people to tip their servers? Numerous studies have shown that in American society, tipping is most likely extrinsically motivated, meaning, people tip because of external influences such as cultural norms and politeness. Michael Lynn, professor of consumer behavior at Cornell University, commented on tipping, “Tipping starts with people wanting to be generous or to show off, but then it becomes something where people just do it because it’s expected of them.” Another reason that tipping has strayed from its original intent is the fiscal aspects: tipping now accounts for $44 billion dollars of the U.S food industry (Stuart). Modern tipping has become convoluted and lacks its original purpose, it is now a way for the dining industry to make money off of consumers, rather than a generous…show more content…
So, the question must be prompted again, after considering all the evidence and opposing arguments: Is the culture of tipping ethical? Considering all of the evidence, and preconceived beliefs, I believe that the current American tipping culture is not ethical, and many reforms need to be made in order for tipping to be more
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