DiscoverThe Jordan Harbinger Show668: Tipping | Skeptical Sunday
668: Tipping | Skeptical Sunday

668: Tipping | Skeptical Sunday

Update: 2022-05-156


Tipping isn't a city in China. But it is a shameful institution that encourages racism, sexism, harassment, and exploitation of low-income workers while placing the burden of compensation on customers instead of business owners. If most restaurants and service-based industries in the world can exist without relying on tipping, why does the custom persist in the United States, and what would be a fairer, more sustainable alternative?

Welcome to Skeptical Sunday, a special edition of The Jordan Harbinger Show where Jordan and fact-checker, comedian, and podcast host David C. Smalley break down a topic that you may have never thought about, open things up, and debunk common misconceptions.

Full show notes and resources can be found here:

On This Week's Skeptical Sunday, We Discuss:

  • The federal minimum wage for tipped workers is $2.13 per hour -- the same as it was 31 years ago (though it can be even less in some states under certain circumstances). Why is it the customer’s responsibility to pay these workers a fair wage?

  • Why, contrary to the protests of whoever happens to be holding the purse strings, raising the minimum wage for the person serving you will not make your burger cost $25.

  • How tipped workers are still expected to fulfill untipped tasks during their "down" time, but without a raise in compensation to make up for it.

  • Why the institution of tipping encourages racism, sexism, harassment, and exploitation of low-income workers.

  • How the custom of tipping came about, why it persists in places like the United States, and what we should be doing to replace it with something that would better serve the server and served, alike.

  • Connect with Jordan on Twitter, on Instagram, and on YouTube. If you have something you'd like us to tackle here on Skeptical Sunday, drop Jordan a line at and let him know!

  • Connect with David at his website, on Twitter, on Instagram, on TikTok, and on YouTube, and make sure to check out The David C. Smalley Podcast here or wherever you enjoy listening to fine podcasts! If you like to get out of your house and catch live comedy, keep an eye on David's tour dates here and text David directly at (424) 306-0798 for tickets when he comes to your town!

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668: Tipping | Skeptical Sunday

668: Tipping | Skeptical Sunday

David C. Smalley