July 15, 2006

Get a fucking job, man

One thing that really struck in Canada was the presence of bums. Okay, everywhere has homeless and destitute, but it seemed there was just a whole culture of people who just made their living on the street, doing nothing more than asking people for cash. In Japan - I didn't see anybody asking for cash, they seemed to get by pretty well in their own established communities. Back home, people either busk or just beat you up to get your money, either way they are "working" for it. Beggars are the bottom-feeders of society, they don't create anything but perhaps the idea that some people are worse of than you. Yet, North Americans seemed to just tolerate it fine.

The other sad part to beggars is that it lets people learn they can get something for nothing - quite an anathema to modern day capitalism. Soon you get people who could make a living providing something for society making a living not doing much of anything. It's just not cool. I saw one gothed up teen on the street outside a Starbucks in Ottawa doing nothing but looking sad and pitiful with a cap on the ground in front of her. Not only did she have pink hair, but braces too. Both of these seem like great necessities for life on the street. Now, I know I'm not psychic, so I can't judge the exact nature of her personal situation - plus I'm ignorant on Ottawa's laws involving vagrancy - but this really isn't acceptable. People shouldn't be allowed to and encouraged to get by as leeches on society. Even a lot welfare/social security systems tend to go towards encouraging job-seeking and training.

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