No doubt there are some people who make it their job to be a begger, but thinking more about this story makes me think this may be the sign of a broken man.
He may have lost all hope, confidence, and strength to do anything but sit on the side of the road with hope for help written on a sign.
In some cases you have to think, if you have zero money, is your time better spent asking for hand outs so your family can eat today and maybe tomorrow or spending time trying to sell a vehicle nobody wants so you can eat next week?
EDIT: A lot of use-to-be-middle-class people who find themselves in this situation just want some help to lead them out of it not support them for months to come.
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Yes, first time I was approached for extra gas because the guy said he needed to get home, which I filled the container he was holding up. I then asked where was he heading, and he couldn't give me an answer as he hadn't thought it through. Later on I heard it was the new thing to get gas then sell it somewhere else.I don't mind giving change in the car or extra dollars to some beggars on highway ramp exits and such. I guess it depends on what I see and my mood. "Disabled veteran" , "need food" would sway me more. Then you have the "professional holiday beggars" dressed in their white uniform or such ringing the bell near a collection can sponsored by some charity near a Fry's or dept. store area and I'm good with extra change after purchase. Or people selling cheap candy bars for some "cause" or group. The ones that go from car to car I feel are too aggressive. In the U.S. people really can't starve. Many fast foods and restaurants regularly give out stale bread and extras to clean out their old inventory. Soup kitchens and food centers abound. Red cross shelters around in every city etc. Yes, I agree, it's usually for other stuff like cigarettes or alcohol. Like at the freeway park area, the same disheveled lady and her partners in their rundown car asking for gas money to be able to drive home, then appear again the next weeks and so on. Then maybe they take their wigs off, and enjoy their TV time with new drinks and cigs after dark at home.
Regarding your experience Big Mike, maybe the guy and his family had not only lost their money but also used up all their available credit cards. As Peter Schiff had talked about in his recent shows, it's become a way of life for many former middle class families, continuing the "consumer activity on credit" as he explains accounts for the nominal consumer activity in this non-recovery. Unfortunately imo, this situation is only going to get worse with the false propaganda and faked/fudged government numbers as we see more middles class families fall into this situation. I don't know if the guy just lost it by making up that sign, or maybe he's trying to get some publicity to be put on a TV show or something? Usually the poorest in town are in the slum apartments or trailer home sections having cut back on everything else i.e. stop buying a new car every two years, and use your 10+ year old car, use pre-paid card flip phones, no cable etc.
Last edited by Cloudy; August 24th, 2013 at 12:41 AM.
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Family and I spent a couple of days in Chicago last weekend. Beggars abound in the downtown area holding signs that read nearly the same unfortunate life circumstance. Then a gal trying to inconspicuously text on her cellphone behind the sign she was holding while she held a cup for money. Several signs also posted pictures of what I assumed were loved ones with whom they wanted to be reunited.
Overseas where I lived for 18 years, beggars worked for the local mafia called the 'black hands.' Part of their earnings were given to the mafia for protection.
In San Francisco, a couple years ago, I was met by 4 beggars, one right after the other, to whom I gave all the spare money I had in my pockets and was then chased by a 5 beggar who kept telling me to stop walking so fast, I was trying to get away and did.
On a trip to northern Uganda several years ago, we were clearly instructed by our host, not to give anything to the children in that it might lead to their being killed by someone jealous of them. Imagine risking the life of a child because you gave him/her a small gift.
There may be 'a price to pay' to freely give someone the 'shirt off your back.'
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About 10 years ago I decided that I dont feel sory and will not help any of the "poor" that I see around me here in the US.
For in every case of the poor person I had seen there was always 3 meals and a place to sleep and in most cases medical care available also.
Now that may sound harsh and uncaring , which is totally not the case because I also decided 10 years ago to truly help people in need and not waste my money on people that were just going to use me as a ATM . I decided to find if there are some true orphans that really had no help. No social services.... No local food bank... No homeless shelter...No one that cared...No nothing Nada zip.....at that time the orphans I found were not from this country which is rich beyond imagination compared to how they live.
As a Christain I was also very motivated years ago by James 1:27 which says " Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
In about 2005 I found a charity that specifically targeted children that were true orphans and in dire need at warmblankets.org and after seeing how they were really making a true difference in helpless childs life and giving them a chance in this life around 2008 I was already giving as much money as I could and decided to find a way or ways to give more money . I actually found daytrading back then and is why I am here today posting this.
I am not a goody too shoes by any means... I smoke cigars I love to go to casinoes... I play poker now and then with friends. But I know some day I know I will stand before God and have to answer for my life .
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One of the most confounding facts of charity in America is that the people who can least afford to give are the ones who donate the greatest percentage of their income. Recently the wealthiest Americans contributed on average 1.3 percent of their income to charity while Americans at the base of the income pyramid donated 3.2 percent of their income.
Additionally, research show there is a correlation to increase in wealth with an increase in unethical behavior.
However, researchers found that when both groups were exposed to a sympathy-eliciting video on child poverty, the compassion of the wealthier group began to rise, and the groups’ willingness to help others became almost identical.
The conclusion was: The isolation of wealthy Americans from those in need is a cause of their relative stinginess.
Not to stereotype but in India being rich comes bundled with a sense of the privilege, callousness and arrogance come free with it.
Wealth does this to their minds - they always want more, PLUS they don’t want anyone else to have anything?
Wealth makes them lose all sense of humanity and compassion.
India's rich carry a the ferocious sense of entitlement this has also helped to legitimize so many inequalities in India.
Some of the flithy rich also conveniently adopt high moral ground.
Sadly, we are mostly in a 'culture of taking'.
Qutoing Gordon Gekko "Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms: greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge, has marked the upward surge of mankind.
Wake up, will ya, pal? If you're not inside, you're outside, okay? And I'm not talking a $400,000 a year working Wall Street stiff flying first class and being comfortable, I'm talking about liquid. Rich enough to have your own jet. Rich enough not to waste time. Fifty, a hundred million dollars, buddy. A player, or nothing. Now, you had what it took to get into my office; the real question is whether you got what it takes to stay."
There are no easy answers anywhere, though in fact the really easy answers are within us.
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I sometimes see bums sitting around in a city and begging people for money.
I sometimes have seen them getting picked up after a time, by a mercedes car, and the man inside knows that
bum really well because he hugs him and then they drive away. I have seen that a couple of times in a small city.
In munich you seldom see those, they are maybe to intelligent in the way to hide their wealth.
You see people getting pawn bottles out of trash cans. Therefore every time I have a pawn bottle I throw it into a trash can helping those people, which are willing to work for their money.
I do not care what they are doing with the 15 Euro cent if they want to get alcohol for that or want to get something to eat.
Therefore I think the people which were run out of money, seem to be very stupid.
Because they did not try to hide their toys someone passing by should finance.
Maybe it was a kind of a joke.
I agree with DTs posts here, as well as the decision to drive away from the family. There are many things they could have done to improve their situation (if it was genuine) before resorting to begging.
Unfortunately here in the UK benefits and welfare handouts are so easy to qualify for and I personally know so many scroungers that I have become disillusioned with the notion of a welfare state and handouts in general. Unfortunately there is no point shopping these people because what they are doing is legal.
My rants on the benefit system aside, there is so much organised begging in major cities like London and Paris (particularly in tourist areas) that if you were to give to all of them like the guy form Optimus Futures suggests you would quickly find yourself out there with them.