Should We End the Practice of Tipping?

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Originating in 16th century England, the "T.I.P." was designed "to insure promptitude" in service. Tipping is now a deeply entrenched custom in America and tipping poorly can incur the wrath of your waiters or delivery people, not to mention judgment from your peers.

Two examples of this recently went viral on the Huffington Post. The first is a picture of a receipt reportedly left at a restaurant. The bill's total was $138.35 but instead of a tip, the diner wrote "single mom, sorry!"

In the second example, a Pizza Hut delivery man in Des Moines, Iowa demonstrated his frustration over being denied a tip by urinating on the customer's front door.

The dismal reality is that most people working in the service industry are grossly underpaid, earning a federal minimum wage of $2.13 per hour. Customers' tips are not only taken as an expression of gratitude -- they are essential to our service workers' livelihoods. But not everyone is happy with this onus being on the customers, so why not dump the tipping system altogether and advocate for higher wages instead?

I discussed the etiquette and politics of tipping with Mindy Lockard, an etiquette consultant; Stephen Robert Morse, a former bartender and Tarik Kazalaeh, a bartender, former waiter and musician. I know everyone has a strong opinion about tipping but I was really surprised by how heated this conversation became!