After a brilliant expedition of participatory journalism, Abdul Hakim-Shabazz recounts his panhandling experiences last Friday in his blog:
"By the time I was done I managed to collect about $30; most of it came between noon and one. $30 for two hours worth of begging wasn’t bad coinage. I made $15 an hour which is slightly less than the average paying job in Indiana. The way I figured it out, if I converted that cash into a real job I either made the equivalent of $31,000 annually in pre-tax income or $44,000 a year if that was my after tax income. Nice work if you can get it.
"I now understand why people panhandle, there’s money in it. I was shocked by how much money you can make if this is all you do. Granted some days will be better than others, but if you beg between the hours of 7-9, 11-1 and 4-6, and find the right corner of town you can rake in a lot of tax free money."