I don't have a problem with generously tipping Program Directors, drivers, local guides, and others who provide DIRECT SERVICE TO ME!!! This service could be by seriously answering my serious questions; finding items of particular interest to me; physically helping me (and others) into and out of buses, vans, boats, elephant seats, etc.; generally looking out for my (and others') personal welfare; or similar actions.
I do have a problem with tipping Program Directors who assume that we “seasoned American travelers” are old, rich, and dumb; and unsmiling drivers who never leave their seats to offer a helping hand. On some?/most?/all? GCT/OAT trips, travelers are entitled to transfers and porterage of at least one bag, all at no cost—why, then, are we expected to tip the drivers who do nothing more than their jobs?
Worse, in my opinion, are tips for housekeeping staff. When I check into a hotel ($100 per night, for example), I expect (and am happy to pay for) a clean room with the usual amenities. When I stay for subsequent nights AT THE SAME RATE, I expect the same value. Unless the staff has done some DIRECT SERVICE TO ME (cleaned up some unfortunate problem, for instance), why should I tip them? They did their jobs, I paid my bill—should be the end of story.
I can't solve all of the world's economic problems. Thus, I object to the idea of automatically including tips in trip costs—I want to make those decisions myself by tipping either more or less according to the service I receive.