Back when I was a bellman/valet, it was the middle-class, working people who were always the best tippers. Seriously, living in KC, whenever there was a NASCAR race we were stoked! The same with a big event in the convention center where the vendors needed help unloading their stuff. We gladly gave up two hours to help because we knew the payoff would be worth it.
Working for tips always felt like a kind of slave labor, but somehow in our capitalistic culture we've figured out a way to make it work, at least for the time being. I have serious reservations about how sustainable is such a way of life. In other words, ultimately I'm not convinced that a better wage labor system is the answer to our problems.
What got me thinking about these things was a recent Pew Research poll indicating that from 2009-2011 the rich got richer, and the poor poorer. This won't surprise a lot of us of a middle/lower socio-economic status, but numbers always help when it comes to seeing how things really are.
I imagine these numbers vary from poll to poll, but I think it's right to recognize an increasing wealth gap in the U.S.
The bottom line is, I think, until the world changes or something other/better than capitalism comes along ... the rich have to share.
For those already doing this, you're awesome! Teach your other weatlhy friends that it's not the end of the world, that they can be responsible with their hand-outs so that they are not wasted perpetuating a cycle of poverty. Or better yet, just become friends with the poor themselves. You might actually find yourself on the receiving end of something greater the just wealth redistribution.