Thoughts On Tipping And Rethinking Dining Out; Stop The Taxi Permits Racket

We've had to scale back going out to restaurants a little. It's become way too expensive.

It's one thing for inflation to increase prices but the sales taxed charged with the expectation of a tip has made dining out somewhat of a ridiculous exercise.

In Montreal, we're hit with an insidious 15% sales tax which in of itself should be enough to discourage customers. I'm sure it does for some but to what degree I have no clue. However, it doesn't stop there. Then comes the odd notion of entitled tipping where once upon a time 15% was the standard but now (because cost of living!) has inched up to 20%. In another few years, a quarter of the food bill will go to the server.

It's absurd.

First off, living in Quebec is double the expense anywhere on the continent. I have no idea how we tolerate Revenue Quebec. We already pay Revenue Canada but in the la-la of a wannabe independent rebellious child, we have Quebec masking as a 'nation' collecting taxes. This alone has me strongly considering leaving now that I've come understand it's actually eroding my wealth. How anyone who earns good money hasn't arrived at this rational conclusion is beyond me to comprehend. I marvel at people who can up and leave on a dime stay here. I'd be gone in a flash. I understand the family roots angle but even then...pas sur.

Second,  tipping basically amounts to the customer subsidizing the restaurant owner. It's not my job to give a tip because they're not paid enough and need to earn a 'living wage'. Aside from the fact no one forces anybody to take a job in that industry, they can demand their employers pay them more. And if they did succeed, this would have to come with the understanding the culture of tipping is over.

It's also a strange exercise in guilt tripping where if you're seen as a bad tipper you're a bad person. I've swung the other way now. Too often mediocre and sub-par servers just expect to get their tip. Lost is the art of exchange whereby the server provides optimum service to justify an added financial perk. But with the guilt associated with an implicit sense of entitlement, we've removed this right accorded to the customer. Often, the person just tips even when poorly served.

Not me anymore. You treat me poorly or at least to the level I expect (and lemme tell ya it's not a high standard. Wouldn't want people to actually push harder) you're gonna get 10% - and be lucky you get that because if the guilt train didn't run so deep, it would be nothing.

Mathematically it's become untenable. A meal that costs $40 becomes $55 because the government and restaurant tipping culture have their hands in it.

So for us it's come down to take-out from restaurants we like and in some cases food trucks (where the idiot government doesn't involve itself destroying it through impossible regulations while protecting its cronies).

In doing so, we get back to a rational customer-restaurant relationship and exchange we prefer.


Which indirectly, where customer service, brings us to Uber and the war with traditional Taxis.

Seems to me this whole episode is easily avoidable as it is tiresome.

That is, stop the artificial barrier to entry through charging for a permit.  Supply-side economics is about as rational as a racoon with  rabies. Taxi drivers, it goes, are upset Uber is not playing by the rules by not paying a fee to enter the racket market. I understand the frustration but they should be directing their anger at the government.

Get rid of the license fees and go compete for consumer dollars. 

To me this is the crux of the debate, the government doesn't want to lose that money and Taxis don't want to compete. 

People are mistakenly conflating the granting of a monopoly with 'safety' and 'service'. All a permit does is just that, distort a market.

You can have a healthy market environment with sensible laws, rules and regulations without paying $250 000.

Uber is crucial to the notion of an innovative market. People need to feel they can come up with a product or service without having to face onerous and artificial obstacles.

Uber, to me, is the market of free people smashing up an unhealthy monopoly.

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