Saturday, April 25, 2009
Amusing sign seen in Atlanta by a Tyler Cowen reader:
I just moved from Atlanta recently, and was there during one of the dumbest ideas I’ve ever seen. I lived two blocks from the Capital for years, so handling panhandlers became a necessary skill. They can be a pain in the ass, but this idea didn’t stop them from harassing me and probably didn’t do much as a charity activity either.
It makes a lot more sense to distribute money through an organized program than by randomly giving out small amounts of money to people you know nothing about.
Yeah, this is a great idea, now your spare change can go through a “middle man” who gets to take their share of the money too. We don’t want you individually helping out your fellow man, that’s a horrible idea!
At first blush, it looks sound. Rewarding panhandling does create more panhandlers. I know this but still give them money from time to time; so much for the rational economic man.
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