I don’t understand any argument for raising the minimum wage, which is on the ballot in Washington, D.C. in November.

Initiative 82 would raise the minimum wage for tipped workers from $5.35 an hour to the regular minimum wage of $16.10. Currently, if a server or bartender doesn’t make enough tips to get them from the tipped minimum wage to the regular one, employers are supposed to make up the difference.

The measure was pushed by a disgruntled server who got stiffed on a tip and then quit his job, instead of looking in the mirror at why customers were abusing him. Now he wants to pass a law that would impact the tips of bartenders and servers who prefer tips over an hourly wage.

What could possibly go wrong with this idea?

Wages should be between the employer and employee! Unfortunately, proponents of this bill do not understand the fundamental law of economics: Wages are determined by supply and demand, not feelings and emotions.

Baseball players make more than dishwashers and bussers because maybe 30 people out of a billion can hit 30 home runs, while a billion people can wash dishes.

As a server and bartender, I have served many people well, and still gotten stiffed on tips. I’ve also had days where I made no money all day, then one person sent me a big tip, and I made the most out of all the employees.

The disgruntled person who wants to raise the tipped minimum wage may not be cut out to be a server or bartender and should never apply for a restaurant job. Maybe he didn’t make any money because he wasn’t very good or had a nasty attitude. Has that rationale been considered?

That’s called business.

Bartending is no different than selling newspapers. There are some days where you’re going to kill it and some days where you’re lucky to sell a paper. Some vendors don’t have the service skills or grit to be good at it. Sorry, some want to be the Phillies or Astros and don’t have time to deal with the Commanders or Lions. I want to win championships, not participation trophies.

Do the math. If you make $16 an hour in D.C., after taxes you make less than $100 per 8-hour shift. If you work five days a week full time, you’re only making $500 a week, when the average apartment in D.C. costs $2,400 a month.
With tips, you have the ability to make enough to actually live in this city. A good bartender or waitress can make more than enough to live on, even in D.C. If people decide not to tip because they think we’re getting paid well at the minimum wage, I lose out.

Why does any Democrat think that’s a good tradeoff for the poor and oppressed?

When wages are set artificially high, small businesses especially have to raise their prices. In a few years, special interest groups will want to raise the minimum wage to $20 an hour, and then the average rent will be about $3,000 a month.

Take it from someone who worked many minimum-wage jobs and was fired from all of them. That was the best thing that ever happened to me because I wasn’t happy working those jobs, and now I work a job that I like, and I don’t care how much they pay me per hour.

This D.C. minimum wage will be on this year’s ballot, and I urge all my readers to vote a resounding “hell no” to any minimum wage increases. Then vote out any politician that advocates for it, and get capitalists in D.C.
It’s time to get away from socialist ideas and return to rugged individualism and free markets.

Jeffery McNeil is an artist and vendor with Street Sense Media.