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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-08-07 06:08 PM
Original message
The Panhandlers' Perspective
The Panhandlers' Perspective

SPOKANE -- The average household in America earned just under $50,000 before taxes in 2006 according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In some cities people are making $50,000 but their money is tax free because theyre panhandling and making anywhere from $50 to $300 a day.

You wake up in the morning, you sorta say, "Oh God what's today gonna be like, you try to get to the corner before someone else gets out there, because another three people can take it over and if that happens you starve, Hank Valder says.

...snip

I hate that life, it's humiliating, Hank Valder said. I'm a Vietnam vet, I was in the Army and I was in the Marines, and to have to stoop, you knows there's a saying, "Hey buddy, can you spare a dime?" not much has changed.

Hank Valder says hes 57-year-old, though he may be off by a year or two. He's been homeless, living the life of panhandler for the last decade after the flood of '97 wiped out his home in Grand Forks, North Dakota. His companion of 13 years is Bear, an Alaskan sled dog he picked up in Canada. His level of homelessness is somewhat suspect as he lives in a school bus. He says a land owner gave him permission to park it on his property so thats where Hank sleeps at night.

I've never gave up hope and I think that's the important thing, a lot of these people have given up hope, Hank said.

Hank has survived thanks to odd jobs and the generosity of others.

http://www.kxly.com/news/?sect_rank=1ion_id=559&story_id=15836
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-08-07 06:21 PM
Response to Original message
1. I'm nobody's judge
I give because of who I am, not because of who they are.

I will also work as much as I can for a more just country, one whose wealth is shared with the citizens who work their lives away creating it as well as the ones who inherit enough to fund such work once customers present themselves.
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Hydra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-08-07 06:29 PM
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2. He's making more than my household has
I don't have an issue with it though- I've been willing and able to work for most of my life, and spent years having the door slammed in my face.

Land of opportunity my ass.
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-08-07 06:40 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. making more than we do also
and fuck it, sorry, but i do have an issue, that people who work should not only not have their time taken away but also actually have less money than fuckwits who beg and drink and smoke crack all day -- there is an issue of fairness here

grand forks flood, my ass, how would he like to have gone through the THREE natural disasters, including katrina, we went through in just three years?

i could say more about enablers, "i give because of who i am not who they are" indeed -- who "i am" apparently is an enabler who doesn't care who is harmed by enabling as long as the enabling allows them to feel superior about themselves -- yeah, i could say a lot more, enablers kill but they don't care, feeling good about themselves is always more important than actually doing the right thing and feeding addiction is sorry NOT the right thing
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Boojatta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-08-07 06:49 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Hey, that money doesn't just feed addiction.
It feeds South American drug barons and their children. They have children. Won't someone please think of the children?!??!!???!!!
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Boojatta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-08-07 06:34 PM
Response to Original message
3. Is there really just one perspective shared by all panhandlers?
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