It is totally capitalistic and very American. If someone's service is worse than adequate, they will get less for their services.
Unfortunately, there are people out there that are cheap and will never tip, and then complain or file a lawsuit when they get horrible service.
I agree. I was in NYC and needed to get to the airport quickly. I told the cabbie how much of a tip (flat amount) he would get if he would get me to the airport by X time. He did and he got his tip.
PS No hazardous driving was involved or required, but he really took the fastest way. Shortest trip to Laguardia I ever had.
Except that that doesn't make any sense. Tipping doesn't guarantee service for you at any given visit, or it would be done up-front and thus, couldn't be done on a % basis. Only if you frequent the same place over and over and tip well to a given server will you get any benefit.
The problem are the folks that tip 20% religiously for good service or bad, and the servers that expect it and demand it!