Panhandler Makes $60,000/yr
One work of advice if you are in Oklahoma City, OK; don't beg for money.
Shane Warren Speegle did exactly that and was arrested. Believe it or not, you can actually get away with it in Oklahoma City, if you have a permit and corresponding insurance. After he was booked, it seems as though Mr. Speegle told the arresting police officer that he would pay end up paying for the permit, which costs $200, for the day, because begging pays well.
How well? Better than a job. Speegle said, "I'm lazy, and I made $60,000 doing this last year. Why would I go get a job?"
So it seems that legalized panhandling has allowed people like Mr. Speegle to earn money instead of collect welfare. This is where the head scratcher comes in; do you condone panhandling because it isn't someone looking for a handout on our tax dollars, or do you look down on it, because he is admittedly lazy (though pretty good at his job to make $60k), particularly during this recession.
Some people like Mr. Speegle don't know the process or feel "too lazy" to apply for a permit and jump through a city's regulatory process of public solicitation. On the other hand, legalized begging could increase public nuisance. Legalization could encourage more people to beg on street corners or even go door-to-door in residential neighborhoods. Laws against begging protect the public and other beggars from aggressive, competitive beggars.
This is one of those "better bad choice" scenarios. Is one better than the other?