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I'm glad you mentioned some of those things (mental health, social conditioning issues, substance abuse) because they're uncomfortable truths that throw a wrench into a lot of pat partisan narratives. They resist the "well, they're just lazy!" stuff as well as the "they just need a chance!" stuff. Reality, as always, is messy.



I work in a soccer club here in Denmark and we are playing Europe games this season and itís so weird traveling to countries that have a various degree of control (or the opposite) of coronavirus...*

Because here in Denmark we have officially declared coronavirus not a critical public sickness.

We have removed each and every single restriction related to Covid as well. So you could say that our country is, on paper, back to normal as it was before corona. The only real difference is that people are still getting the virus. Itís not completely gone of course. But itís very limited now.

And almost 80% of people in Denmark are now vaccinated. So itís looking good.



While it's true that there are some people who don't want to work and are happy to live on charity and/or government support programs, there are a LOT of reasons why people cannot get or keep jobs:

Substance abuse problem that makes it hard to go a full shift without a hit OR makes it hard to consistently arrive to a job on time

Executive functioning disorder that impacts time management and organization (say keeping a uniform clean, filling out paperwork correctly, etc)

Social/emotional disability that is untreated, ie the person who will go from zero to throwing a punch if they end up in a confrontation

Criminal record that automatically disqualifies you from a job

Mental health issues

Child care situations that frequently disrupt a typical work day

Physical disability that is disqualifying (ie cannot lift 50 lbs)

And while some of the things listed above can be addressed, often people who are homeless or homeless-adjacent do not have access to the resources they need to successfully address them. From my work in various soup kitchens, I can say that many people have issues that you can just tell would not be a good fit for a regimented job.

Then there's just biases that exist within the hiring process, and an employer can just say "I didn't get a good feeling off of him" and that's that.
Of course those are all true and can apply at times, but also the idea that everyone panhandling can't work is a myth as there can be multiple reasons. I mean I see these guys up close as I drive by them, some of them have mobile phones and are drinking a Starbucks...I can't afford either of those. And the weird thing is I live in a racial mixed area and all of the panhandlers are white males in their 20s-30s (that I regularly see)...that doesn't equate with the population mix, I mean I should be seeing people of all races and ages but I don't.

I'd bet drug addiction plays the biggest part. Actually we had no pan handlers until they built a bunch of apartments in the area. Same with shop lifting I've talked to store clerks who say it's rampant around here now.

***We are going off topic here and I don't want to derail the thread so this is my last post on this topic in this thread.



Of course those are all true and can apply at times, but also the idea that everyone panhandling can't work is a myth as there can be multiple reasons. I mean I see these guys up close as I drive by them, some of them have mobile phones and are drinking a Starbucks...I can't afford either of those.
I don't know if you've ever read Linda Tirado's book Hand to Mouth, but it does a good job of explaining why you can't always judge someone's financial state from certain external indicators (ie "How can they be poor, they have an X-box?!")

I think that for most people it's some combination of a legit roadblock and then some learned behaviors. I think a good question is how we collectively can genuinely reduce barriers to people being successful in gaining long-term employment. (And some of that might be including in our schools how to get a job when many students don't see those skills modeled at home).

Something that frequently shocks me is the way that some of my students will speak about the homeless or panhandlers (clearly echoing what their parents say), with such a lack of empathy. "They're all secretly rich and they drive nice cars and they just dress up like they are poor to trick you into giving them money." Like, WOW.

I'd bet drug addiction plays the biggest part.
It is a huge problem nationwide. And the pandemic (yay! on topic again!) has made both mental health and addiction issues worse for a lot of people suffering from them.



Less than 4 and a half months left until we reach the 2 year & 2 month mark (this was the point at which the Spanish Flu of 1918 - 1920 had fully dissipated in 1920 without the use of any vaccines or treatments).

I'm basing this on an estimated start date for Covid-19 of January 01, 2020. (Some studies say the virus was within the U.S. up to 2 months or more before this date, while others feel we didn't fully start tracking it until as late as March, 2020. So, 01/01/20 seems a good median.)



Substance abuse problem that makes it hard to go a full shift without a hit OR makes it hard to consistently arrive to a job on time

Criminal record that automatically disqualifies you from a job
I have almost no sympathy for people like this. These two are self-created problems.

And the weird thing is I live in a racial mixed area and all of the panhandlers are white males in their 20s-30s (that I regularly see)...that doesn't equate with the population mix, I mean I should be seeing people of all races and ages but I don't.
I live in one of the poorest American cities & we are predominantly Spanish with whites in the minority. Now that you mention it, I think the panhandlers I see are the white males you describe. Bill - the guy I mentioned in an earlier post - would be a good example of this. And very rarely, if ever, is a panhandler female.
__________________
Iím here only on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays. Thatís why Iím here now.



I have almost no sympathy for people like this. These two are self-created problems.



I live in one of the poorest American cities & we are predominantly Spanish with whites in the minority. Now that you mention it, I think the panhandlers I see are the white males you describe. Bill - the guy I mentioned in an earlier post - would be a good example of this. And very rarely, if ever, is a panhandler female.
I'd be happy to continue the conservation in PM, I already said I was done discussing it in this thread as I don't want to derail the thread (though my original comment was related to Covid seemingly causing a job opening surplus AND 2 or 3 guys that I continual see panhandling on this one corner making me wonder why. I wasn't ever making a blanket statement about all panhandling and I don't want this thread locked.)



I already said I was done discussing it in this thread as I don't want to derail the thread Ö
I wasnít forcing you to respond to my post. I wanted to have my say & you replied of your own volition.



I wasnít forcing you to respond to my post. I wanted to have my say & you replied of your own volition.
Oh I know and I totally understand...I just didn't want you to think I was avoiding you when I didn't reply.



Oh I know and I totally understand...I just didn't want you to think I was avoiding you when I didn't reply.
I post a lot of stuff that nobody responds to so it would be par for the course unfortunately.



Had my flu shot today at CVS and, coincidentally, The NY Times had an article on how COVID has prepared us for the flu. If we follow COVID guidelines - masks, hand-washing, open windows, social distancing from folks who are sneezing, etc. - we probably won’t get the flu. I’ve mentioned before that since COVID began I have not had the flu. And this from someone who got the flu most winters.



I post a lot of stuff that nobody responds to so it would be par for the course unfortunately.
Me too!

Had my flu shot today at CVS and, coincidentally, The NY Times had an article on how COVID has prepared us for the flu. If we follow COVID guidelines - masks, hand-washing, open windows, social distancing from folks who are sneezing, etc. - we probably wonít get the flu. Iíve mentioned before that since COVID began I have not had the flu. And this from someone who got the flu most winters.
Me too on all that. I just had my flu shot a couple days ago and I haven't had a cold or flu since the pandemic started. So triple ditto



Not true. People engage more with you.



Walgreens was annoying today. Sign says walk-ins for shots. But now one needs an appointment. Probably because theyíre swamped with giving booster shots, which CVS isnít giving until Moderna boosters are totally approved for lift-off. (Turns out CVS doesnít do Pfizer boosters.)



I have almost no sympathy for people like this. These two are self-created problems.
I would respectfully disagree. Plenty of people are still dealing with addiction related to drugs prescribed to them by their doctors, while other people turn to drugs as a coping mechanism to deal with really awful things in their lives.

And if you take even the lowest estimates for erroneous convictions, there are still a ton of people walking around who have convictions for things they didn't do. And even if someone did commit a crime, an inability to get a job pushes people more toward a desperate way of life.

And even if you don't have sympathy for people who are addicts or have convictions, the question wasn't about who deserves a job, it was "Why aren't these (seemingly healthy, able-bodied) people working?". Drug addiction and convictions--whether they are the person's fault or not--are barriers to getting and keeping employment.


@Citizen: I did read about Powell's death a few days ago. I feel for his family.

I got my booster and my flu shot last Thursday. Thankfully no side effects from either, apart from a sore arm. My sister, who got Moderna, is relieved that she'll be able to get a booster soon. Though she had such a horrible time with her second dose, I hope she does better with this one.



I would respectfully disagree. Plenty of people are still dealing with addiction related to drugs prescribed to them by their doctors, while other people turn to drugs as a coping mechanism to deal with really awful things in their lives.
I could respond with my own history of a mis-prescribed sub-opiate & some ďawful thingsĒ that have happened in my own life. None of which led me to become a drug addict or a criminal. However, Iíve said enough & will leave it here.



I was supposed to take a personal day today, but there are literally no substitutes in the system due to a mix of teachers with COVID and some other situations. We're into "splitting classes and the guidance counselor is covering a classroom for two hours" territory.

I could respond with my own history of a mis-prescribed sub-opiate & some ďawful thingsĒ that have happened in my own life. None of which led me to become a drug addict or a criminal. However, Iíve said enough & will leave it here.
I appreciate that there is some degree of choice/decisions in both. But I also think that it's more complicated than just saying that all addicts or convicted felons brought their situations on themselves. I also think that moral absolutism can get in the way of helping people who want to be helped.



Ö moral absolutism Ö
Both you & @AgrippinaX use a lot of terms with which I am unfamiliar. No clue what the above means.



The trick is not minding
I appreciate that there is some degree of choice/decisions in both. But I also think that it's more complicated than just saying that all addicts or convicted felons brought their situations on themselves. I also think that moral absolutism can get in the way of helping people who want to be helped.
Definitely not all, especially with addicts who often are victims themselves, but with convicts? Most, I feel, are just predators who obviously look to take advantage of someone or hurt someone for their own selfish needs and quite often deserve the lot theyíve been given.
On the other hand, I acknowledge there are some who have earned the right to redemption, but donít get that opportunity due to the moral absolutism you speak of.



Both you & @AgrippinaX use a lot of terms with which I am unfamiliar. No clue what the above means.
I try not to overdo fancy language, especially when Iím off work. But you got me on ďrascalĒ, so. Will watch it, actually, all that undergrad philosophy lingo can be quite annoying.