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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

"War on poor," my eye

One lesson I've learned from the infamous con man incident is: Never, never give money to a stranger. Up in Seattle, however, the rubes (of which I was one) are still debating the subject.

Comments (6)

At least the corner con man ask for your money.

The political con men just take it under threat. And whadda we get in return?


A cab ride to Welches?

I wonder if Sam Adams can get the steetcar to Welches?
I dunno, probably a bad idea.

This guy hit me and my g/f up last night (the 21st) at around 2am right next to Powell's downtown, NW 12th or so just past Burnside. I found this page by googling his suspiciously specific story about Welches, the stolen truck, contracting, and the cab ride.

Now I'm really glad we didn't give him anything. I felt bad at first because he is a convincing fellow, as far as elaborate liars go, but after a few minutes I realized stuff just wasn't adding up. Keep on spreading the word cause he's still out there doing it.

Several decades ago some studies were done on panhandling in NYC and its comparison with the dreaded 'working for a living'. Panhandlers have a short work day, work outdoors, in only good weather and are untaxed. The 'spare change' types do well, but these 'twenty dollar' types do even better. One guy in NYC even went around in a pair of pants with his hip pocket slit by a razor and claiming to have fallen asleep on the subway and needing $26.00 for trainfare to a nearby ex-urb. He didn't fool me the first time and he sure didn't fool me about six weeks later with the same story!

When it rains, most of these panhandlers go to bars, libraries or movie theaters but one panhandler of long ago used to go to a brokerage office when it rained. After a while of sitting there and watching the stock prices go by on the ticker tape, he started investing his money and died a very wealthy man. Ofcourse, he never really retired from panhandling since it was so profitable.

Some of these panhandlers have drug problems and some have expensive homes and vehicles.

I don't know if this particular panhandler really has any drug or psychological problems. Some people simply choose a lifestyle that suits them.

We live in a society where our courts adopt a more lenient view toward a thief than a thug. This panhandler uses no violence and is more an annoying con man than anything else. I wonder if some sociologist could follow him around for awhile and estimate the "cost to society" of allowing him to continue his activities versus the cost of incarcerating him or treating him for drug addiction. I wonder if he makes more money than most of the people he taps for a handout? We have differeing views on "giving". Many people tip a craps dealer even though a craps dealer often makes more money than the people giving him tips.

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