Begging in America Essay example

Begging in America Essay example

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When we observe the enormous progress America has made from the beginning of the thirteen colonies to what it is today, we clearly see that society has grown tremendously in its advancements in communication, speed, and travel, etc., but have we unknowingly degenerated in our culture and values? Mark Sundeen says “Begging may be the most shameful act in America.” But why is that so? If we take a look at religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism, giving alms to the poor is thought as “… increasing the chances [of being] admitted into paradise or reincarnated in a good body…” (McMahon). Begging in America is looked down at for the reason that over time begging has evolved from a person who has been financially stricken and cannot afford to live, to someone who is looking to earn some extra cash.
Begging in America has evolved into something to be abhorred and looked at with shame in the American culture. Research says that begging “… is associated with phenomena such as homelessness, unemployment, refugees… It is also stigmatized as involving crime … and a source of national shame.” (Arnold). When we see panhandlers on the streets we automatically assume that these men and women are deficient and have nothing better to do than to ask others for money. A majority of America will place people who beg as inferior to humans, as if we lived by an explicitly defined social class system, and not recognize them as an individual ─ America gives them little to no worth in society. Thus, panhandlers are given no rights by the citizenry.
Another major cause for begging having a shameful connotation in America is for the reason that many pretend to be homeless or panhandling when it is obvious that it is not necessary. Matthew J. Reynolds recor...


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... job and would much rather just sit down collecting taxes from everyone passing by.




Works Cited

Arnold, Bruce. Caslon Analytics Begging. 2008. Web. 3 December 2013.
Hastings, Patty. Student finds panhandling can pay. 12 August 2013. Web. 9 December 2013.
Kelling, George L. Thinking About Crime: Is There a Right to Beg? 1993. Web. 10 December 2013.
McMahon, Mary. What is a Panhandler? 23 November 2013. Web. 9 December 2013.
Associated Press. Atlanta lawmakers approve begging ban. 17 August 2005. Web. 10 December 2013.
Rendlemen, Raymond. Panhandling UNDERCOVER. 21 August 2013. Web. 9 December 2013.
Reynolds, Matthew J. Culture Shock: Of beggars and breasts: what a shame. 26 February 2001. Web. 9 December 2013.
Spears II, David P. Exit Ramp: A Short Case Study of the Profitability of Panhandling. Portland: Madison Street Publishing , 2013. ebook. 9 December 2013

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