In this hyper-polarized world, it's rare to find liberals and conservatives agreeing on anything -- and especially surprising to find them agreeing that hotel housekeepers deserve a raise.
But that's the response to news of a misguided publicity campaign in which California's former first lady, Maria Shriver, has joined with the huge hotel chain Marriott International to urge hotel guests to tip their room maids and housekeepers.
As part of the campaign, dubbed "The Envelope Please," Marriott will leave tip envelopes in guest rooms as unsubtle hints. The suggested gratuity is $1 to $5 a night. Studies indicate that no more than 30% of hotel guests leave a tip for the maids.
The reaction to Marriott's campaign from left and right has been roughly the same: They have some nerve.
Here's Mark Krikorian in the conservative National Review Online: "If the housekeepers’ exertions warrant that money — and I’m sure they do — why doesn’t Marriott just raise their pay by $1 to $5 per room per night? The company’s press release has the gall to describe 'Gratitude Envelopes,' as though women making beds and cleaning bathrooms to make ends meet are engaged in a charitable activity."
At the liberal Think Progress blog, Bryce Covert reports that hourly pay for nonunionized housekeepers averages about $8.32 an hour. "Tips...