SpearsII 
Member since Jan 29, 2015


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Re: “Charleston intersections are overrun with panhandlers

I think the issue of panhandling is a very difficult problem for civil leaders. I really feel for cities trying to address this issue. As an aspiring economist, I recently conducted a field experiment to satisfy my own curiosity on just how much money panhandlers can make. I went undercover and spent 80 hours panhandling at an exit ramp. My average hourly wage was considerably north of minimum wage ($8.90 an hour). I also collected interesting data on the people who donated. I wrote about my experiences in a book called Exit Ramp: A Short Case Study of the Profitability of Panhandling. I think any city dealing with this problem needs to acknowledge that there are both those who panhandle because of an inability to get steady employment (mental health issues), and those who panhandle because it is possible to earn good money doing it. Figuring out how to help the one and discourage the other is no easy task.

9 of 10 people like this.
Posted by SpearsII on January 29, 2015 at 2:51 PM
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