I'm Begging You: Make Me Rich

So do you think that beggars in North America are the poorest among us? Think again. A report from the Straight Dope says that while some panhandlers are making $200/month; some are making as much as $200 A DAY.

This from the article:

I bet this won't surprise you, but estimates vary. As Michael S. Scott, the director of the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing, says in his online article "Panhandling":

Estimates vary from a couple of dollars (U.S.) a day on the low end, to $20 to $50 a day in the mid-range, to about $300 a day on the high end. Women, especially those who have children with them, and panhandlers who appear to be disabled tend to receive more money. For this reason, some panhandlers pretend to be disabled and/or war veterans. Others use pets as a means of evoking sympathy from passersby. Panhandlers' regular donors can account for up to half their receipts.

In a study of Toronto panhandlers conducted by Robit Bose and Stephen Hwang, panhandlers reported a median monthly income equivalent to US $190-$200. The authors note that

a journalist who briefly lived on the street in Toronto working as a panhandler . . . reported that panhandlers can earn more than $200 per day . . . These differences may be partly explained by the fact that high-earning panhandlers were presumably less likely to participate in our survey, and these individuals may have formed the basis for Stackhouse's observations. Our results may be more representative of the majority of panhandlers who earn lesser amounts.
I used to run this little shop. We used to think ourselves lucky to make $200/day. Out of that came rent, wages, stock, et cetera. These weasels are making that amount tax free and without overhead (literally). Of course, these guys aren't living large because a lot of that $200 goes to booze and drugs. Regardless, a panhandler who makes three times what a burger flipper makes deserves no sympathy whatsoever.


Ted said…
Dude, if you are spending all your money on booze and drugs isn't that the definition of "living large"?
Tim said…
I know a guy who sometimes sits out in front of McDonald's on Douglas Street, if you want to give it a try. I'm sure he'd gladly show you the ropes.

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