February 8, 2019

This is not so funny. If this is the kind of thing you want to see in your city or town or neighborhood, go ahead and vote Democrats into your political structure. These homeless camps are a cancer spreading across this country. And the only reason why is because this kind of behavior is tolerated. I see the same beggars every week just off the 202 Red Mountain Freeway. By and large, they’re young enough to work and know better, and it doesn’t take a genius to see how one or two beggars all of a sudden become a tent community, and all of a sudden you have what’s going on in Seattle, San Francisco, and SoCal. They’re nothing but leeches, sucking off the community that tolerates their presence out of guilt. Believe me, there is nothing to feel guilty about: when I donate my money it goes to organizations that help the truly needy, not the bloodsuckers who are nothing but lazy bloodsuckers.

…don’t get me wrong here, and please don’t accuse me of being cold-hearted. There is no doubt there are folks out there in desperate straits and have mental-health issues. But even here in supposedly “red” Arizona there are associations, organizations, and publicly-funded outreach to help families and individuals truly in need. What I’m talking about is the industry that’s gone up around panhandling. Let me ask you a question (it’s rhetorical because I already know the answer): how many beggars out there do you see who are in their 20s and 30s, fully capable of holding down a job? The answer is the majority of them.

…I’ve seen it first-hand: there was a young couple working both sides of my local Fry’s parking lot. His sign said, “Out of work. Family To Support. God Bless You.” Her sign said, “Need Help. Three Children To Support.” Husband Left.” Tracey’s car needed gas one morning, so I headed to the Fry’s before I satarted work, and what do I see? Said couple being dropped off by someone driving a very nice car.

A big part of the cities’ woes is the professionalization of panhandling. The old type of panhandler—a mentally impaired or disabled homeless person trying to scrape together a few bucks for a meal—is giving way to the full-time spanger who supports himself through a combination of begging, working at odd jobs, and other sources, like government assistance from disability payments. Some full-time panhandlers are kids—“road warriors” who have largely dropped out of society and drift from town to town, often “couch surfing” at friends’ homes, or “street loiterers” who daily make their way downtown from the suburbs where they live. Some, like New Yorker Steve Baker, have turned begging into a full-time job. “If you’re inside a bank, you’re a doorman,” he says from his perch inside a bank lobby. “You’re not gonna rob from nobody or steal from nobody—you come in here and make a job for yourself.”

It’s a cheap way to make money, not just because they work off of people’s guilt, but because they can make a living doing it (italics mine):

People’s generosity encourages the begging. About four out of ten Denver residents gave to panhandlers, city officials determined several years ago, anteing up an estimated $4.6 million a year. Anecdotal surveys by journalists and police, and even testimony by panhandlers themselves, suggest that begging can yield anywhere from $20 to $100 a day—though police in Coos Bay, Oregon, found that local panhandlers were taking in as much as $300 a day in a Wal-Mart parking lot. “A panhandler could make thirty to forty thousand dollars a year, tax-free money,” Baker says. In Memphis, a local FOX News reporter, Jason Carter, donned old clothes and hit the streets earlier this year, earning about $10 an hour. “Just the quasi-appearance of being homeless filled my cup,” Carter observed. That all the money is beyond the tax man’s clutches adds to the allure of professional panhandling.

To be honest, I’m kind of a mixed mind about this. The libertarian side of me says it’s their choice if they want to sit out in 110-degree weather and wait for the generosity of others to make their time worthwhile. OTOH, I can’t help but wonder what this kind of thing does to society as a whole. We’ve come a long way from earlier generations like my folks who grew up during the Great Depression who saw living “on the dole” to be insulting and whose parents (my grandparents) took every odd job available to feed and take care of their families. Of course liberals will say something like, “We’re the richest country in the world! No one should have to go hungry! There’s plenty of money to go around!” But any society that encourages laziness and devalues hard work will soon find itself with too many people to support and not enough people to support them. As Margaret Thatcher once famously said, “”The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”

So the next time some young person standing by the side of a road with a sign, and – increasingly – a dog, because, of course, people love dogs, y’know – do them, your country, and your culture a favor. Put the guilt aside and just say no.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:52 | Comments Off on Begging Your Pardon – Literally
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