When I was in New York a month ago one thing I could not help notice was the amount of beggars on the streets and the fact many of them were disabled. My initial reaction was one of shock and sadness but then I become to real consider the issue.
I saw three types of beggars. The first who were mostly based around Time Square were non-disabled people who showed no sign of distressed with stupid signs asking the money to buy weed or to get laid. They must be assuming their humour will fool people into giving money to them.
The second group of beggars were your war veterans who portray the classic tramp issue as they showed her injuries and their lack of hygiene as a reason for feel sorry for them. They have clearly fallen through the cracks but did not show a respect for themselves which I could respect.
The third group was younger disabled people, people like myself. This group has seemed to make their begging into a full time job as they appeared to have respect for themselves and were simply using the asset of pity to make a living. The money was going straight into their own money and not to some charity, simply to pay the wages of the middle class. I could respect them within the situation they were in.
Please be assured I am not advocating begging and in the UK, there is certainly no need to do so. But America is a different place and I am prepared to understand its culture.