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The Itching Palm A Study of the Habit of Tipping in America   By:

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The Itching Palm

A STUDY OF THE HABIT OF TIPPING IN AMERICA

By

WILLIAM R. SCOTT

Author of

"The Americans in Panama," "Scientific Circulation Management," Etc.

THE PENN PUBLISHING COMPANY PHILADELPHIA 1916

COPYRIGHT 1916 BY THE PENN PUBLISHING COMPANY

The Itching Palm

THE AUTHOR WILL BE PLEASED TO CORRESPOND WITH ANY READER WHO APPROVES OF, OR HAS COMMENTS TO MAKE UPON, THE ATTITUDE TAKEN IN THIS BOOK TOWARD THE TIPPING CUSTOM.

WILLIAM R. SCOTT.

PADUCAH, KENTUCKY.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

I FLUNKYISM IN AMERICA 7

II ON PERSONAL LIBERTY 10

III BARBARY PIRATES 15

IV PERSONNEL AND DISTRIBUTION 19

V THE ECONOMICS OF TIPPING 26

VI THE ETHICS OF TIPPING 36

VII THE PSYCHOLOGY OF TIPPING 47

VIII THE LITERATURE OF TIPPING 58

IX TIPPING AND THE STAGE 68

X THE EMPLOYEE VIEWPOINT 73

XI THE EMPLOYER VIEWPOINT 88

XII ONE STEP FORWARD 97

XIII THE SLEEPING CAR PHASE 105

XIV THE GOVERNMENT AND TIPPING 113

XV LAWS AGAINST TIPPING 122

XVI SAMUEL GOMPERS ON TIPPING 144

XVII THE WAY OUT 158

INDEX 169

THE ITCHING PALM

I

FLUNKYISM IN AMERICA

"Oliver Cromwell struck a mortal blow at the universal heart of Flunkyism," wrote Carlyle of the execution of Charles I.

Yet, Flunkyism is not dead!

In the United States alone more than 5,000,000 persons derive their incomes, in whole or in part, from "tips," or gratuities. They have the moral malady denominated The Itching Palm.

Tipping is the modern form of Flunkyism. Flunkyism may be defined as a willingness to be servile for a consideration. It is democracy's deadly foe. The two ideas cannot live together except in a false peace. The tendency always is for one to sap the vitality of the other.

The full significance of the foregoing figures is realized in the further knowledge that these 5,000,000 persons with itching palms are fully 10 per cent of our entire industrial population; for the number of persons engaged in gainful occupations in this country is less than 50,000,000.

Whether this constitutes a problem for moralists, economists and statesmen depends upon the ethical appraisement of tipping. If tipping is moral, the interest is reduced to the economic phase whether the remuneration thus given is normal or abnormal. If tipping is immoral, the fact that 5,000,000 Americans practice it constitutes a problem of first rate importance.

Accurate statistics are not obtainable, but conservative estimates place the amount of money given in one year by the American people in tips, or gratuities, at a figure somewhere between $200,000,000 and $500,000,000!

Now we have the full statement of the case against tipping five million persons receiving in excess of two hundred millions of dollars for what?

It will be interesting to examine the ethics, economics and psychology of tipping to determine whether the American people receive a value for this expenditure.

II

ON PERSONAL LIBERTY

The Itching Palm is a moral disease. It is as old as the passion of greed in the human mind. Milton was thinking of it when he exclaimed:

"Help us to save free conscience from the paw, Of hireling wolves whose gospel is their maw."

Although it had only a feeble lodgment in the minds of the Puritans, because their minds were in the travail that gave birth to democracy, enough remained to perpetuate the disease. In Europe, under monarchical ideals, a person could accept a tip without feeling the acute loss of self respect that attends the practice in America, under democratic ideals... Continue reading book >>




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