Manhattan: Finally, someone gets it right (“Tipping the balance,” editorial, Jan. 29). The only thing that matters about Gov. Cuomo’s plan to examine whether to eliminate the tip credit is what would it mean economically — for the workers and for the businesses. And based on the most recent data available, this looks like a bad deal for both.
The rate of job growth in full-service restaurants has experienced a significant decline since the last time the labor commissioner acted unilaterally and raised tipped workers’ wages by 50%. Since then, the rate of job growth in full-service restaurants has declined from 3.5% statewide and 5.5% in New York City in 2015 to 1.6% statewide and 1.9% in New York City last year.
The economic strain the substantial wage increase caused the industry resulted in workers not realizing the promised gains. Full-service restaurant workers in New York City saw their average take-home pay go up by an average of 6.4% and New York restaurant workers along the Pennsylvania border saw their take-home pay go up by an average of 7.4% — at a time when their base rate of pay was increased by 50%. But a reduction in staffing levels in New York restaurants caused by the overwhelming burden of the labor commissioner’s order to raise the minimum wage for tipped workers has all but eliminated any benefit for these workers.
Eliminating the tip credit and raising the wage rate for tipped workers is an extreme measure that, based on the available evidence, won’t be good for the pocketbooks of restaurant workers and the businesses where they work. So it’s critical that this time around the labor commissioner look at the numbers. If the numbers don’t add up, then the policy needs to be shelved. Scott Wexler, executive directorEmpire State Restaurant and Tavern Association
Congers, N.Y.: Voicer Kathie Renken is confusing acting versus reality in her letter attacking Howard Stern. While I am no fan of Stern’s shtick either, I am pretty sure that he does not behave that way in real life. It’s called acting. If he were really like that, do you think his lovely, animal-rights activist wife Beth would stay with him? Renken must have also believed that Don Rickles ran around insulting everyone he met, when the reality is that people who met him (and I know several) said he was one of the nicest, kindest people imaginable. Renken is obviously having issues separating reality and fantasy. It’s called acting for a reason. Beth Friscino
Brooklyn: How is it possible that Howard Stern isn’t in the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame? That’s like saying the Beatles don’t belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Or Willie Mays shouldn’t be in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Can someone please correct this injustice as soon as possible? Danny Mizrahi
Brooklyn: Hey, Voicer Kathie Renken, read my lips loud and clear. As a super Howard Stern fan, let me school you: No one is talking about Stern because anyone who goes on the Stern show goes on their own will. Whatever goes on “The Howard Stern Show” goes on live on-air, not behind closed doors. We can choose to listen or not. I have chosen to listen for over 26 years because the show is entertainment and for laughs. If you don’t know that, you should take a listen to Howard 100 on SiriusXM. As far as Howard’s personal life, he is a wonderful husband, son, dad, friend and animal lover, and guess what, Kathie? Howard doesn’t eat pigs! I am proud to be a super Howard Stern fan. Mariann Tepedino
Manhattan: Certainly immigration into our country has been the rule before the acts of Congress in the 1920s. Successive waves of immigrants for the most part have enriched our nation. However, there are exceptions, where instead of requiring a golden open door, it should be one ajar. Unfortunately, many immigrants have made no effort to adjust to the mores of our nation, with many coming with set beliefs and prejudices. The rise in anti-Semitism has been caused by imams in the U. S. preaching in mosques as well as Muslims arriving from Africa and the Middle East. Yes, we want and need immigration, but be careful what you wish for. Nelson Marans
Brooklyn: Why are all the black people in America screaming, yelling, fighting, over white supremacy in the United States? In Africa right now, diamonds and oil are being found, drilled and mined, and yet Africa is still one of the poorest places on the planet. So why are black people so angry at whites for keeping what they drilled for, found and mined, when in Africa, it’s been a mess the last 500 years? Morals, values and culture, not its people, make up America. Go to Africa, and see how your own would treat you. God bless America! Patrick Doyle
Stony Point, N.Y.: I feel that the Democrats are running scared. If President Trump continues to bring the American people out of the toilet that Obama tried to flush us down, then it doesn’t reflect well upon them. The Democrats want to keep people, especially illegal immigrants, under their thumbs and give them free everything to ensure that they can get their votes when they are in our voting booths. The President wants to put people to work, make them able to support themselves and their families, secure our borders, and keep our military strong. This should be considered a win-win, and if the Democrats and Republicans can’t get behind this, then they should be out of a job. Jane Frisch
Bronx: To Voicer Geneva Hunter: You seem to have experienced a memory loss. The person who bad-mouthed the United States all the time in foreign countries was Barack Obama. Mary Caggiano
Atlantic City: I am the daughter of Jorge Barreto (“Wheelchair man beaten ‘for fun,’ ” Oct. 17). My father has not recovered and may never walk again. There are many complications due to this creep. The creep is doing two years’ time on another crime he committed before injuring my father. On Jan. 25, he entered a guilty plea to harassment and will receive a mere 15 days added to his sentence. My father’s life was ruined and we will never be the same. The prosecutor is citing some sentencing law that renders the judicial system helpless to do more. In what world can this happen? My father is still in critical condition with many complications. Gross injustice. Miriam Barreto-Tanguay
Rockville Centre, L.I.: Neither Jane Fonda nor Megyn Kelly are heroes. The real heroes are the men and women who faithfully did their duty and whose names are etched on the wall of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington. By the way, The Donald claimed bone spurs to avoid doing his duty. Charley Mullaney
Hicksville, L.I.: Your newspaper criticizes the new tax law because of the burden a small percentage of those living in high-taxed blue states will face, yet you have no problem supporting giving illegal aliens free college tuition, which will be paid for by the taxpayers. And your paper never criticized Obamacare, especially the individual mandate, which was nothing but a tax on the working class. Now you are concerned about excessive taxation. I call that hypocrisy. John Gelormino
Ashland, Ore.: Great article by Bill Raissman on Alex Rodriguez trying to sanitize his forever-sullied image (“The Makeover,” Jan. 28). His constant cheating and lying about his illegal steroid use demonstrated A-Rod’s deep and ongoing contempt for the game he professes to love with crocodile tears. When he didn’t get his spoiled way, he recklessly sued everyone he and his thug “advisers” could think of — including Major League Baseball and the Yankee physician. Rodriguez made hundreds of millions of dollars cheating and lying with a straight face. The tradeoff for his reprehensible behavior should be permanent exclusion from the Hall of Fame. Dean Raffelock
Midland Park, N.J.: Your article on raw food for dogs is utterly fake, and you obviously are getting a kickback from the pet food industry. I have been feeding my dogs raw food for 10 years and they are the healthiest dogs for their ages my vet has seen. How about better reporting that looks at both sides? Kibble is more harmful to dogs by far. How about you investigate that? Robin Hardy