Published: Friday, Nov. 29 2013 12:00 a.m. MST
One thing I'd seen in a small Colorado town was the town operating a
recycling center that employed the mentally and physically disabled, or even
just down and out. By itself, this wouldn't address Salt Lake City's
issues, but multiple things like this, and having them well known, would be one
thing that could be done to help with panhandling.
The greatest force against the Free Market comes from the existing businesses.
The small businessmen, who are mostly forced to operate a business
of Begging, should have all the help and benefits accorded other small
businessmen. Society and their government have the right and the
authority to regulate and control business operations within its venue. But
society and their government should apply the same standards to all businesses
and not block some small businesses just because the small business might
compete with other business. Nor can the existing businesses use
the argument that the unpleasant presence of annoying people be used to
discriminate against them. For the most part the existing businesses are the
greatest annoyance of our world by their uninvited invasion of our personal
world by their billboards, advertising and commercializing of holidays and
phones and media and …The ever present propaganda about
helping poor people through proper, approved and authorized charity while we are
also bombarded with the negative stories to make us hate the beggars makes me
believe that charities may have more ulterior motives than we know of.
I heard that you need a license for a kid to sell lemonade. I figure that
someone wants to make a dollar any way they can.
DVDNice idea for some, but that requires people to actually "work"
at something instead of just panhandling. And I'd bet many of those
panhandlers make more money than they would working at a recycling center.
Remember, panhandling is free enterprise at its ultimate state. No regulation,
no taxes, no permits, no safety compliance issues, no nothing, but an
unreported, untraceable cash income. And, they get to keep all the freebies-
welfare, food stamps, medicaid, shelter living and meals.If these
folks put as much effort into a "real job" they would probably take home
"Some panhandlers make a living off of begging and misrepresent
themselves", as in a sizable majority, probably exceeding 80%.I
grew up in a part of SLC that was and even more so now considered the
"poor" part of town. I personally knew many other families who, like
ourselves, were always on the hairy edge of being completely destitute. Yet,
for everyone, the thought of actually **begging** rather than doing ANYTHING to
earn some money, however meager, was completely unthinkable.Consequently, from the time I was about 9-10 I've had a variety of
janitorial, farm, construction, yard work, jobs to earn whatever I could to
contribute to our family's income. It was sometimes hard to find a job,
but there was always something if I was willing to condescend to what were often
some pretty humbling/strenuous requirements.I have no sympathy for
someone who is capable of earning **something** at one of the many menial labor
type jobs that are always available, and of which I've had dozens over the
years, but who would rather stand/sit on a median or curb with some sign begging
for handouts. They simply don't deserve it.
This is great, you all have this massive mistrust of poor people while
simultaneously believing that we can cut the welfare state and it'd be
replaced by private donations. As if people would multiply their charitable
giving to people they have negative views of. Hah.
I wish that "regular" panhandler on the north side of Temple Square
would find another place to beg. She is a professional.
atl134: "..you all have this massive mistrust of poor people.."No, we have massive mistrust in lazy scam artists who now make up an
increasing percentage of those "poor people".Americans in
general are very generous when it comes to giving time and money to really help
someone who has fallen on hard times and is willing to meet you halfway. It only
helps to "teach a man to fish" if he is willing to pick up the fishing
pole.What is ruining it for everyone is professional panhandlers and
welfare queens who expect money to flow their way with zero effort on their
part. It has gotten so bad that too many people on the dole actually make more
than the hard working individual who is sometimes forced to contribute to them.
atl134Has it ever occured to you that it is partly BECAUSE of this
massive welfare state that the non working people continue to not work?
I've heard it said that if people take advantage of all the government
funded social programs available they can make as much or more money, and
benefits, than if they bothered to actually work and get a W2 at the end of the
Yes, Because we all know that "Business" is more important than
"People".And we wonder why Utah is so Republican.
samhill - Justify all you want. The only 80% of people that misrepresent
themselves in Utah are the ones who claim to be good members of the LDS Church
and pretend to follow it's precepts... then make excuses for their inaction
and refusal to help our downtrodden brothers and sisters. I know of
a scriptural reference wherein Christ turned away a young, rich man. Please,
educate me on the times He turned away the poor for their
I choose to not enable bad behavior, and I don't mean the bad behavior of
panhandling, I mean alcohol and drug abuse. There is support for those down on
their luck, or having a real bad time. I prefer to give to the shelters, food
kitchens, and those organizations that are trying to help. Panhandling operates on the same system of supply and demand as any business.
Take away the enablers that give to money to the chronic panhandlers that you
see in the same spot every day and the panhandlers will leave. As the cold
months approach we will see fewer & fewer panhandlers. I doubt
that the recession has anything to do with the large increase of panhandlers in
Utah. Utah unemployment is low by national standards. There also has been
substantial increases in support services for the chronic homeless, but drug and
alcohol abuse has overwhelmed these services. They are unable to help those that
are not willing to accept help in over coming their addictions. Tossing a few
bucks to panhandlers only feeds the addiction beast. Not every panhandler is
addicted, perhaps 5-10 percent are not, but addicts make it worse for them.
or we could just have the government do what they do best. Regulate it to death.
Make them have to get a business license, take CE classes, have to get license
to the department of panhandling. Make them have to carry liability insurance.
Make them have to pay their quarterly taxes and keep records of their
transactions going back 10 years.
I wonder what King Benjamin would think of this editorial and the comments
above? I say that sincerely, not rhetorically or with any malice. Obviously, many who read this newspaper do not know who King Benjamin is.
But, many do. For those who study the Book of Mormon, someone please read the
fourth chapter of Mosiah and tell us how we can best liken that scripture unto
us when it comes to beggars and begging. I suppose verse 27, which
tells us to do things in wisdom and order, helps some readers head in the
direction of giving to established social welfare programs, not individuals.
But, the qualifiers in that verse aren't necessarily consistent with that
reading and that direction is expressly contrary to most of the rest of the
chapter and many, many other scriptures. So, what to do with
panhandlers on the street (especially near the temple?) is a conundrum--to say
the very least. Are we not all beggars?
Everything said about individual beggars can also be applied to
“charitable organizations”. Only thing is, we praise and reward
organized charity and don’t hold it accountable for their charitable
claims. The very biggest of charitable organizations refuse to
allow the public to see their financial dealings. And even those who do report
to the public don’t show a true picture. Organized charity is a scam.
Examples might include, the Arts, amusement parks, Aviaries, Zoos, recreation
centers, and even political groups. My pet peeve is the military
active and veterans. Billions of dollars are being hauled in under the pretext
of their poverty and undeserved praise while they live and enjoy a better life
than many ordinary Americans. To be fair, it is not the fault of the
military people and veterans themselves. It is the legions of parasites who
want to make a fast buck on the sympathy and respect that they drum up. So if you think begging on the street is bad, consider that there are
thousands of beggars who are just as bad and probably worse hiding behind closed
doors of respectability.
I think the issue of panhandling is a very difficult problem for civil leaders.
I really feel for cities trying to address this issue. As an aspiring economist,
I recently conducted a field experiment to satisfy my own curiosity on just how
much money panhandlers can make. I went undercover and and spent 80 hours
panhandling at an exit ramp. My average hourly wage was considerably north of
minimum wage ($8.90 an hour). I also collected interesting data on the people
who donated. I wrote about my experiences in a book called Exit Ramp: A Short
Case Study of the Profitability of Panhandling. I think any city dealing with
this problem needs to acknowledge that there are both those who panhandle
because of an inability to get steady employment (mental health issues), and
those who panhandle because it is possible to earn good money doing it. Figuring
out how to help the one and discourage the other is no easy task.
"Poor people, begging, are hurting my SALES! Can you please make poor
people go away?"Money, money, money. It's all about the
atl134Salt Lake City, UTThat is your perception. For some,
giving a dollar to a panhandler relieves them of the responsibility to support
constructive assistance programs. In fact many have increased their donations to
community shelters, recovery groups and organized help groups. In addition to
providing temporal help, most of these organizations attempt to deal with
substance addiction and other issues that keep people from financial and
emotional independence. There is a significant difference between being an
enabler and offering help.
I have four guys who live in my apts downtown........2 are roofers and 2 are
beggars......they all make the same income, and maintain the same standard of
living. Weekends they party and drink beer and Monday they are all back to
work. They all pay the same rent of $600 a month for one bedroom apts. If people didn't give to the beggars, they would both be working an
honest living just like most everyone else. But so long as people continue too
enable them, they will continue to take advantage of the situation.
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