Here are some questions I would like answered about this begging bylaw business.
Isn’t poverty the cause of begging? So why not just ban poverty? If we make it illegal to be poor, surely people who might be tempted to enjoy the poverty lifestyle and all it offers (sickness, depression, misery, and every rubbish bin offering a potential banquet!) will make better choices.
Why are all these right-wing council candidates so down on begging anyway? I keep hearing from our friends on the right how much money a person can make from begging. But if that’s the case, why ban it? Don’t right-wingers believe in free enterprise any more? Shouldn’t they be pushing to deregulate the begging industry?
Why should we care if some beggars are making good money and not paying any tax? Isn’t that what half the elites in this country do already?
And what about charity collectors? Aren’t they begging too? Should we ban the SPCA from holding its annual collection? Or are cats and dogs more important than the homeless people living on our streets?
Discussions about moving beggars out of CBDs seem to be motivated in part by concerns about what tourists might think when they visit our cities. So we’re openly saying that we’d like to actively conceal from our visitors the true state of our country and its economy, in order to paint an utterly false picture about how successful we are as a nation? Do I have this right? Isn’t that a bit dishonest?
And do we really think an overseas visitor would be shocked to see a beggar? I imagine they would get much more of a shock if they tried to swim in one of our “100 Pure” rivers.
If being confronted by the squalor, misery and hopelessness of our poor really does offend your sensibilities, could this simply mean that you are an awful person?
2 thoughts on “Begging the question”
The vast majority of begging in inner cities is an absolute scam. A group of people get together, write absolutely breathtakingly painstakingly detailed signs about sad situations (which are completely false), then they rotate the signs around the group. The majority of people only encounter a given beggar once, but for people who regularly live around the area, they quite quickly see a given beggar with a different sign, and the same sign with a different beggar (that doesn’t matter, the people who live there aren’t their target market, it’s the tourists!). So they’re absolutely misrepresenting themselves, the signs are demonstrably false, it’s straight out fraud, and they’re targeting (and defrauding) the tourists of the cities, and degrading their experience. So why wouldn’t a city want to stamp this out? Anyone who truly cares about the actual impoverished should be against these “beggars” as well, because they’re hurting the cause of those who are actually needy!
If all you say is true, we need to get these beggars into an MBA programme as soon as possible. We have some top notch marketing executives in the making here. They have already learnt to segment their market, ignoring people outside their target demographic. They are also selling a lifestyle (I am a good person for giving money to a beggar), rather than the reality. All they need to gain an air of respectability is to either work for a corporation or write Freelance Marketing Executive at the bottom of their signs. Top marks all round, great entrepreneurship, we need to encourage this sort of free-market thinking, vote Act.
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