This article originally appeared at monicaperezshow.com. I am reprinting it because of its relevance to this recent article: New Class-Action Lawsuit Accuses Chefs of No-Tipping ‘Conspiracy’. Nice title–way to prejudice the reader!
Capitalist society is self-ordering and tipping proves it!
Anarcho-capitalists claim that capitalist society is self-ordering. Hayek called it “spontaneous order.” Understanding this concept constituted my ancap epiphany. The premise is simple: arms-length transactions give rise to all the apparatuses needed to conduct and secure them.
I frequently take opportunities to point out to people in my everyday life that all the order we see around us is a function of our voluntary actions and self-interest. Rarely if ever do we see police forcing us to pay for our orders at McDonald’s. The counter-argument inevitably is: “The knowledge that the police are just a phone call away is what keeps everyone acting right.” I disagree, and the custom of tipping waiters and waitresses demonstrates why.
I was a waitress for seven years. In all that time, I can remember only a handful of tips that weren’t fair. I got 15% or more virtually every single check. Why? There is no law that a tip must be paid. None. The waitress could call you names on the way out, but she couldn’t call a cop on you. Why do people tip, and tip fairly–generously even? Perhaps it’s a sense of justice, perhaps it is fear of censure…whatever it is, it is a self-enforcing rule with no legal consequences for breaking it, yet it is almost never broken.