The Paid Bum

Isabelle Kaneza

By: Isabelle Kaneza

A hard-working man rushes through the streets of a bustling city on his way to and from his job. He does this every weekday, so it doesn’t take long for him to notice the wrinkly, helpless old lady standing at a street corner regularly asking for some spare change. The sight pulls at his heart strings, so he forgoes his meals and instead saves up money for the lady. One day, he passes by a beautiful new 2014 car and recognizes the driver sitting in the car seat. It is the wrinkly helpless old lady whom he selflessly gave money to every day. He is livid, but even more heartbroken to witness the seemingly forlorn lady take advantage of possibly hundreds of commiserators daily.

(This really happened, check out the video here. WARNING: EXPLICIT LANGUAGE)

A scenario like the one above makes us seriously question the state of humanity. But what most don’t realize is that panhandling is legal in more states that we would hope.


Panhandlers can be anyone, you don’t even have to be dead broke to receive that title. To make matters even worse, a panhandling license is so easily accessible; all you need is to pay a $10 fee, show a form of ID, get a background check, and you’ve got your license.

The act of sitting in one place begging for money should not be acceptable in our society because it one hundred percent disregards what America stands for. Bums such as the little old lady are getting paid for literally doing nothing while the rest of America slaves over their work, in the proper American fashion, whether they flip burgers or save lives. To allow panhandlers the legal “job” of a beggar is to undermine every once of energy any American has ever put into their end goal of success.

Instead, there needs to be a way to get these men and women really working or even find their hidden talent so they might become phenomenal street performers because, yes, not all panhandlers aim to maliciously take our money, and yes, some desperately need a method of sustenance. They are human after all, and they are still fellow citizens of ours.