March 17, 2016


This just happened.  I was on the subway to work, and a fellow steps into the car.  In a mellifluous, but loud enough, voice he announces that he recently lost his job and has medical bills to pay.  He has 2 children who are staying with relatives.  He has been looking for a new job, but in the meantime has needed to rely on handouts from strangers.  It’s a nice enough story, not too dissimilar to those I’ve heard with some regularity on the train.  Depending on the look or feel of the person, I will hand them a buck or two.  This guy looks legit.

However, as he passes one fellow, he collects a business card.  In handing the card, the charitable soul says “This is a soup kitchen nearby, you can bring your children here and get hot meals.”

The fellow looks up and replies, “Free food?  Here, in Manhattan?”

Read the whole thing.

Related: From 2008, Steven Malanga of City Journal on “The Professional Panhandling Plague.”

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