If you want to ask people for money on the streets of Middle Township, NJ, you’ll need to get a permit, as local lawmakers have passed an ordinance aimed at reining in what some view as out-of-hand begging and panhandling in the area. [More]
When was that first time you saw a scam or ripoff? That first time the rock was lifted up and you saw that dark potential of human nature squiggling and squirming underneath? Mine was on the steps of the Met in New York City.
Do you find it annoying when a cashier tries to upsell you into making a donation to some group? Well, what if the money was going to a good cause–like another employee at the store?
If you live anywhere in the NYC area, you’ve probably seen a “United Homeless Organization” table on the sidewalk, staffed by a volunteer who looks homeless himself. (If you don’t live here, imagine a year-round, homeless Salvation Army Santa.) If you thought the set-ups looked a little sketchy, you were right: the UHO is a “sham,” according to NY Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.
Everyone likes to help the less fortunate—at least, that’s what we’re going to go with publicly for the sake of this argument. That said, is it really appropriate to be asked to pony up donation money when you’re sitting in a theater waiting for your movie to begin? You’ve already paid more than you probably wanted to for the tickets, not to mention any refreshments—shouldn’t that ticket price also include an implied guarantee that you won’t be asked to tithe?