MSNBC has a piece entitled, “The fine art of holiday tipping,” talking about gratuities customary in New York City for various people. I must say, it has never occured to me to tip most of the people on this list, let alone in the amounts indicated.

The only people I regularly tip are those who make very low wages with the expectation that they are bolstered by tips–waiters, taxi drivers, hotel bellmen, and the like. If I had nannies, housekeepers, and the like in my employ, I’m sure I’d give them a holiday bonus.

Why, for example, would I tip the person who gets paid to throw the paper on my driveway and whom I’ve never seen? The people who work for UPS and get paid to deliver packages? Trash collectors? Pet groomers?

FILED UNDER: Economics and Business
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Anonymous says:

    I provide “bonuses” for people I consider my “employees” – my lawnman, my nanny, the monthly housecleaning crew. After that, I see no reason to give the barber or any other service provider any larger tip than I usually do.

  2. Dimitrios Stathopoulos says:

    I actually feel dumber having read that article.


  3. Rodney Dill says:

    I would like to see a serious discussion of tipping for blogs, (other than frequently) This is probably a sensitive topic as no one wants to appear greedy or have it backfire and lose participants/hits to their blog.

    But, from my perspective a serious dialog on some sort of tiered approach from a the viewpoints of number of bloggers would be useful.