Charles Koch is one of the notoriously hate-worthy Koch brothers, those nasty billionaires who spend so much of their inherited wealth in pursuit of preserving privilege and tax breaks for people just like themselves, plutocrats who sometimes make the robber barons of the 19th century look like flaming liberals.
Koch, who makes more money in 30 seconds than most anyone else on earth makes in a year, eats lunch once a week at the Wichita Country Club, joined there by a gaggle of fellow richies and sycophants. Sometimes Mr. Koch will even pick up a tab for his fellow gazillionaires. What he won’t do, however, is leave a tip for the people who serve him. Not a damned dime.
If you’ve ever worked for tips, or waited on people in a high end joint, you know that pressure and stress mounts exponentially when you’re serving an ostentatiously wealthy patron. Such people are often exceedingly hard to please. So when Charles Koch and his well-heeled cronies come for lunch, that makes for a hard day for those who are bowing and scraping to make sure everything is perfect for the potentates of power.
Years ago, my brother worked for Basque Norte when that restaurant was up on the Paradise ridge on Pentz Road. One night, a party of 20 people came in, pouring out of three campers to have a restaurant meal while on the road. There was a passel of kids, and the demands for service nearly overwhelmed the waitress whose section and shift were taken up with taking care of them.
When that party left near closing time, the owner noticed the waitress had tears running down her cheeks. When he asked what was wrong, she held out her hand to show him a quarter, two nickels, and three pennies. Behind her, three tables were littered with the mess left by her customers, evidence of a difficult evening of work for that waitress.
“This was the tip they left,” she told the boss, who then took the change from her hands and raced out the door as the three campers were pulling out of the graveled parking lot. He came up beside the first camper and said, “Excuse me, sir, but you forgot your change.”
“Oh, that’s alright,” the customer said, “that was a tip.”
To his great credit, the boss tossed the change through the driver’s window and said, “well, then, you can just shove it.”
Waiters and waitresses rely on tips to pay their rent. Not paying for the service provided by people who serve them seems consistent with the Koch brothers’ view of life, an attitude of entitlement for people like themselves, and not much for anyone else. They are scum.
The six ever-so-greedy Walton family heirs are richer than the 40 percent of Americans at the bottom of the heap combined, meaning those six people can claim more personal wealth than everything owned by more that 130 million of their fellow Americans. And still, the U.S. taxpayer helps subsidize the Walton family by paying benefits and offering food stamp assistance to Walmart employees who can not live on the wages paid by that company.
Since many of these assholes won’t offer even tips for service, I’ll offer a tip to working people who support these rich pricks. We’d better all wise up and resist these bastards before this country starts to look like India, or one of those other two-tiered oligarchies where everything—including basic rights—is reserved for the top one percent and the politicians who do their bidding.