In these uncertain days of rampant unemployment amidst the overt lack of stimulus in our economy, there is a vocation that seems to be getting more and more lucrative. It requires a certain skill in its execution but little more preparation than scrawling on a sign. Sunscreen is helpful, but not required. And if you don't wish to get ants in your pants, then bring your own chair. I am talking about the fastest growing profession in most large cities, particularly at interstate off-ramps: Panhandling!
Matt Kaufman, a writer for Dr. Dobson, emailed me a link to an article in the St. Petersburg Times by Lane DeGregory that brings to mind the welfare queens President Reagan warned us about in the 1980 presidential campaign, but deals primarily with the growing numbers of panhandlers in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area and how it has become a profession. Though, as a trucker who drives all over this great nation, I can personally attest to scores of major cities where this runs rampant.
I have given in on many occasions and dropped a few bucks in the grubby hands of appreciative hobos, most of whom blessed me more profusely than any priest has so far. But after reading this article I cannot help but feel a sense of rage at those who ply this avocation who do not possess the need. One would think it takes a sense of desperation and a little bit of insanity to sit in the blazing sun, eg. Oklahoma or Florida, and collect what may turn out to be only $1 to $5 per day. But according to DeGregory, some claim to fetch as much as $800 a week, and that it all depends upon a person's sales pitch -- what you scrawl on your cardboard sign. Most do not live on the streets, but in homes or even motels. You have to read it to believe it...
Read the whole story by clicking HERE.