Tipping your waitress is the latest sacrilege against union power

Writing at the Washington Times, Mike Paranzino chronicles the latest Big Labor crusade, this time against tipping.  When I first saw the headline, I spent a few moments frowning and trying to remember what arcane business or high-finance practice might have become known by the nickname “tipping.”  I even briefly considered the possibility that unionized agricultural workers were going after the old drunken prank of cow-tipping.  

But no, Paranzino is talking about the simple and time-honored practice of tipping waiters and waitresses, not some Wall Street maneuver.  Here’s a fun little exercise: take a moment before reading on, and try to guess why labor unions would have a problem with tipping – a major source of income for hard-working people, including a lot of young people trying to pay their way through college.  

Ready for the answer?

Leading the charge against tipping is Saru Jayaraman, co-director of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, a labor union front group known for its raucous protests of restaurants and aggressive lobbying for the labor agenda.

While tips are one of the very features that make restaurant jobs attractive to workers, Ms. Jayaraman has no time for anything that suggests pay for performance — a big union no-no. As she recently told the University of California, Berkeley’s alumni magazine: “Ultimately, this system of tipping needs to go.”

She repeated that position recently in Seattle, where the Seattle Times reported Ms. Jayaraman “described tips as institutionalized sexism” and added the “best option, she suggests, is to eliminate tips.”

The startled Seattle Times writer noted Ms. Jayaraman was using “rhetoric making her sound like socialist Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant’s twin sister.” When even Seattle liberals are shocked by labor movement radicalism, we should take note.

Fear not, because City Councilmember Kshama Sawant is on the case, too:

He was right, though: The other person waging war against tips is Ms. Sawant, a leader in the Seattle campaign to raise the minimum wage, who complains: “We don’t want any worker to be beholden to the mood of the customer on any given day.” As businesses are hit with government-mandated wage hikes, one way to keep customers despite the inevitable menu price sticker shock will be to reduce or eliminate tipping.

That would please Ms. Jayaraman, who recently told a Ford Foundation panel: “No portion of anybody’s income should be tips because tips are not wages.” (The Restaurant Opportunities Centers United has received more than $2 million from the Ford Foundation to advance the labor agenda.)

So, to sum up, Big Labor and its socialist allies don’t like tipping because:

1. It links pay to performance.  More skilled, industrious, and appealing wait staff earn more money.  That’s anathema to the degenerate philosophy of both the modern labor movement and the hard Left.

2. It establishes the primacy of the customer over the worker.  Workers learn that pleasing customers brings rewards.  For God’s sake, tipping is almost pure capitalism.  It’s a wonder liberals don’t faint dead away when they see diners leaving a few bucks on the table for their waitress.

3. It insulates service industry workers from government control over wages, and may present business owners with a way to get around economy-crushing socialist labor laws.  Yes, tips must be reported as taxable income, but they don’t get rinsed through the payroll deduction system in quite the same way as salaried income, making waiters and waitresses distressingly aware of exactly how much they’re paying in taxes.  Perhaps more crucially, as Paranzino points out, unions can’t enlist government to automatically siphon union dues out of gratuity income.

4. Tipping can make people at the lower end of the job ladder feel happy with their work, positive about their future, and empowered to create their own success.  It helps people climb into the middle class.  Service people making good money in tips don’t feel like exploited drones who need left-wing politicians to rescue them from the ravages of economic liberty.  We can’t have that.

5. And, just to throw it in there because the union operative brought it up, there’s the “sexism” of attractive female wait staff bringing in more tip money.  That might sound silly, but if this anti-tipping crusade gains national traction, I’ll bet you hear it more often.  

The service industry in Seattle is fighting back, with a group called Tips Are Wages.  A fascinating lesson in economics, the true cost of hyper-regulation, and the hidden agendas of so many who claim to speak for the Little Guy (and Gal)  await anyone who gets involved in this battle.

Source: Breitbart Feed

Tribute to ‘Mr. Padre’ Tony Gwynn, A Part of San Diego History

“In the end, truly, Tony Gwynn’s greatest achievement was not that he was so admired or emulated, but that he was so loved,” wrote Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times.

San Diego and Padres icon Tony Gwynn, affectionately known as “Mr. Padre,” died on Monday. A tribute to honor his memory took place at Wednesday night’s Padres game, the first home game since Gwynn’s passing. Thursday, San Diegans were asked to don their best Padres gear or colors in honor of the San Diego icon.

The outpouring of love for Gwynn has been quite amazing to watch. Many are the stories of those inspired by the life of this much loved, legendary man. Throughout the week flowers have been left by those touched by his life, gathering around his statue at Petco Park.

At Wednesday’s game Gwynn’s number 19 was cut into the grass, and Padres players displayed a home plate patch with the number 19 over each one’s heart. According to Breitbart writer and professional sports anchor Kevin Scholla, Gwynn’s San Diego State players were present at the game. An Aztec ballplayer in his college years, Gwynn is listed on the university’s website as head coach, in his 12th year leading their team.

The Padres won the game Wednesday night, a fitting end to a night dedicated to a man who, according to Plaschke, “turned down millions of dollars to spend his entire 20-year career in San Diego.” Plaschke met and came to know Gwynn 27 years ago when Plaschke began his reporting career. He describes Gwynn as he remembers those first two seasons he spent in the Padres locker room, “witnessing a unique combination of greatness and grace, toughness and kindness, heavenly skills and earthly touch.”

With a swing described as artful and pure, Hall-of-Famer Gwynn hit a remarkable .338 and in 1994 came just shy of .400 at .394. In his 20-year career Gwynn was elected to fifteen All-Star games and received eight National League batting titles. “Tony was once-in-a-lifetime – the greatest hitter in the last 50 years of baseball” said Padres Executive Chairman Ron Fowler according to the Union-Tribune.

“Aggressive free swinger with good bat speed and power potential” reads a Houston Astros scouting report posted by Adam Navarette who called Gwynn one of the all time greatest hitters.

True to form, at the 1999 All-Star game at Fenway Park, Gwynn led a tribute to Ted Williams. Gwynn then stepped up along with Mark McGuire to support Williams as he threw out the first pitch to Carlton Fisk according to ESPN’s report of the event.

According to 10 News, a public memorial will be held at the stadium, June 26 at 7:19 p.m.

Photo: Larry Goren/AP

Source: Breitbart Feed

The Battle of the Tech Ecosystems

Long rumoured and long delayed, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos finally announced a smartphone: the Amazon Fire. The Fire phone joins Amazon’s growing tech lineup including Fire HD tablets and Fire TV. Amazon? The book store company now sells a full line of tech products? What’s next, the Fire PC?

Back in 2007 when Amazon started selling the Kindle book reader we all sort of scratched our heads and wondered, but over time we quit buying paper books and now buy more ebooks than print. The Kindle (meaning to start a fire) not only was a success but was transformational and has completely disrupted the book business.

A fire? More like a conflagration. Bezos is a modern genius – with a goofy laugh – but someone to watch carefully. He has inflicted massive change on us all with his online shopping mall and tech devices hanging off of it. And the phone is his next move.

So take a step back for a moment. We now have Apple, Google, Microsoft and yes, Amazon. Each has a full range of devices to meet every personal tech need. Each has their own operating system, app store, media store (music, videos and books) and each has a legion of faithful customers and developers. These vertically integrated companies each have their own ‘ecosystem.’ And now there are four. And I won’t be betting against Bezos. His track record is just too good. 

You can dig into the details elsewhere, but everything in modern life needs a unique sales proposition. So what are Amazon Fire’s USPs? There are three: Mayday, Firefly and Dynamic Perspective.

Mayday: Run into a problem with your Fire and confused what to do? Press the ‘Mayday” button and connect in seconds to a Fire tech support person that can help solve the problem. An awesome feature for new smartphone users. 

Firefly: The raison d’etre for Fire. In a store, see something you like but don’t like the price? Point your phone at the item, and press the Firefly button (literally a physical button). The phone will identify the item, pop up the Amazon price and ask, “would you like to purchase?” Say yes and two days later the brown UPS truck will be dropping it off at your house. Press to buy – this could destroy what’s let of the high street.

Dynamic Perspective: This is kind of odd actually, but “uses a custom-designed sensor system that responds to the way you hold, view, and move your phone. It opens up a new class of immersive apps and games not possible on other smartphones, as well as one-handed navigation and gestures like auto-scroll—read long web pages and books without ever touching the screen.” I will withhold judgement until I can demo the phone myself.

Initially available in the US only and ATT only at $199 with a contract, I fully expect the footprint to expand in the coming year. Amazon operates in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France,Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, United Kingdom, and Fire will like roll out to all their markets.

Apple, Google and Microsoft… look over your shoulders. The Amazon wildfire is hot on your tail.

Source: Breitbart Feed

‘Stop This!’ Elizabeth Warren Scolds Chris Matthews for Tough Questions

Thursday on MSNBC’s Hardball, host Chris Matthews was in a surly mood, opening his interview with Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) by saying, “I’m running out of hope.”

Mathews interrupted Warren’s stump speech about Republicans destroying the middle class with trickle-down Reaganomics with his own spiel on crumbling infrastructure and underwater cities. Mathews ended by forcefully asking the senator, “I don’t hear you getting it done. The Democrats control the U.S. Senate. Democrats control the White House. When are you going to do what you said you would like to do?”

A visibly shocked Warren interrupted Matthews by demanding he “stop this.” Then the senator ordered Matthews to “think about it,” as she reminded him their real adversaries are Republicans who “say exactly the same thing. They say there is not enough money” whenever Democrats push spending for “education,” “bridges and power grids,” or “research.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN.

Source: Breitbart Feed

Cinedigm, Dove Foundation Team for Family-Friendly Subscription Channel

The entertainment industry is beginning to realize the commercial clout of family-friendly fare.

This year, PG-rated dramas like Heaven Is for Real and God’s Not Dead shocked industry observers with their impressive ticket sales. Animated films continue to sell well, witness recent hits like How to Train Your Dragon 2 and The LEGO Movie.

And we just learned Disney is trimming its upcoming musical Into the Woods to make it more child-appropriate and box office friendly.

Now, Cinedigm is teaming with the Dove Foundation for a new subscription web channel catering to families.

The Dove Movie Channel streaming service will feature selections from Cinedigm’s library of movies, as well as acquired content and original programming. All content released on the channel will meet the guidelines of the “Dove Seal” in order to be programmed on the service….

Cinedigm has launched documentary film channel Docurama, which is available on devices including Roku, Xbox consoles and Samsung TVs. This fall, Cinedigm plans to launch a Comic-Con-themed digital network, dubbed ‘ConTV, in partnership with convention organizer Wizard World.

The Dove Foundation, based in Grand Rapids, Mich., bestows a “Family Friendly” seal on entertainment it deems acceptable for kids. The nonprofit organization is dedicated to encouraging the entertainment industry to create movies that are “appropriate for family viewing.”

Source: Breitbart Feed