Imagine this rich fat guy. Let’s call him Diamond Jim.
Diamond Jim knows you only live once and he wants to live in style. He is very particular in his demands and he only wants the best. When he goes to his favorite restaurant, he expects the valet to park his Cadillac in a special spot and to keep an eye on it. He expects the maitre d’ to seat him at his favorite table by the window. He makes special demands on the waiters.
The grubby socialist who sits at the dark corner table glowers at Diamond Jim in resentment. Why can’t he accept the normal service everyone gets? What makes him special?
After dinner Diamond Jim likes a waiter to serve him a cigar on the patio and even to light his cigar. Furthermore, Diamond Jim expects the waiter to stay with him to engage in conversation, and he demands that the waiter be a Christian-socialist-environmentalist because he likes to argue with fools as he smokes.
Do the valet, maitre d’ and waiters hate Diamond Jim? Quite the contrary, they love him; they even arrange their schedules to be working when Diamond Jim shows up. They do this because Diamond Jim tips like Frank Sinatra on New Year’s Eve. You see, Diamond Jim lives by the Spanish proverb: take what you want and pay for it. He pays for it.
Now, imagine the Senate has passed the Inspector-Van Horn Act, which outlaws tipping. Inspector and Van Horn, the Senate’s two most notorious communists, resent tipping because they think everyone should be paid the same for the same work. Tipping forces individuals to think about how much they should tip, which causes “fears.”
So what do the restaurant workers think of Diamond Jim now? They loathe him because he expects more work from them than the other customers, but they do not get any more money for it. Diamond Jim’s quality of life disappears because he cannot tip. The grubby socialist at the dark corner table cackles with glee because Diamond Jim has been brought down to level of everyone else.
This story, like all satire, exaggerates to make a point. Inspector and Gus Van Horn, I am fairly certain, would not advocate a law against tipping. However, they want restaurants to voluntarily do away with the practice.
An individualist, capitalist society is a horn of plenty, offering each individual many choices in every aspect of life. Each individual has the option of choosing his own values, no matter how different or fancy, as long as he can pay for it.
If 90% of the people like blue towels, the other 10% is not forced to buy blue towels just because it is the collective norm. Red towels or yellow towels or checkered towels might cost more, but if someone is willing to pay for them, chances are they will be produced.
Tipping is a force for individualism. Doing away with tips, like all egalitarian actions, penalizes those who want more than the average guy. It forces people with higher standards to accept the service that the statistical average are content with.
Those who have average standards would not be affected by being unable to tip. Collectivists would be delighted because everyone is treated the same.
Only the passionate valuers -- people who think about what they want and then go after it in every aspect of life -- only those people would suffer. Of course, egalitarians don’t care about those people.
Life without the ability to pay for individualized service would be a bit grayer than it is today. It would be one more step in the value-deprivation that is suffocating modern culture.