It may be annoying but there is no way wait staff make that kind of money elsewhere, depending upon the restaurant of course.While the tipping culture in the US is annoying, I think it's bang out of order to "not participate in it". You might not like the system, but that is the system that's in place, and tons of waiting staff rely on people participating in order to make a living. If someone seems rude or entitled or does a shit job, that's different...you could leave nothing or half what is expected to let them know. But if someone does a good job and your bill is $60 and you leave nothing, or leave $2...the only person being fucked over is the waiter/waitress.
If the system pisses you off so much that you don't want to participate...don't eat out. Or choose restaurants that advertise the fact that they pay a proper wage and thus don't accept tips. Granted these are few and far between, but it is gradually growing. By not tipping or tipping 5% or something...the owner still gets to not pay their staff a good wage, the system in the country remains, but one minimum wage worker goes home with less money in their pocket.
I know a girl that works in a supper club saturday nights outside her regular jobs and brings home over $400 for what amounts to about 5 hours of work