The Pacific Northwest is a wonderful place filled with abundant forests, amazing rivers and hills that seem to go on forever. It is also, however, filled with hippies. Hippies and their craft-beer-drinking associates, the hipsters, often possess a “hey, that’s their life choice” attitude regarding the homeless.
Now, I should clarify: the Pacific Northwest does contain a fair amount of truly homeless individuals. However, it is also home to a shocking amount of “homeless” youths- these are able-bodied twenty-somethings who wear ragged clothes and swear that they are homeless because of their “asshole stepdads” who wouldn’t let them live at home without going to school or getting a job and do meth. They often have smart phones and guitars and, for some reason, many of them have dogs.
In some of the more-liberal cities that recognize this as an “alternative life choice,” it’s not uncommon to see all four corners of an intersection infested with these people with hard-luck cardboard signs who are able to stand for eight hours, but find standing and flipping burgers to be beneath them.
Passing by them prompts a plea for “spare change” or a cigarette and if you catch them in the right mood, a refusal might prompt an insult from the street rats.
But for those who like to reward sloth and vandalism, there has long been a problem: in our increasingly cash-less world, carrying spare change with which to reward these parasites has been difficult.
Now, that’s a thing of the past.
According to a report by the IJ Review, vagrants are now unionizing to panhandle and are able to process credit cards for your donation to their “alternative lifestyle.”
Abe Hagenston calls himself “Honest Abe,” and he lives under the 8 Mile overpass on I-75 in Detroit. He is homeless, but he and his fellow panhandlers have found a way to bring in some extra money this winter—even if you don’t have cash.
According to WWJ’s Mike Campbell, Abe can take donations via credit card using the website square.com, which essentially turns your smartphone in to a card reader.
The squares cost around $10 and charge vendors a fee for every transaction made.
Abe told Campbell:
“I take VISA, MasterCard, American Express… It’s all done safely and securely through square.com.”
So if you don’t have any change or cash, you can still give money to Abe and his friends.
Abe explained to Campbell that he and his fellow homeless work together “like a union” and panhandle in shifts in order to bring in the maximum amount of money.
Meanwhile, while this hobo begs for money using his smartphone, a child is aching for food in Africa.
It should be noted that Square is willing to process credit cards to facilitate panhandling, but has taken a firm stance by prohibiting lawful gun stores from using their service to process credit card information for guns or gun parts.
This isn’t a story about “Honest Abe” who, I suspect, if he were truly honest with himself, would admit that he’s not “down on his luck,” but just a lazy scumbag.
This isn’t even a story about Square and their corporate prioritization of parasitism over lawful gun sales.
It’s a story about what being “less-fortunate,” “impoverished” or any other term one prefers to denote a lower-class socioeconomic status in this nation where “poor” means making do with last-year’s iPhone and a government-provided food stamp card.