Richard A. Busemeyer

Richard A. Busemeyer

Richard A. "Dick" Busemeyer (July 15, 1924 - September 2, 2006) was a self-made man, a middle-American entrepreneur who rose from childhood poverty in Ohio to comfortable wealth in business enterprises and real estate in both his home state and in Florida. A humanitarian and philanthropist in his later years, Busemeyer, promoted and defended liberal philosophies in Ohio and Florida newspapers.

A believer in the concept of a fair and living wage, in early 1988 Busemeyer created an organization he called "Wages And Not Tips", with the acronym W.A.N.T. His was an organization formed to encourage tipped employees — primarily waiting staff — to negotiate with their employers for a living wage instead of their relying on gratuities from customers for most of their income.

Busemeyer and the members of W.A.N.T. refused to tip restaurant servers, hotel porters and bellhops, and other tipped employees. Instead of leaving or offering a tip, W.A.N.T. members handed the employees a folded business-sized card. On the face of the card was printed "About Your Tip" with a graphic of an open, extended palm with a coin in it. Inside the card was a short message explaining the reason for the giving the card instead of a tip, and ending with the plea "Please show this to your employer. Tell him you don't want handouts, you want a paycheck."

Read more about Richard A. Busemeyer:  Early Life and Family, Military Service, Marriage and Children, Business Ventures, W.A.N.T. and Its Demise, Awards, "Faithful To His Beliefs To The Very End."

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