The Homeless: True Americans

I've been working on some ideas in the back of my head for a couple of days but while I've wanted to seriously tackle some newsworthy ideas, I'm still mulling stuff over. Still, it's been a week since I've written something and I've consciously tried to post something once a week to show some consistency and frankly, I've been thinking about this idea a lot lately.

Where do homeless people get the markers to make their signs? At what point in your desperation do you realize, Hey, I think I'm about to end up pretty destitute. I'm going to have to come up with an idea pretty soon to bring in some income. Purchasing a Sharpie and getting a piece of cardboard at some point shifts from being something you think about conceptually to an actual reality. You have to consider obtaining these things. Getting a marker and cardboard for a sign are now investments in your future.

And then you have to consider your begging technique. This becomes a bit of a craft. While I was in Atlanta, I frequently saw a guy who had a picture of a sick woman who he claimed to be his wife in his wallet. This guy tried the same speech on me a couple of times while I walked to the train station, all the while not realizing that I've heard this from him before on the exact same corner. He even recruited kids to build up the pathetic facade. The story never got more elaborate, the props did. I have to give him credit for this. Credit, but certainly not cash.

The ornateness of these folks' ability to earn their money does not lack in a certain kind of creativity. Imagine if these derelict denizens were the heads of marketing departments across the country. These are folks who are able to pull money from the general public on a daily basis with cardboard and a weak pitch. Could you imagine these folks making billboards for pharmecutical companies? The meetings in the office would certainly be more interesting with half these folks talking to the pigeons that fly alongside the high rise buildings.

Besides, when you get right down to it, homeless people are likely the best Americans. Our economy is socio-capitalist. We have social security, Medicare, welfare, interstate highways, public education, and a cadre of other government programs that work in tandem with good old fashioned capitalism. Homeless people use the vigor of capitalist instincts to pry socialist charity from those passing by on streets and sidewalks. If that doesn't comply with the American economy, I don't know what does.

They still aren't going to get my change, though. I'm broke enough as it is.


marc aurel said…
it's called stemming. never asks a beggar how he begs. he doesnt beg, he stems.the markers often come from hostels and drop-in centers.
I like to think I learn something new everyday. I never expected today I would learn new homeless jargon.

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