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Have You Experienced Unusual Middle Class Begging Lately?

  1. Dr Billy Kidd profile image92
    Dr Billy Kiddposted 3 years ago

    Has a middle-class person approached you asking for money recently? (middle class = judging by the type of clothing and not being unkempt) And were you asked for money in an unusual place, like a middle-class shopping center?

    I’m in Southern  California, and people are asking me for money every time I leave go out. What is startling to me is that it’s happening in unusual places, even when I’m sitting in my car. And people ask for specific things, like bus fare or food for “me and my wife” (and the wife is there).

    Just wondered if it’s just me or is this happening to other people? And, if so, why is it just in the last few weeks that I’ve experienced this?

    1. 0
      Beth37posted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Nope.

    2. Silverspeeder profile image60
      Silverspeederposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      As you probably know billy I live in the UK, on occasion I dealt with a persistent beggar through the 1990's and well into the 2000's. I met him again in 2010 and we enjoyed a pint of beer in one of the bars in the city, he told me that although he was moved on constantly as I had done to him he still made around a £1000 a week. I asked him what he did now and he told me he had retired at 50.

      I was amazed at what he told me because my idea of a beggar was a dirty unwashed drunk or druggie, he maintained he was neither a drunk or a druggie but just viewed his begging as a job.

      My friends in the police force have told me that they have a problem in the city at the moment with Romanian begging gangs who rake in thousands by using children and old women to court sympathy.

      It seems begging has become a profession for professionals too.

      Maybe the people you have encountered have realised its a fast and easy way to make a buck as you Americans say.

      1. skye2day profile image84
        skye2dayposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        No. I have not in particular but everything new hits California, first. JK, not. Many people are really struggling and need help. There are days I was so poor in the last few years it easily could have been me asking.

        I never have asked on the street or parking lot because I trust in God and He provides my needs. I am humbled on my knees and He has always come through. Those asking for money are hurting in some way to ask for a help.  Even if they are pros they are hurting!!! For me I am happy to help out. No matter low class, middle class, clean, dreadlocks or updoo, believer, not believer, tattoos or not I can always fish in my purse and find a couple dollars if it is a broke day. A sign of the times. God tells us to help the poor. He will repay the blessing. The hurting are many more than we might suspect. God Bless you. He is the way truth and life. John 14:6 Love  never fails. Skye

        1. Dr Billy Kidd profile image92
          Dr Billy Kiddposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          That's kind of how I see it.

    3. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
      Kathryn L Hillposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      I have seen women at shopping centers with children or holding a sleeping child in a blanket… asking for money.
      I also see guys and their disabled, or sleeping dog near freeway on-ramps.
      (So Cal location, as well.)
      I have seen middle-class guys selling bottles of water.

      1. Dr Billy Kidd profile image92
        Dr Billy Kiddposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        I forgot that one, the people selling water.

    4. bBerean profile image59
      bBereanposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Yes, it appears this is becoming common place in some areas.  Even middle class suburban neighborhoods.  There are folks who seem to approach it like a job.  Typically fairly well dressed, polite, having a story...just needing gas money, bus fare, dinner, whatever.  We have a few local Wal-Marts where you can pretty much count on being approached from dinner time through the evening. 

      One interesting thing I have noticed is that these particular panhandlers are very stealthy.  It is a challenge to see where they come from and go, (typically operating at dusk or night time).  They must quickly hop out of and back into a car, because you see them walking away among cars, then they are gone. 

      I have also noticed they choose to approach you when you are leaving and about to get in your car.  After disappearing from your view, they must wait for you to go before approaching someone else.  Even when hanging around for awhile, making a call or whatever, I never see them approach anyone else while I am still there.  Not sure what any of that means or why it matters, they are just observations I have made after many encounters.

    5. HowardBThiname profile image91
      HowardBThinameposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      I've not seen more "middle class" individuals asking for money, but I've seen more down-on-their-luck folks. Some are panhandlers, I'm sure, but I keep a clip in my dashboard with whatever bills I can spare to help out when asked. What I noticed most recently (I'm in the Midwest) was people sitting on the ground near exits of supercenters (like Walmart) and malls. right by the street.

      I've never begrudged anyone who asks for help and I don't avoid them. If I have the opportunity, I'll strike up a conversation and try to feel out what the real problem is. Other times, I give them a bit of cash from my clip.

      When I read stories about how someone found a desperate family living in destitute conditions, little children nothing more than skin and bones, but the parents too proud to ask for help, it angers me. I think, "Why didn't  you ask for help? If not for you - then for the little ones."

      And that's probably the reason I try to help the most - for the little ones.

      I've had people tell me I shouldn't because the panhandler will just go and spend it on booze. But, the truth is - no one really knows that and I'm not willing to make a judgement call that might result in kids going hungry.

  2. 0
    Beth37posted 3 years ago

    Gee whiz, what's happening in CA?

  3. 85
    Education Answerposted 3 years ago

    I can't say I've seen beggars who are middle class.  I can say that my school district's free-and-reduced lunch count skyrocketed to an astounding 87%, and many of these parents are middle-class parents.  They now receive government assistance to feed their child/children each day.  Now we even offer free breakfast and free lunches during the summer.  All you have to do is claim to be poor, and you receive free food with absolutely no questions, no accountability, and no verification of income.

    1. Josak profile image60
      Josakposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Are you telling me children are going to be able to eat instead of trying to study hungry? Oh the horror.

      Children shouldn't be going hungry just because their parents spend money unwisely.

      1. Silverspeeder profile image60
        Silverspeederposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        We agree for once Josak. All children should get a free school meal. it should be high on the list of what schools spend money on.
        In my own experience schools seem to think how cheap can we do it when they should be thinking how good can we do it regards nutritional value and appeal.

        1. John Holden profile image61
          John Holdenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          But everything has a price on it these days. Appealing meals cost money.

          1. Silverspeeder profile image60
            Silverspeederposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            And schools have plenty of it John.

            1. John Holden profile image61
              John Holdenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Do they really!
              Not enough money to buy books, not enough money to employ high class teachers, not enough money to maintain their buildings, but plenty of money for meals! I think not.
              What could you do with 40p a day?

              1. Silverspeeder profile image60
                Silverspeederposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                The education system in the UK has had more money pumped into it in the last 20 years than at anytime during its history.

                New schools being built, new equipment, more teaching staff and assistants, more backroom staff all equals more money.

                The school I worked at 5yrs ago spent £50000 on a tent to cover the playground area so pupils wouldn't get wet at break time, when I mentioned about the money being spent differently I was told it came out of a different budget and had to be spent on these things or they would have to give it back to the local authority. I must say it is the only school I have heard about that served breakfast to pupils for free so maybe they wasn't all that bad I suppose.

                It would be advantageous both to the schools and pupils if they spent the money in a different way sometimes.

                The college I now work at has just spent £40000 on new chairs to match their colour scheme, the old ones were fine but they still went in the skip.

                Plenty of money in the education system john.

        2. 85
          Education Answerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          All children should get a free meal?  Would you give a free lunch to children whose parents are wealthy?

          1. Silverspeeder profile image60
            Silverspeederposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            Yes. As in the main they pay taxes too. Should we discriminate agains children because of who their parents are?

            1. 85
              Education Answerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              The government is not the parent.

              1. Silverspeeder profile image60
                Silverspeederposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                So should the government discriminate against the children because of who their parents are?

                Will a rich parent get a tax rebate if their children doesn't get school meals?

                1. 85
                  Education Answerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  Are you saying that all or no children should get a free lunch, in the interest of being fair?  What, exactly, are you advocating?

                  How many rich parents even have their children in public schools?  Do rich parents get a rebate when they pay taxes and then put their child in a private school?

                  How many rich parents are worried about two dollars?

                  How many rich parents even have their children eat the hot lunch?  It's generally disgusting.

                  Let's get serious.  This is not a real issue for wealthy people.  You're manufacturing this issue.

                  1. Silverspeeder profile image60
                    Silverspeederposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    What you're are advocating is that the ones who pay for the poor children to have the free lunch should have their children excluded from that lunch unless they pay even more money.

                    What I am saying is that all children should get a free lunch because its about the children and not their parents.

                  2. John Holden profile image61
                    John Holdenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    Obviously many of them are if a couple of dollars in tax has them foaming at the mouth.

                2. 85
                  Education Answerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  No, the government should make sure that people who truly need assistance get assistance.

                3. 85
                  Education Answerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  Does a rich person get a rebate when a poor family gets food stamps?  By the logic you are using, everybody would be on food stamps.

                  1. Silverspeeder profile image60
                    Silverspeederposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    My logic is about a child getting a meal at least once a day and making sure that child gets a meal, it has nothing to do with the rich feeding the poor.
                    Can you absolutely be certain without a doubt that all rich kids get a nutritional meal everyday?

                    I am not advocating a shift in conservative viewpoints, I am not advocating a shift to socialism, I am not advocating huge rises in taxation but what I am advocating is giving a child a meal at least once a day whether they are rich or poor, fat or thin, black or white, girl or boy, tall or short, bad or good.

      2. 85
        Education Answerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Of course they shouldn't be hungry.  Nobody is advocating that.  I am saying that people are abusing the system, lots of people who do not need public assistance.  The people who abuse the system take away from those who truly need assistance, and they cost the taxpayer.

        1. Josak profile image60
          Josakposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Yes you are advocating that. That is the consequence of your belief.

          If we judge it by income and their parents who exceed the income level spend money unwisely (or just have some emergency) that means the kid goes to school hungry so yes the direct consequence of your belief is children going hungry. It is what you are advocating.

          1. wilderness profile image95
            wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            YOU WANT TO KILL THE LITTLE STARVING CHILDREN!

            They rallying cry for socialism.  More share the wealth is always the only answer, isn't it?  Now we're up to the poor subsidizing the rich man's table.  Always, always, more forced "charity".

            1. Josak profile image60
              Josakposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Nope I was just replying to his comment that he did not support that. Not believing in feeding kids who are hungry is a different discussion all together.

              What I stated was simple fact.

              But fine, Wilderness, do you support feeding kids who are going to school hungry through taxation? Yes or no will suffice.

              Yup my desire will always be to help those who need it, the desires of some others (thankfully a minority) are a lot more self centered.

              1. wilderness profile image95
                wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                Wrong question.  The right ones (2) are do you support forcibly taking money from people to satisfy your personal ethics (until they leave the country if necessary) and do you support reducing productivity (by taking income) to the point that the country returns to third world status or at a minimum lowers the standard of living for everyone and causes widespread hunger?

                The only time I ever cornered a liberal into actually answering the first one he agreed he did, but was also honest enough to agree that he would not give me the same option.  Of course the answer to the second is always "no", but with the caveat that unlimited sums can be taken without changing the incentive to produce.  A fallacy that everyone but liberals and socialists are well aware of.

                1. Josak profile image60
                  Josakposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  Actually those questions are implied in the very concept of taxation at any level whatsoever. After all any taxation at all is to achieve a purportedly ethical aim, ask an anarchist and they will tell you every single one of them is wrong.

                  So your questions are actually do you support taxation as a concept.

                  Of course factually the second is rubbish but that is besides the point. I won't bother elucidating however because I am sure I will get  a reply of "well maybe but Norwegians own fewer boats" or some other ridiculous nonsense.

                  But what you did was not answer the question and answered a question with a question. Because you were too cowardly to answer it directly.

                  So my answers are: Yes I support taxation and all taxation is based on ethical cause, those taxes properly implemented attract people rather than drive them away, Norway has the highest number of immigrant application per capita in the world precisely because it's taxation system has created a society people want to live in.

                  And no because taxation does not reduce incentive when properly implemented. Being as we live in a low tax nation anyway it's not an issue we particularly have to worry about anyhow.
                  I could again establish the fact that there is actually a reverse correlation between tax rates and income/wealth people are wealthier in higher tax nations. But probably those nations eat french pasties on Tuesdays in larger quantity, which obviously make my statistics irrelevant tongue any excuse to avoid facts right?

                  1. wilderness profile image95
                    wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    "After all any taxation at all is to achieve a purportedly ethical aim"

                    Not IMHO.  Taxes should be to maintain the country, not simply to support any project that someone decides is ethical.

                    I didn't answer because you formed a "have you stopped beating your wife" question.  Ask if I support specific programs, not general taxation and unlimited free money, and you will get a better answer.  The DO YOU WANT LITTLE KIDS TO STARVE garbage belongs in file 13, not posted as an honest question.

                    If you find all taxation to be based on ethical causes, then you and I differ even more than I though.  That is a blatant lie, created by big govt. lovers as a means to expand government and political power, not to provide for the needs of the country or it's people.

                    Because other nations have higher tax rates does not mean we should joint them, regardless of any spin that claims differently.  High taxes without direct results to the payer are negative and DO reduce incentive - that means that "properly implemented" taxes do not simply share the wealth but give something to the one paying them.

                    You're right - any excuse to avoid facts.  When you decide to be honest about standards of living, and produce figures comparing what US citizens value to other countries, we can talk about it.  When you compare how socialist the countries are, with a built in bias towards socialism, I tend to glaze over rather quickly.

                2. John Holden profile image61
                  John Holdenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  No, wrong, we are well aware that driving pay down below subsistence levels, where the pay needs topping up by the government really takes away the incentive to produce.
                  I'd say that only liberals and socialists are aware, or care.

                  1. wilderness profile image95
                    wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    So driving net pay down (by raising taxes to give more charity) too far needs made up by govt., requiring higher taxes and driving it down further. 

                    Got it.

          2. 85
            Education Answerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            No, it is not.  Don't tell me what I believe.

            I believe that children should have a lunch.  I beleive that there should be a program in place to make sure that children who have poor parents can get that meal.  I believe that there should be income verification, something we don't have.  Right now, you can claim to be poor and get free food for your child with absolutely no accountability.  Nobody even asks questions.  That's wrong, and it hurts the poor kid more than anybody else.

            1. John Holden profile image61
              John Holdenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              I'll tell you what hurts the child more than any thing else and that is being exposed as having parents who cannot afford to buy their dinner. Give all children free dinners and you remove that flag.

              1. 85
                Education Answerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                I work with kids.  I am a teacher.  I work in a district where eighty-seven percent of the children receive a free lunch!  You don't know what you're talking about.  Many parents are bilking the system.

                We both agree that poor children deserve a chance, a lunch.  It's wrong for middle-class and wealthy parents to lie about their income so they can get a free ride for their child.  The government has an obligation to feed poor children; the government has an obligation to protect use our hard-earned taxes to do the most good.  When our government gives money away, without any accountability, that's a waste of our money.

                What's next?  Are you going to advocate that anybody who has a child must be on food stamps, so that child/children will have food?  Are you going to advocated that anybody who has a child must have government assistance for housing, because that's what's right for the children?

                1. John Holden profile image61
                  John Holdenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  OK, so let the higher paid parents pay for their children's food through taxes.

                  Are you sure you're a teacher? Not of English certainly. Having had children I'd argue your point that I don't know what I'm talking about.

                  1. 85
                    Education Answerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    Please elaborate about your "not of English" statement. 

                    Yes, I'm pretty sure I'm a teacher.

  4. John Holden profile image61
    John Holdenposted 3 years ago

    Wilderness, I would hate to inhabit your world. It would be full of feral children and criminal adults.

    Oh sorry, it is already despite our best efforts.

    1. wilderness profile image95
      wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      So it is!  In spite of ever increasing socialism and sharing the wealth, and it gets worse every year.  Instead of learning, we always say "Well, that didn't work, do it again and harder this time". 

      The result of the endless do-gooder that thinks ethics trumps reality.  They just don't learn, forever ready to steal and give, steal and give.  Repeating a cycle that has never worked and never will, no matter how much we wish it would.

      1. John Holden profile image61
        John Holdenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Ever increasing socialism!
        Don't you mean "as capitalism gets its claws deeper into us all". The reality is that for as long as our countries are run by people who put profit before everything else then things will continue to get worse.
        Welfare for work isn't a socialist creed, it is pure capitalism.

        1. Silverspeeder profile image60
          Silverspeederposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Of course its capitalism John because under socialism those who wont work will starve. I suppose those who wont work will be coerced into working though.

          1. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
            Kathryn L Hillposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            Think of a newly planted shrub. We are willing to help it grow by watering it, but when it's roots find their own source of water, we are ever so thankful and relieved!  I think John considers it injustice, when the water source is cut off due to drought. He is right is is not fair… but who said life is fair… just ask the now-dying shrub!

            1. John Holden profile image61
              John Holdenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Yes, when the water source is cut off by drought we think nothing of tipping water over it to help it to survive until the drought ends..

              1. wilderness profile image95
                wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                Unless, of course, the well has gone dry, too...

                1. John Holden profile image61
                  John Holdenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  But it is still a long way from drying up isn't it?

                  You still have plenty of money to interfere in world affairs, oh sorry, maintain world peace.

                  1. bBerean profile image59
                    bBereanposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    Oh, I understand now.  You weren't talking about using your water, were you?  What a surprise.

  5. John Holden profile image61
    John Holdenposted 3 years ago

    Wilderness, (good afternoon) you are trying to fit socialism into a capitalist mould. It isn't a more caring form of capitalism or anything like that, it is entirely different.

    1. wilderness profile image95
      wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      No, good morning.  Already messing up! big_smile

      How so, John?  I've kind of lost track here and not sure what you refer to.

  6. eliza60 profile image59
    eliza60posted 3 years ago

    Go and ask our leaders! I have never been asked for money, but being the person I am I would give it. I remember a woman with 4 kids (1993) with a sign, "will work for food" my heart broke. I stopped my car got out, took them into McDonalds and fed them. I asked her how she got into this situation, long story short, her husband walked out on her and left her and her children penniless. I asked what she did for a living, unbelievably she was an art teacher and no one would hire her because she was homeless. So, I took her to my church, they found her a home and gave her a job at the church school. There is always a reason a middle class person asks for money and you would be surprised at the reasons when you ask. It is a random act of kindness. Someday, (god forbid) if you find yourself there, you will understand. Until then have the kind of heart that serves those in need. It will come back to you, it has to me.

    1. Dr Billy Kidd profile image92
      Dr Billy Kiddposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      God bless you for your empathetic understanding and your ability to help a family which is under extreme duress.

      1. John Holden profile image61
        John Holdenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Yes, it's heartening isn't it.

 
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