I agree with you whole heartedly! My husband has worked in the food/service industry his entire life, so we're very accustomed to tipping and often tip more than we should knowing how little servers make hourly. We tip 20+% at sit-down restaurants as well as give a few dollars to porters, valets, and housekeeping staff (usually we do the same of $1/person/night and I even clean up before we leave!). The sad reality of tipping to compensate for lower wages is a necessary evil; it's not just tipping "above and beyond" for excellent service. Our thinking is if it helps them pay their bills (or live life how ever they want) and we can spare a few dollars (we've already chosen to either eat at a restaurant or stay in a hotel) then we should. Other cultures frown up tipping but the US is certainly not one of them; it's "optional" but if you don't, it's frowned upon by those who attended to your needs. I even tip my hairdresser 20%!