Posted April 17th, 2018, 04:30 AM
Last edited by bUU; April 17th, 2018 at 05:00 AM
So let me see if we are clear here. First you say cruise lines are " charging you to avoid additional taxes,..." so you want to be part of a conspiracy to defraud the Government also know as tax evasion? Sorry I may push the edges of the law to the line but will not cross is.
Rest assured, this tax shelter is perfectly legal, in the same way tax loss harvesting is legal.
You also said "Auto gratuities are not something really additional...." by definition they are always optional if not they are service fees.
Again, you're choosing to give the dictionary more weight than it deserves. Other dictionaries recognize the definitional rupture inherent in M-W, and offer far more accurate definitions: "a gift of money, over and above payment..." and "something given without demand or claim". If you must slave yourself to dictionary definitions for "gratuity," you're better off doing so with regard to these definitions for it.
In practice, the word "discretionary" is more accurate than "optional" or "voluntary" when describing the control that the give-er has in these circumstances. It communicates the actual obligation of hospitality that applies: Service is given by a serve-er, and in return the recipient of the service applies discernment to determine how much to give. That "how much" might be nothing, if the quality of service given is so bad as to substantiate that determination, but there is nothing about gratuities in our society that make them something that patrons can morally decide to simply opt-out-of.
And my contract as guest says the daily service fee are at my discretion .
. The question is how could discretion result in a determination of $0 for having received great service?
So you or no one else has any say over what other guest do when we are following the contract.
That goes without saying. What people are "having say over" is what is right and wrong - not what another guest actually does
Not going to get into the debate, ...
Well, actually, you did. <shrug>
Just want to pass along, I spoke quite a bit with one of the bar waiters just this week and ....
Up-thread it was made clear why we cannot rely on this kind of information coming from someone who is hoping to spur-on your generosity. You need to get this kind of information either from someone more objective or someone for whom there is a big risk if misinformation is discovered, such as a company official who could bring a substantial amount of bad PR to the company were they to be caught in a lie. Having said that, I think you've misunderstood what people said earlier in the thread. You seem to think people were saying that the crew's base salary is substantially larger than what they could earn in their home country. That's not the case. People were talking about their total income, i.e., base salary plus the gratuities they do receive.
I'm not sure how much the Indonesian, Filipino, etc., crew members make in excess of what they could make at home, but from all I've read about it and from the logic of the situation it is surely a prodigious amount.
This is a business constructed the way it suites everybody.
To be fair, while the arrangement is perfectly legal, it doesn't "suit everybody". There is actually a spectrum of perspective on this issue, with some passengers and cruise lines on one extreme saying that they should be able to service American ports, even one way journeys between two American ports, without having to comply with any American labor laws, much less such laws as they pertain to compensation. On the other extreme you'll find some people saying that the American market is so valuable that any ship that makes port at any American port should be compelled to comply with American labor laws, thereby fostering the opportunities Americans have to work in the industry without having to accept such heavily discounted wages.
It works because of this structure. It still works if some (small %) removed tips. It will not work if everybody or even majority will do this. So this small percentage of cruisers is simply using this situation where majority is paying.
Subsidization is a big problem within pricing models, and we can see myriad examples of where, for one reason or another, sellers are working to remove such subsidization. All the surcharging we see is a reflection of this: We see premium-quality, fine-dining, full-service meals shifted into specialty restaurants with a surcharge, so that John and Jane who want that extra increment of quality bear the extra cost of it themselves, rather than having it subsidized by folks like Jim and Jan who would be satisfied with standard-quality, fine-dining, full-service meals in the main dining room.
If percentage of smarty pants increases companies will be forced to make a change, because in some reason people who choose to use their services don’t agree with their business model.
I think many of those people would say that that's fine with them. Of course, when you point out how it would actually cost them more to have the cost of stateroom and dining service fully baked into the cruise fare, since the cost of the extra taxes the cruise line would have to pay would be passed along to passengers to keep the change revenue-neutral, they try to evade addressing that reality.
But isn't it just wonderful that (s)he can take a principled stand against the Man, screw 3rd world workers, and put money in their own pocket all at the same time? You really have to admire the selflessness that makes these folks not only do it themselves, but try to convince other people to do it.
I think that's really the thread underlying all these threads. It offends moral sensibilities to see people rationalize
offensive behavior sometimes as much as it offends moral sensibilities to see people engage in offensive behavior.