Help Government Approved Panhandlers Only!

Amusing sign seen in Atlanta by a Tyler Cowen reader:

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Derrick says:

    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.

  2. Tlaloc says:

    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.

  3. hcantrall says:

    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!

  4. 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.