Revolutions are Always Verbose: Effecting Change in the TTRPG Industry


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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
The market bears what the market bears.

It is hardly that simple. Unions exist because the labor market is not particularly free. A free labor market requires that the labor force be extremely mobile, able to uproot and relocate to anywhere in the country (or world) to find work that fits their skillset. Since relocation is monetarily, emotionally, and socially very expensive, the labor market has many characteristics of price-fixing.

Basically, if folks can't afford to not take the first job they are offered, they aren't in a free labor market.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Actually, you can't. A multi-billion-dollar corporation isn't affected by the pay of the CEO, no matter how much jealousy it raises.
Actually, you can.

Anything that contributes to a company’s bottom line is something that can be evaluated. Just like sourcing a raw material from Brazil Vs China Vs Spain, or how much labor regulations differ in regions where you have physical operations, how top-heavy your pay structure is- and how flexible adjustments to it are- are factors in international competitive ability. The only question is how big the effect is.

To be clear, it’s not just the uppermost echelons in play here. Stratospheric compensatron packages for a company’s top tier are based on extraordinary pay for the next level down, etc. Put differently, it’s not just that American companies have some of the highest executive pay for the CEOs, CFOs, etc., it’s that the curve of their wage structures are steeper than anywhere else.

In the 1930s, American companies averaged a executive to entry-level wage ratio of @46-1. Currently, we’re between 285 to 354-1 (depending on which industries were included in the researchers’ data), worst worldwide. The other countries with similar ratios are places like India and China. In contrast, other countries with healthy economies have vastly different ratios: Germany 147-1; France 104-1; Japan 67-1. Etc.

When the recession hit the automakers hard a decade+ ago, 2 of the American Big 3 companies responded (in part) with layoffs and closing factories. Executive compensation was not reduced. In comparison, Toyota- then #2- cut salaries, even at the highest levels, even though said compensation was 1/5th to 1/10th that of their rivals. (Their CEO mentioned in an interview that he had to tell his wife about what amenities- like the gardening service- would have to be scaled back or eliminated.) They did NOT reduce their physical plant or labor force in any major way. They’re currently #1.
 
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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
When the recession hit the automakers hard a decade+ ago, 2 of the American Big 3 companies responded (in part) with layoffs and closing factories. Executive compensation was not reduced. In comparison, Toyota- then #2- cut salaries, even at the highest levels, even though said compensation was 1/5th to 1/10th that of their rivals.

Toyota has the benefit of having developed an ethos that others merely copy, usually incompletely.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Toyota has the benefit of having developed an ethos that others merely copy, usually incompletely.
There’s all kinds of moving pieces to the reasons behind any given company’s successes…or lack thereof. And that’s one of them.

My Dad’s business- a small medical practice- had maybe a couple dozen employees over 38 years before he sold it. Outside of family, he had 3 employees who worked for him between 20-30 years, and several hit a decade. That is phenomenally low turnover, which has all kinds of benefits to the bottom line. He’s trying to teach his way to his current employers- the partnership that he sold out to. (It’s a work in progress.)
 

aramis erak

Legend
The same source as any other number, I guess: what the person leaving the tip wants to leave.

Its correct IMO. YRMV.

Personally, I would prefer that wait staff be paid a suitable wage and the entire matter dropped.
in some places, it's set by law... My mother still complains about 1960's W. Germany and the mandatory gratuity... (Landstuhl and Frankfurt (sp?) areas)
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
in some places, it's set by law... My mother still complains about 1960's W. Germany and the mandatory gratuity... (Landstuhl and Frankfurt (sp?) areas)

So since the issue seems to be allowed by the mods (?), here's the basic gist-

In some countries there is no gratuity. At all. Service industry workers are paid the same as others.

In other countries there is a mandatory gratuity added to the bill by law. However, depending on the country, it can be customary to leave a small amount (5-10%) or an American amount (15%+) on a bill in addition to the already charged mandatory gratuity. Whether this is for exceptional service (some countries in Europe) or is considered customary (Dubai, for example), depends on the country.

In America, employees in tipped positions (such as wait staff in restaurants) are paid below the minimum wage with the assumption that they will make the remainder money up from tips. So, take a state like Alabama- in that state, the hourly wage for a server is ... $2.13. And remember that most service industry workers are not getting any benefits.

The reason for this is because, in America, tipping is customary. And the amounts are also customary and have increased- you know what the custom is, because many places (especially in tourist areas, but increasingly everywhere) put it on your receipt. And I have never, ever, in my life seen any amount below 15%. In fact, it is increasingly rare to see 15% as an option. I have seen 20, 22, and 25 in many places. Square (which is a common POS option) allows tip amounts of 15%, 20%, or 25% as the defaults- notice that you can't "default" below 15%- you'd have to affirmatively opt out.

In addition, given that restaurants and servers have encountered ingrates (sorry, clever people) before, it is standard practice to include a minimum gratuity of at least 18% on parties of 6 or more, so you don't have people exercising their cleverness and screwing over the wait staff.

All this said, it points to the role of custom in our society. To use a banal analogy- if you go to a concert, you expect that the band will "end" their show, and then (LIKE MAGIC!) they crowd will make a lot of noise, and the band will be summoned back to do an encore, because the crowd is so great. We all know it's a big put on- the band has a set list, and the encore is on it already. But it's part of the show, and it's part of the social compact. It's the custom. And it's the same with tips; in America, it is now the expectation that a meal out will include a 20% gratuity- and many people (such as myself) will pay 25-30%, because we understand how the service industry works, and we appreciate their labor.

Some people choose not to do it. It's possible because, in this atomized society, tipping is done last. If you aren't going to eat at that restaurant again, or have the same server ... well, why not stiff them? Why not just write in the tip area, "Hey, here's a tip- get a better job!"*

....then again, to channel Fight Club, if you are a member of the .... 10%, I wouldn't go back to that place after I left that tip. And I sure wouldn't order the clam chowder.

Moving it back to my OP and RPGs

I originally wrote this:
First is the idea that we all care, in the abstract, about how companies treat their employees. But in reality, we don't act upon that- but we will act upon consumer-facing issues. I call this the Amazon Paradox. Let me make this more explicit-

As a general rule, most people will say that they want companies to do the right thing- have employees (not independent contractors) that are paid well, treated well, with decent vacations and generous benefits and the ability to retire at some time. But given the choice, they'll just go on Amazon and pay the lowest price they see for a non-sketchy product.


I wrote that to be nice. Because as we have seen in this thread ... it's not true that "we all care ... about how companies treat their employees." There is a small subset of people that are quite happy to screw over anyone and everyone if they can save a penny, and would probably raid the "take a penny, leave a penny" container at the local Mom & Pop store** if they ever shopped there- but they are proud Wal Mart shoppers.

But I don't think that's the majority of people. I still feel (despite some evidence to the contrary) that the majority of people are good- that they want people to be treated as they, themselves, would want to be treated.

So when I saw the post by @Mongoose_Matt I had to ask- I think that he is asking the wrong questions. It's not really an issue of "In the great social strata, where should/could RPG creators sit?" I mean- market forces are about the efficient allocation of resources. It's rarely productive to think about how much a given profession should make- we know, empirically, that CEOs are paid way too much in America (the high compensation is not correlated to performance, and is the product of interlocking boards with misaligned incentives- moreover, there is a huge supply in the labor pool); weirdly, we also know that the top professional athletes are also paid too little (the allowed collusion between owners artificially lowers the amount of money going to them while simultaneously allowed owners to extract excess profits).

What is more interesting, and the reason I originally wrote the OP, was because I was thinking about the inclusivity issues. When you have an industry that has barriers to entry (TTRPGs require a fair amount of erudition and learning) and also is often treated as a part-time, hobbyist industry, it tends to attract certain types of people- those that can, largely, afford to already participate in the workforce.

It's the "intern problem." If you aren't familiar with it, I addressed it here-

TLDR- using unpaid internships as a barrier to entry means that certain jobs are reserved for the already wealthy. Here, the issue is similar- when there are positions that allow for a decent wage and a decent life in the TTRPG industry (like any other industry) ... not "Aston Martin" rich, but a good life, then it will attract a workforce that is more diverse, simply from the perspective that you don't have to rely on people that can afford to treat it as a lark or a hobby.

But in order to do that, you need to appeal to consumers who are interested in supporting a thriving industry. You need to change the norms and customs around it. You need to appeal to the "20%+" people, and not the "10% or less" (who would likely pirate their books anyway, because they don't value the labor that goes into it.)

*I knew a person who did that, or similar bon mots. No, they are no longer in my circle of people.
**IT SAID TO TAKE A PENNY! SO I TOOK THEM ALL! IT'S THEIR FAULT, NOT MINE!!!!!!!! Stupid mom & pop deserved to have their pennies taken, because they aren't smart, like me.
 

slobster

Hero
So since the issue seems to be allowed by the mods (?), here's the basic gist-

In some countries there is no gratuity. At all. Service industry workers are paid the same as others.

In other countries there is a mandatory gratuity added to the bill by law. However, depending on the country, it can be customary to leave a small amount (5-10%) or an American amount (15%+) on a bill in addition to the already charged mandatory gratuity. Whether this is for exceptional service (some countries in Europe) or is considered customary (Dubai, for example), depends on the country.

In America, employees in tipped positions (such as wait staff in restaurants) are paid below the minimum wage with the assumption that they will make the remainder money up from tips.
I agree with your entire take on this issue, though I will note that in California, where I live, minimum wage for servers is in fact the same as minimum wage for anyone else, between $13 and $17 depending on area and how large the employer is.

I still try to tip between 18%-20% typically, assuming the service was good, because it's hard to live in my area on $13 an hour and I've been that server (actually back of the house, but still), I remember how hard it is to work with people who sometimes treat you like trash, and because it would be very rude for me to pretend the social tipping contract doesn't exist to justify wanting to save $4 on my meal.

In my ideal world, I think I'd rather restaurants just raise their prices 18% and take the stress out of tipping, but I mean that's just not the world we live in and so I'd rather be slightly nervous and worried about my tipping amounts when I go out to eat than be a jerkhole to a human being who is just trying to make a living.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
In my ideal world, I think I'd rather restaurants just raise their prices 18% and take the stress out of tipping, but I mean that's just not the world we live in and so I'd rather be slightly nervous and worried about my tipping amounts when I go out to eat than be a jerkhole to a human being who is just trying to make a living.

Agreed on everything you wrote- a structural change (so that employees would have benefits and a living wage, instead of tipped amounts depending on the whim of individuals) would be best. But that's not our world.

I prefer the socially-set amount (20-30%) of restaurants to the uncertain amounts you get in other situations; valets, housekeeping, subcontractors doing certain house repairs ... there are so many social situations where the amount you tip (or sometimes if you tip) is uncertain, and can be stressful.

On the other hand, I have learned the value of a good tip. For example, if you are planning on staying a while, an immediate tip of a $20 to the bartender does wonders. ;)
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
So since the issue seems to be allowed by the mods (?), here's the basic gist-

In some countries there is no gratuity. At all. Service industry workers are paid the same as others.

In other countries there is a mandatory gratuity added to the bill by law. However, depending on the country, it can be customary to leave a small amount (5-10%) or an American amount (15%+) on a bill in addition to the already charged mandatory gratuity. Whether this is for exceptional service (some countries in Europe) or is considered customary (Dubai, for example), depends on the country.

In America, employees in tipped positions (such as wait staff in restaurants) are paid below the minimum wage with the assumption that they will make the remainder money up from tips. So, take a state like Alabama- in that state, the hourly wage for a server is ... $2.13. And remember that most service industry workers are not getting any benefits.

The reason for this is because, in America, tipping is customary. And the amounts are also customary and have increased- you know what the custom is, because many places (especially in tourist areas, but increasingly everywhere) put it on your receipt. And I have never, ever, in my life seen any amount below 15%. In fact, it is increasingly rare to see 15% as an option. I have seen 20, 22, and 25 in many places. Square (which is a common POS option) allows tip amounts of 15%, 20%, or 25% as the defaults- notice that you can't "default" below 15%- you'd have to affirmatively opt out.

In addition, given that restaurants and servers have encountered ingrates (sorry, clever people) before, it is standard practice to include a minimum gratuity of at least 18% on parties of 6 or more, so you don't have people exercising their cleverness and screwing over the wait staff.

All this said, it points to the role of custom in our society. To use a banal analogy- if you go to a concert, you expect that the band will "end" their show, and then (LIKE MAGIC!) they crowd will make a lot of noise, and the band will be summoned back to do an encore, because the crowd is so great. We all know it's a big put on- the band has a set list, and the encore is on it already. But it's part of the show, and it's part of the social compact. It's the custom. And it's the same with tips; in America, it is now the expectation that a meal out will include a 20% gratuity- and many people (such as myself) will pay 25-30%, because we understand how the service industry works, and we appreciate their labor.

Some people choose not to do it. It's possible because, in this atomized society, tipping is done last. If you aren't going to eat at that restaurant again, or have the same server ... well, why not stiff them? Why not just write in the tip area, "Hey, here's a tip- get a better job!"*

....then again, to channel Fight Club, if you are a member of the .... 10%, I wouldn't go back to that place after I left that tip. And I sure wouldn't order the clam chowder.

Moving it back to my OP and RPGs

I originally wrote this:
First is the idea that we all care, in the abstract, about how companies treat their employees. But in reality, we don't act upon that- but we will act upon consumer-facing issues. I call this the Amazon Paradox. Let me make this more explicit-

As a general rule, most people will say that they want companies to do the right thing- have employees (not independent contractors) that are paid well, treated well, with decent vacations and generous benefits and the ability to retire at some time. But given the choice, they'll just go on Amazon and pay the lowest price they see for a non-sketchy product.


I wrote that to be nice. Because as we have seen in this thread ... it's not true that "we all care ... about how companies treat their employees." There is a small subset of people that are quite happy to screw over anyone and everyone if they can save a penny, and would probably raid the "take a penny, leave a penny" container at the local Mom & Pop store** if they ever shopped there- but they are proud Wal Mart shoppers.

But I don't think that's the majority of people. I still feel (despite some evidence to the contrary) that the majority of people are good- that they want people to be treated as they, themselves, would want to be treated.

So when I saw the post by @Mongoose_Matt I had to ask- I think that he is asking the wrong questions. It's not really an issue of "In the great social strata, where should/could RPG creators sit?" I mean- market forces are about the efficient allocation of resources. It's rarely productive to think about how much a given profession should make- we know, empirically, that CEOs are paid way too much in America (the high compensation is not correlated to performance, and is the product of interlocking boards with misaligned incentives- moreover, there is a huge supply in the labor pool); weirdly, we also know that the top professional athletes are also paid too little (the allowed collusion between owners artificially lowers the amount of money going to them while simultaneously allowed owners to extract excess profits).

What is more interesting, and the reason I originally wrote the OP, was because I was thinking about the inclusivity issues. When you have an industry that has barriers to entry (TTRPGs require a fair amount of erudition and learning) and also is often treated as a part-time, hobbyist industry, it tends to attract certain types of people- those that can, largely, afford to already participate in the workforce.

It's the "intern problem." If you aren't familiar with it, I addressed it here-

TLDR- using unpaid internships as a barrier to entry means that certain jobs are reserved for the already wealthy. Here, the issue is similar- when there are positions that allow for a decent wage and a decent life in the TTRPG industry (like any other industry) ... not "Aston Martin" rich, but a good life, then it will attract a workforce that is more diverse, simply from the perspective that you don't have to rely on people that can afford to treat it as a lark or a hobby.

But in order to do that, you need to appeal to consumers who are interested in supporting a thriving industry. You need to change the norms and customs around it. You need to appeal to the "20%+" people, and not the "10% or less" (who would likely pirate their books anyway, because they don't value the labor that goes into it.)

*I knew a person who did that, or similar bon mots. No, they are no longer in my circle of people.
**IT SAID TO TAKE A PENNY! SO I TOOK THEM ALL! IT'S THEIR FAULT, NOT MINE!!!!!!!! Stupid mom & pop deserved to have their pennies taken, because they aren't smart, like me.
The older I get, the less I like unpaid internships. They really are for the upper echelons only. (I say that as someone in the upper echelons.)

As for your last paragraph, the worst example I ever saw of that was on a trip to Italy, in a church in Assisi. There was a small table operated by the Poor Claires offering prayer cards and votive candles, the cost being “for a donation”. IOW, you gave what you could, on your honor. A man and his wife from another tour bus pushed through the crowd that had gathered around it, each grabbing up as many of the cards and votive candles as they could with both hands and left without leaving any donations at all, nearly clearing the table while the nun watched speechlessly.* Many were angered by this, and more than a few people came close to grabbing the couple And dragging them back on her behalf. We were that close to a lynching in the church…

Fortunately, one of my traveling companions- a woman of formidable physical presence and social stature (former cop, current judge)- found a better way- she dropped a bunch of euros on the table (yes, while giving the stinkeye to the candle-clutching couple). Others followed suit.

Someone else let their tour guide know what happened. When we left, there was an intense discussion occurring next to their bus.






* I do not recall if they have a vow of silence.
 
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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Re: tipping

I’m a 18-20%er. If I tip you more or less, it’s because of something you did.

Your service has to be truly bad to get less than 15%. Ive never tipped $0, but I did leave a one penny tip at an Easter Buffet when the waitstaff really pissed me off.
 

slobster

Hero
Agreed on everything you wrote- a structural change (so that employees would have benefits and a living wage, instead of tipped amounts depending on the whim of individuals) would be best. But that's not our world.

I prefer the socially-set amount (20-30%) of restaurants to the uncertain amounts you get in other situations; valets, housekeeping, subcontractors doing certain house repairs ... there are so many social situations where the amount you tip (or sometimes if you tip) is uncertain, and can be stressful.

On the other hand, I have learned the value of a good tip. For example, if you are planning on staying a while, an immediate tip of a $20 to the bartender does wonders. ;)
Yeah, I should add that in my ideal world, the restaurant raises prices and then puts all that money right into their workforce. I'd like to live in that world, but we also live in the world where some people would raise prices 20% to give their employees a 3% raise...

I should note that I am a small business owner, an avowed capitalist, and someone who employs several people in my business. I know how hard it can be to make ends meet as a small business, how things are stacked towards larger corporations who can afford to navigate the tangle of overregulation that exists in California (it is a real thing, I promise!), how expensive it is to provide meaningful benefits to employees (health insurance is important to have, but man if you can't buy the subsidized ones on Covered California, the insurance companies charge you tens of thousands a year for coverage that is quite frankly terrible), etc., etc.

I'm not trying to excuse awful employers who don't pay their employees a fair wage. I know they exist, I've had several of those jobs myself. I try to do better, but at a certain point it's not enough for people to demand fairness from the businesses they frequent or their own employers, that has to be backed up by real power, whether governmental (probably in the form of legislation) or union organization or what have you. But there needs to be a fist inside the glove or some people will just get away with whatever they can, and those employers who try to do the right thing will suffer for being suckers.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Well, I note that Adam Smith’s “Invisible Hand” is clenched right now, and is definitely swinging in the labor market. And I think a higher percentage of workers are aware of their rights and power than has been seen in decades.

….and there are more allies in the customer base, too. (At least, for now.)
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Yeah, I should add that in my ideal world, the restaurant raises prices and then puts all that money right into their workforce. I'd like to live in that world, but we also live in the world where some people would raise prices 20% to give their employees a 3% raise...

I should note that I am a small business owner, an avowed capitalist, and someone who employs several people in my business. I know how hard it can be to make ends meet as a small business, how things are stacked towards larger corporations who can afford to navigate the tangle of overregulation that exists in California (it is a real thing, I promise!), how expensive it is to provide meaningful benefits to employees (health insurance is important to have, but man if you can't buy the subsidized ones on Covered California, the insurance companies charge you tens of thousands a year for coverage that is quite frankly terrible), etc., etc.

I'm not trying to excuse awful employers who don't pay their employees a fair wage. I know they exist, I've had several of those jobs myself. I try to do better, but at a certain point it's not enough for people to demand fairness from the businesses they frequent or their own employers, that has to be backed up by real power, whether governmental (probably in the form of legislation) or union organization or what have you. But there needs to be a fist inside the glove or some people will just get away with whatever they can, and those employers who try to do the right thing will suffer for being suckers.

I hit on this in section 2 in the OP, with this summation-

Of course, another factor that can't be ignored is that it is fundamentally unfair to make all of this the consumer's fault. We have seen this emerging argument in a number of areas- that, in fact, companies are more than happy to make us blame ourselves for our consuming decisions at the micro-level, when effective change is best done through collective action (regulation at the macro level). How can we research the companies and supply chains of every product we buy? Why not just have better wages and benefits in general?

It's completely accurate, what you're saying. It is difficult, because it can be a competitive advantage for some companies (and people) to get away with whatever they can, and the employers that do the right thing get screwed. Karma is justice without the satisfaction.

But we have such a weird system in so many ways- as you correctly note, there can be so much overregulation (as in California, for small businesses) that does so little. Here, in the America, we seem to have opted for the worst of all worlds; government regulation that chokes businesses while providing little benefit to the people that most need it.

But moving back to the OP (before the thread gets shut down), that's why we would need collective action (through government, or on the labor side with a SAG-like union) to benefit the creatives in the TTRPG space.

..... I am not holding my breath.

It would be great if consumers demanded more, but ... for the most part, those effects are too attenuated. It's easy to get companies to do things that don't greatly impact their bottom line, but it's hard to get them to re-align their incentives to distribute more money to the labor force and less to shareholders- because we just aren't set up for that.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Re: tipping

I’m a 18-20%er. If I tip you more or less, it’s because of something you did.

Your service has to be truly bad to get less than 15%. Ive never tipped $0, but I did leave a one penny tip at an Easter Buffet when the waitstaff really pissed me off.
I've done that once. That involved having to wait while watching the server chat for 20 minutes before coming to the table, which glancing over, making eye contact, and then going back to his chat. When he did finally come over, he reached ACROSS ME to grab my wife's (then fiancee) shoulder and say "we'll start with you," clearly trying to flirt. Things actually got worse from there, with a 40 minute wait for food (which was desserts and coffee). We (it was us and another couple) left a lemon tip -- which is where you place a lemon wedge in the middle of a cleaned plate, centered on the table, and stick a single penny upright into the wedge, making it absolutely clear that the penny is intentional. All of us had been servers at some point.

I grew up a bit after that, though, and the next time I had terrible service, we spoke to the manager about it. I've also asked to speak to a manager so I could praise the server and/or staff. I've done the latter far more often than the former -- you have to really be doing a bad job for me to speak to the boss about you. Since I've been a server before, and know what it's like to get in the weeds, my tolerance is pretty high.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Oh yes- service above & beyond earns you a chat between me and higher ups!

I ordered some sides to go with a big Christmas meal I was planning. I went to pick it up 30min before closing, and my order (from weeks before) had not only disappeared, it seemed as if it had never been processed. Even though the hour was late, the assistant MoD kept the store open and personally stayed late, filling the order himself by cooking fresh sides.

I contacted the corporate offices to tell them how he rescued our meal.

I didn’t see him again for nearly 18 months. He remembered me- not just because of the events of that night- but because my call had been a major factor in his promotion.
 

slobster

Hero
But we have such a weird system in so many ways- as you correctly note, there can be so much overregulation (as in California, for small businesses) that does so little. Here, in the America, we seem to have opted for the worst of all worlds; government regulation that chokes businesses while providing little benefit to the people that most need it.
I own a small business in California that supplies healthcare services. I cannot possibly express how much I agree with your "worst of all worlds" diagnosis, in regulation in general and in our healthcare system in specific. I know we are off-topic and I respect your attempts to steer the thread clear of moderation, so suffice it to say that what I see in how our healthcare system is stocked full of perverse incentives and "not technically illegal" behavior literally makes me sick.

But anyway, RPG creators. The DMs Guild is literally called a "guild", but doesn't really act as such. It's more a marketplace where any and all comers can reach consumers directly, and compete with each other for attention (and dollars). I mean don't get me wrong, that is cool, but maybe by taking a little inspiration from actual guilds, it might be possible to help out RPG creators?

A guild membership used to mean an indicator of quality, that the person had put in the time or proven themselves (or just paid the dues, but let's avoid that model), and so was able to assess higher fees for a known quality of service. I'm not up to the task of rebuilding such a model for the Uber age right at this moment, but maybe that could provide some models to work from.
 

This may or may not be relevant to this thread....

But one thing I've noticed as I've gotten peripherally involved in publishing indie material here in the US, is how much the internationalization of art and publishing services has undermined attempts by artists/writers/editors in the indie RPG space here in the US in hoping to demand a living wage.

Its a version of the classic "race to the bottom" you see with some kinds of industries in the U.S. especially, where its hard for the place with the least regulatory structure/taxes to control what everyone else does, because otherwise the industry moves out of the state and takes its jobs with it. Its often really difficult for places to say "Don't let the door hit you on the butt", but without that...

Edit: And now I notice you used the term yourself at the end of your post, so I'm preaching to the choir.
 


dragoner

solisrpg.com
But moving back to the OP (before the thread gets shut down), that's why we would need collective action (through government, or on the labor side with a SAG-like union) to benefit the creatives in the TTRPG space.

I will join in beating that drum! :LOL:

Yes, as a business professional, I agree that government rules are stacked towards the larger industries to the detriment of the smaller. Even with tipping and wait staff, where I will tip at 20% usually because I am lazy, and it is easy to figure. It is customary here, I wish I didn't have to tip, except I figure it is the price of going out. Worst case scenario for non-tippers is to be called Mr Pink, and nobody wants to be called Mr Pink. Also beyond the borders, going to the pyramids at Giza, the driver stopped 500m short and asked for an extra dollar to take us closer, and one guy started complaining, and I gave the driver an extra dollar for him and said: "I didn't come thousands of miles to hear someone complain about a dollar!"

Helicopter owners as RPG writers is rather irrelevant, as I am almost sure no-one is making that kind of money writing RPG's, but if they are, kudos for them. The idea for organized labor is not to limit the top, except to help the rank and file. Why socialism is feminism, vs capitalist patriarchy in social-economic theory. I can go on with the business theory stuff, I wrote my thesis of "Rise and Fall of the MegaCorp" about IBM, they loved the title, and I didn't have to tell them I ruthlessly stole it from sci-fi/cyberpunk, and did a huge powerpoint project on kickstarter as growth of "creative-funding" mixed with marketing (this was 2013). It was interesting stuff, and I basically went back to school because the economic downturn of 2008, and had already been working in project management as managing engineer in California.

Circling back to the labor, creatives, issue; like the wait staff, nobody wants to have to think about tipping so they can make it, mostly people only want to think of what impacts their own pocket. That is ok, nothing wrong with that, except it is also the reason for writers, staff, labor, to organize in order to take care of themselves.
 

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