“What if you could triple profits by paying employees more?”

Here’s a bright spot in an otherwise grim day: the Pittsburgh restaurant Bar Marco has discovered that it can actually make more money and treat its employees better at the same time.

Bobby Fry made headlines earlier this year when his restaurant, Bar Marco, decided to join the small but growing trend of restaurants that have decided to ditch tipping. Entrepreneur decided to check in to see how the restaurant owner was doing, and Fry says the results have been phenomenal. Since getting rid of tipping on April 1, profits have increased from about $3,000 a week to $9,000. …

Employees have more on the line, too: Bar Marco’s new system cuts them into the profits as well. All workers now get a base salary of at least $35,000 — plus health care, paid vacation and 500 shares in the company — but they also get bonuses. Because of his recent financial boom, Fry says salaries could end up between $48,000 and $51,000 this year.

As Eater reports, Bar Marco’s owner thinks that this change is a prudent business decision but it’s also about fairness:

Many cities and states have increased or are in the process of increasing the hourly minimum wageto $15 per hour. This has upset many restaurateurs who argue that they will not be able to pay their staff such high wages. Fry believes, however, that they should considering switching up how they do business considering that many restaurant workers currently live in poverty: “You cannot tell me that your business model relies on paying people below the poverty line.” He adds, “Google is the best company in the world for how much money they make per employee and that’s because they put all their time and energy into their employees. It pays off for them in fistfuls.”

Regardless, well done, Bobby Fry. However well off you are, you do not seem to be a jerk.

Speaking of which, another Vox writer, Timothy B. Lee, has posted a defense of rich people, saying they are not jerks, they’re simply conservatives, and anyway, I know you are, but what am I? I don’t find it very persuasive but of course I don’t, I’m neither rich nor conservative. YMMV.

Doubtless, there are some rich people whose conservative views reflect narrowly selfish considerations, just as there are selfish people of all ideological persuasions. But it’s both wrong and counterproductive to assume that a preference for lower taxes, less regulation, or free trade makes someone a jerk.

Not only do many people hold these views for altruistic reasons, but reflexively questioning the motives of our ideological opponents deprives us of opportunities to learn from them. …

Liberals are inclined to see conservative opposition to spending money on assisting the poor with housing, food, and health care as mean-spirited. But those programs are financed with taxes, and many conservatives — wealthy and otherwise — sincerely believe that high taxes on the wealthy shrink the economic pie, making everyone worse off in the long run. They also think private charity is a more effective way to help low-income people than government welfare programs.

Oh, I see. Rich people “sincerely believe” something insidious and incorrect. To give merely one example of thousands, the France of Les Miserables relied on “private charity” to support the poor. That didn’t work very well. Neither did / does the discredited theory of “trickle-down economics.” So rich folks are not jerks; they just often believe, and do, jerky things. Noted.

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