In my area in the past year I have seen an increase of people holding signs that they are homeless and begging for money. I note more couples doing the same and note more women begging at intersections etc. Also note more men on foot with back packs that look "bummy" traveling through town. Most without gloves. I have given out several pairs now that it is colder in Southern Ohio.



Phil McDonnell writes: 

Every four years the number of highly visible 'homeless' people rises significantly in sync with the presidential election year. The number of real homeless people or residents of drug houses does not really change much but at this time certain unions and re-election committees hire low cost people to man the highly visible street intersections. In my area I have seen them change shifts at even hour intervals. When the replacement approaches about a half block away the one on the corner sees them and puts his or her sign down and casually walks in their direction and does not acknowledge the replacement in any way–as they pass–on the sidewalk. The replacement then picks up the hard luck sign and begins their shift.





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3 Comments so far

  1. Ralph Di Fiore on January 1, 2012 1:34 am

    Alan my friend, this is a sign of the current state of affairs the US of A finds itself in. The US has gutted its manufacturing base and the 20 year illusion of wealth created by the sub prime fiasco is now over. What is left is poverty and more of it to come. Prepare for social unrest to increase as the masses become more desperate. A top hedge fund manager in Canada, Al Friedberg of Friedberg Mercantile, someone Victor knows all too well, has predicted a depression of 10 years in duration that will make the 1930s seem like a walk in the park. Get yourself ready Alan!

  2. jeff Watson on January 1, 2012 9:03 pm

    Ralph, I would suspect that the announced death of US manufacturing is a bit premature. While manufacturing as a % of total payroll has fallen significantly from 25% in 1970 to 8.88% in 2010, productivity has increased enough to offset this payroll decline. In fact, our ~20% of total global manufacturing output has remained rather constant for decades. Even though there’s been a little dip in output since the recession started, we’re certainly manufacturing more in total output than any of the glory days of the 50’s and 60’s.
    Many pundits and observers see poverty as a result of all of this, All I see is opportunity for the sagacious person. These times remind me of the malaise in 1980 (when most indicators were almost as bad), and everyone was ready to throw in the towel. When everyone was so ultimately bearish, the market turned around and started the biggest bull market ever. While things might be bad in the US, remember that it’s worse in Europe.

  3. Justin on January 2, 2012 10:14 am

    I’ve also noticed an uptick in the amount of street-corner begging here in Baltimore, since the middle/end of the summer, as well as in the number of women on the street.

    Is this union-hiring story true? I’ve heard stories about unions hiring the homeless to help man picket lines, but can’t find anything on Google about election related begging…


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