Americans, even in smaller urban areas, have gotten used to them, there on a street corner, near a shopping mall parking area, at the top of a freeway entry ramp. Panhandlers! The old, scruffy bearded guy in a well-worn and often dirty field jacket, the tired and sad woman with a shopping cart full of stuff, sometimes someone younger with a sign “need gas money” or even “can’t find work.” Churches often have someone, sometimes with family in tow, speaking to the usher in the back of the auditorium, seeking money.
We saw a few on a recent trip through Colorado and New Mexico. In the past, we’ve seen them across these nations and in Europe – even had a beggar try to steal my wallet near the Colosseum in Rome, years ago.
Today, we have a new crop of panhandlers pushing into our faces on our TV screens and monitors. Sharply dressed, carefully groomed, always with flags displayed behind them, and nowadays, with someone beside them using sign language. And usually a name plate or a scroll banner under them: “Governor…” This became particularly obvious in May, at the height of the Lockdown.
The list is long and pretty impressive: Governor of New York. Governor of New Jersey. Governor of California. Governor of Illinois. Or it is mayors. Mayor of New York City. Mayor of Las Vegas. Mayor of Atlanta. And on and on.
Their begging, I note, is very focused. They don’t want “help” (that is, supplies, equipment, law enforcement assistance, technical aid, etc.); they want money. Cash.
They don’t wear hats now, so they don’t come hat in hand. Actually, they don’t come ASKING for a handout at all. They come DEMANDING that the FedGov give them more money: LOTS more. $40 billion. $70 billion. And more. They want NOT a helping hand (that’s old stuff, they’ve milked that dry) but a bailout.
They are worse than that panhandler with a spray bottle of dirty water that he will “wash your windshield with” if you don’t pay him off. Indeed, some of these officials are in essence blackmailers. Consider the thug Dictator of New Jersey, threatening to lay off teachers, firefighters, emergency workers if the State doesn’t get a Federal bailout. Ditto for California and Dictator Newsom, holding first responders hostage. Indeed, Newsom is freely admitting it: “California Governor Gavin Newsom has a stark message for Republican lawmakers — if the federal government doesn’t give financial aid to California, they’ll only be punishing first responders.” New York Daily News tells us, “Congress must give New York at least $61 billion in federal aid as part of the next coronavirus stimulus bill or the state will have to slash funding for schools, hospitals and first responders, Gov. Cuomo said Tuesday.“
And too many people in DC are fully in support of these beggars and their demands. I understand that the reason all the Dems in the Senate used the (formerly evil) filibuster to prevent passing the new stimulus package was because it didn’t have ENOUGH “free” money in it for States, local governments, and people. (Rand Paul voted against it for other reasons.) Biden, Harris, and the rest of the Dems in DC want fedgov money – but nothing else, at least right now. Not that GOP types are much different.
People ask, but doesn’t the FedGov get the money that these States want from the States themselves? Directly AND indirectly? Apparently not: the Federal Reserve and Congress, courtesy of the Pandemic Panic, have been given the magical power to create money out of vacuum. It isn’t even borrowing or increasing the debt anymore: it just miraculously occurs. That is what happens ultimately with fiat money. It happened in Weimar Germany. It happened in Argentina – many times. It happened in Zimbabwe, and its happening in Venezuela.
Because when we get right down to it, the biggest beggar, the biggest and meanest panhandler in these nations IS the FedGov itself. We need to tell ALL panhandlers, from the guy sitting on the street corner in front of Wendy’s to the guys and gals in the $2000 suits, the same thing.
Get a job, A real job – where you produce something that people are willing to pay for voluntarily. And apply this old maxim: he who does not work does not eat.
Harsh? Maybe. But not undeserved.