Kuro5hin.org: technology and culture, from the trenches
create account | help/FAQ | contact | links | search | IRC | site news
[ Everything | Diaries | Technology | Science | Culture | Politics | Media | News | Internet | Op-Ed | Fiction | Meta | MLP ]
We need your support: buy an ad | premium membership

[P]
The Rise of Online Panhandling

By LaNMaN2000 in Culture
Mon Oct 07, 2002 at 05:37:19 PM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

Recently, the internet has been plagued with a vile epidemic: online panhandling. From the woman trying to leave her husband to the car obsessed college student who is seemingly too poor to even afford his own domain name, it seems that every few days another site is launched with the same theme. These sites do not exist to entertain their visitors or satisfy a psycological need on the part of their creators; they are simply presenting a pitch designed to sell their webmasters as helpless charity cases worthy of visitors' financial support. And, it seems like the same marks who would otherwise be paying to import stolen Nigerian fortunes have embraced these sites as another way to flush their money down the proverbial commode.


The pioneer in the burgeoning panhandling industry is generally believed to be Karyn, who bills herself as a "nice girl in [her] upper twenties" who is buried under a mound of credit card debt incurred while buying expensive luxury items on Ebay. Now, why anybody would see fit to reward her behavior with their hard-earned money is beyond me. Assuming her pitch is true, is she really going to learn fiscal responsibility if she is taught that begging for handouts is the solution to one's financial problems? Indeed, the description she offers of how her debt grew to its present size: "Who knows! My debt just got larger and larger, and here I am today with a huge monthly payment" indicates a complete refusal to take responsibility for the circumstances she finds herself in and betrays her later assertion that "I'm done with my frivolous ways." Karyn's visitors may successfully bail her out, this time, but they are clearly not teaching her the requisite lessons about fiscal discipline or personal responsibility. They are doing nothing more than supplying an addict with enough money for her next hit. In fact, she is even trying to raise money by, you guessed it, selling items on Ebay.

While Karyn's recent success is a both a product of her ingenuity and a testament to how the Internet community celebrates novelty in all its forms, she has spawned a host of copycat sites that are neither ingenious nor novel. The scent of "free money" has attracted the unscrupulous bottom-dwellers of the Internet faster than even the latest pyramid scheme. These parasites tarnish the concept of the web tip jar, which has helped to support a number of popular Internet communities, and seek only to enrich themselves without producing anything of value.

The web tip jar originally evolved in response to the decline of the Internet advertising industry. Large community websites, that were previously able to support themselves with advertising sales, were forced to look to other sources of revenue in order to cover their hosting and maintainance costs. For inspiration, they looked to street performers who would entertain their audience and then request voluntary donations in order to support themselves. Seeking to emulate this model, community-driven sites like SomethingAwful, Fark, and Kuro5hin asked members to contribute towards covering the costs of maintaining the sites. As a testament to these sites' commitment to their membership base, all have since started giving paid members special perks in an attempt to provide even greater value in exchange for visitors' support. In fact, the founder of Kuro5hin has even indicated that he will make the site a registered non-profit organization to acknowledge the role of visitors' contributions in keeping the site alive.

Personal websites have also been able to benefit from the "street performers' protocol." OddTodd, who responded to being laid off by creating an hilarious cartoon that was enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of people, asked for donations from those who enjoyed his work and recieved enough money to cover his expenses and financially benefit from his creativity. But, instead of being inspired to produce their best work for the Internet community to enjoy, the virtual panhandlers saw the success of sites like OddTodd as only a willingness of netizens to part with their money on the web, which they could exploit.

Do not allow yourself to reward greed in the absence of productivity. Support sites that offer something in return for your contribution and help keep your favorite community sites alive.

Lenny Grover
This article was originally published on LennyGrover.com but has modified from its original version; its length has been altered to better fit Kuro5hin and it has been edited for content. I am the original author.

Sponsors

Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure

Login

Poll
Do you give to panhandlers...
o Online? 0%
o Offline? 12%
o Anywhere you see them? 1%
o Never? 70%
o I AM a panhandler; give me money NOW! 15%

Votes: 150
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Kuro5hin
o woman trying to leave her husband
o car obsessed college student
o stolen Nigerian fortunes
o Karyn
o SomethingA wful
o Fark
o Kuro5hin [2]
o OddTodd
o Also by LaNMaN2000


Display: Sort:
The Rise of Online Panhandling | 114 comments (95 topical, 19 editorial, 0 hidden)
Panhandling without the Pitch (4.58 / 12) (#1)
by Perianwyr on Sun Oct 06, 2002 at 06:15:18 PM EST

Where is the problem? It's not as if Karyn is spamming you asking for money. The problem most people have with panhandling is not that it's happening at all, but that it's happening to them.

Furthermore, the concept of the tip jar is already pretty well tarnished in the eyes of most. How exactly does one demean the idea of begging?

Philosophically, I see no problem with this, either. If people will give you money, will you not take it?

The key, to me, is that the scheme was *successful* for gaining money, and no one was harmed. If those two conditions are fulfilled, where's the problem? Is one sort of money better than another? You can't exactly tell someone to go get a job if they are able to convince total strangers to give them thousands of dollars for nothing.

Finally, Karyn's morals aren't your problem. Perhaps she will join the Peace Corps and meet people with real problems. Whatever.

Work ethic (4.00 / 7) (#4)
by El Volio on Sun Oct 06, 2002 at 06:45:30 PM EST

Many people subscribe to a work ethic, that is, that in and of itself hard work has moral value. The converse of that is that begging can be immoral (there are exceptions, at least to most reasonable folks). This is the fundamental difference between online panhandling and tip jars.

Other people's morals may not be our problems. But that doesn't mean that we can't be bothered by it. That's my moral stance; by your own logic, that shouldn't be your problem. Yet it is, at least to some degree, because it bothered you enough to post in response.

I once got myself into a similar situation as Karyn's (excessive consumer debt), and other than acknowleding my irresponsibility, I really don't know how it happened. The money seems to have gone to restaurants, video games, computer parts, beer, etc. But then I didn't turn around and ask other people to help me out of that situation: I put my nose to the grindstone, worked hard, dedicated huge portions of my income to repaying my debts (without getting a consolidation loan or anything of the sort), and am now happily debt-free except for car payments. Other people have done the same. It sucks, sure, but why can't she do that?

Because she still hasn't learned fiscal responsibility, that's why. This is evidently not a case of someone lost her job and went through severe health problems, or other situation where simple human kindness and compassion should motivate us to help a fellow person in need. This is a case of irresponsibility and yes, to a degree, immorality. Harm to others is not required for this to be immoral; a lack of morality is.

[ Parent ]

work ethic (3.40 / 10) (#17)
by Il Maestro on Mon Oct 07, 2002 at 05:19:41 AM EST

Many people subscribe to a work ethic, that is, that in and of itself hard work has moral value.
Yes, and that's not even the most ridiculous thing people do! In fact, maybe these "work ethic" folks are the same ones that open .doc.exe attachments in Outlook and buy Milli Vanilli albums.

If you want someone to believe you, you must find better reasons for your ideas than "many people think so".

It sucks, sure, but why can't she do that?
This is pretty funny! You first say a reason for not doing something, and in the same sentence you have to ask for another reason! Becoming my slave sucks, but why don't you do it? Because not enough people believe you should do it?

If this Karyn person went and dug a bunch of holes in a forest for no reason, would this make her more deserving of the money? Because quite clearly digging holes is hard work, and as you say, "in and of itself hard work has moral value".

Now don't get me wrong, I have nothing against slave morality. Without it, the Pyramids and the Roman Pantheon would probably never have been built. We don't want to pay money to people, so we should tell them their work has moral value. That way everybody wins (except for those that do all the work).

[ Parent ]

What??? (none / 0) (#73)
by El Volio on Tue Oct 08, 2002 at 05:24:56 PM EST

Yes, and that's not even the most ridiculous thing people do! In fact, maybe these "work ethic" folks are the same ones that open .doc.exe attachments in Outlook and buy Milli Vanilli albums.
Please explain what this has to do with anything. In any case, I'm not trying to persuade anyone: the original poster asked why it would be immoral, and I explained why some people would find it to be so. This is not a defense of the work ethic at all.

Hard work has moral value, sure, assuming that it's work (actually getting something done) and not just effort to look busy. Now whether it is valuable and worthy of compensation is another matter entirely. This has nothing to do with slave morality; that's a non sequitur and I'm not going to go down that garden path.

[ Parent ]

Sympathy and compassion (5.00 / 1) (#59)
by mech9t8 on Tue Oct 08, 2002 at 11:26:26 AM EST

But then I didn't turn around and ask other people to help me out of that situation: I put my nose to the grindstone, worked hard, dedicated huge portions of my income to repaying my debts (without getting a consolidation loan or anything of the sort), and am now happily debt-free except for car payments. Other people have done the same. It sucks, sure, but why can't she do that?

Well, first off, she may a have a larger debt and smaller income than you did. So that, in itself, is a fairly silly question without more information.

In addition, she did lose her high-paying job and, after a time of unemployment, got a much lower paying one (half the salary). So she was caught in an unexpected situation.

Because she still hasn't learned fiscal responsibility, that's why.

She says on her site that she's being stringent in her spending, devoting her excess income to paying down her debt, selling her excess belongings on E-Bay, etc. She's just asked for a bit of help because she now realizes that having a large amount of debt is just a bad idea, so she wants to get rid of it as quickly as possible. Sounds pretty smart to me - if you can only pay down a small amount of your debt every month simply due to your income, it makes sense to do whatever you can to reduce it as much as possible so it doesn't sink you in bankrupcy next time misfortune hits.

She's depending on the sympathy of others - people who have been in a similar situation (like you) but instead of saying "work your way out of it like I did", say "I see you're working your way out of it, it sucks, doesn't it? Here's a bit of a helping hand."

I mean, I can think of a million better causes to send money to, but I can understand both her side and the side of the people sending her money.

Are you sure this moral outrage isn't just jealousy?

--
IMHO
[ Parent ]

Sympathy, compassion, and jealousy (5.00 / 1) (#74)
by El Volio on Tue Oct 08, 2002 at 05:43:08 PM EST

True, she might not have had the same ability to get out of the situation relatively quickly (it took me about two and a half years, plus my financial circumstances changed dramatically partway through the process). But working your way out is always an option unless the debt/income ratio is totally outrageous. It's not fun, but it's ethical (repaying your own debts and all that).

No, I'm not jealous. I think I've made it clear that I'm proud that I was able to work my own way out of the situation, and there's substantial personal satisfaction in that. If someone wants to send her money to help her out, then that's certainly his choice, but that doesn't mean that I have to think that it's the correct thing to do. As you stated, there are "a million better causes to send money", and that's true precisely because there are a million causes where people got into bad situations through no fault of their own.

Sympathy and compassion are two of the most important human virtues, especially as aspects of love (and here I'm referring to general, principled love, that for your neighbor and such). It's possible to have sympathy for someone and feel bad for their plight without being moved to the precise action that she thinks would be best. Even compassion, the emotion behind mercy, can be engaged without feeling that the best course of action is exactly what she's requesting. What will teach her the best? What's the best for everyone overall, especially as this is not an uncommon occurrence? If everyone gets out of bad situations of their own causing very quickly, due in part to the help they receive from others, what sort of message does that send to her and to anyone else watching?

I guess my point (similar to yours, really) is that it's relative. It's a bad situation, and I truly can empathize, but I don't think that this is the best way to remedy it. Forgiveness of debts in the moral sense doesn't mean that someone does not have to deal with the consequences of their choices. She should be proud of the fact that she recognized her situation and has turned around from her former course, but the results of her earlier decisions will be around for a long time.

[ Parent ]

Immoral/amoral distinction (4.00 / 1) (#88)
by nixxon on Tue Oct 08, 2002 at 10:20:25 PM EST

Harm to others is not required for this to be immoral; a lack of morality is.
Actually, a lack of morality is amoral, not immoral. Immoral refers to violating morals, amoral refers to not having any in the first place. And that's not a spelling quibble, it's a really important distinction.

[ Parent ]
Not semantics (4.00 / 1) (#89)
by El Volio on Tue Oct 08, 2002 at 10:45:09 PM EST

You're right, that is an important distinction because it reveals perspective. One who regards morals as a necessary part of the order of the universe must then regard the lack of morals as violating that system, and hence immoral in and of itself. Absolute morality should see something amoral as also immoral, since the lack of a moral standard goes against that same standard.

Certainly for those who adhere to relative morality, then the lack of morals is not a real problem. Sure, amorality isn't as good as morality, but hey, that's better than violating it, right?

The debate between absolute and relative morals is not going to be settled here. I'll just state that I believe that the lack of morals is every bit as bad as opposition to them, and that we as humans need a (correct) moral standard for our lives. Others may disagree with me, and I respect their stance, but while there are shades of gray, that spectrum isn't as wide as some would like it to be.

[ Parent ]

verbal precision, not perspective (4.00 / 1) (#93)
by nixxon on Tue Oct 08, 2002 at 11:22:34 PM EST

Distinguishing between immorality and amorality is not just a matter of perspective. I didn't mean to imply that amorality was somehow "better" than immorality -- that's a value judgement that everyone has to make for themselves. But immorality and amorality are different things, and aren't interchangeable. I don't think it's useful to replace the word "amoral" with the word "immoral," because you lose information about an important difference. Somebody who has no morals cannot, by definition, behave immorally.

That said, I understand your point completely, and have no argument with it. I agree that amorality is "bad" -- just not immoral.



[ Parent ]
Well.. (4.16 / 6) (#12)
by delmoi on Mon Oct 07, 2002 at 02:12:08 AM EST

The problem with Karyn is that it's offensive to see someone who's got it way better then you beg for money because she went into debt buying things I can't even dream of affording.

The fact that I've probably got it better then 90% of the people in the world doesn't really help...

I mean, that's tons of money that could be going to build schools in Africa or Asia or Latin America or something.
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
Nah, I have respect for a good rogue (4.50 / 2) (#18)
by Perianwyr on Mon Oct 07, 2002 at 05:54:16 AM EST

She managed to get her roguery done completely through the goodwill of others, which is the only really unassailable way to do so.

You can attack her character: but she got the money! You can attack the people that gave her the money: but who the hell are you?

I won't deny happiness over the fact that someone else can pull such a thing off. I imagine my turn shall come soon.

[ Parent ]

Atlas Scratched His Nuts (4.85 / 7) (#2)
by XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX on Sun Oct 06, 2002 at 06:21:53 PM EST

Markets are only rational: 1) in the aggregate; 2) over the long term, and 3) in retrospect. In a Free-Market economy, people can do whatever they like with their money, and that includes giving it away to irresponsible, narciccistic intarweb celebs-du-jour.

If this results in the demise of the web tip-jar model, well tough toenails: that just means it was an unsuccessful business model.

You left one out (3.70 / 10) (#5)
by theboz on Sun Oct 06, 2002 at 06:56:19 PM EST

It's funny, but you forgot another example of internet panhandling that could be discussed.

Stuff.

Not panhandling (5.00 / 2) (#6)
by El Volio on Sun Oct 06, 2002 at 07:27:36 PM EST

Subscribing to K5 is like tipping for service received. The concept, at least, is that by subscribing, you're contributing to something for which you receive value. Every person must, of course, decide if the value is enough to warrant putting money into it, but it's not a simple request for cash "just because".

[ Parent ]
How is that different? (none / 0) (#111)
by curien on Thu Oct 10, 2002 at 08:08:01 AM EST

I've only been to two of the "send me money" sites (Penny's and Karyn's), and both were quite amusing, particularly Karyn's. She is witty, she posts amusing e-mails sent to her, and much of the content (such as her list of "other things" people send her) is inherently entertaining. Further, as explicitly noted by Penny, there is a soap opera-esque quality to these people's lives.

So just how is paying to support that site any different from paying to support K5? It's not like we're curing cancer here, folks. This site exists solely for our collective amusement, just as Karyn's site exists (it would cease to exist if it didn't get her any money) for the amusement of her patrons.

--
Murder your babies. -- R Mutt
[ Parent ]

ergo: (none / 0) (#34)
by z1 on Mon Oct 07, 2002 at 10:46:05 AM EST

A reference the other day to Rusty's coding skill levels and ability to get a "Real Job."
The culmination of Human history is me.
[ Parent ]
Yeah, Rusty's not really a programmer (none / 0) (#35)
by theboz on Mon Oct 07, 2002 at 10:49:37 AM EST

He seems to be more of the type of person that knows some of everything (Perl, MySQL, Apache, Linux, etc) but is an expert in no specific category. Of course, that does make it difficult to get a real job when your skills are all over the place and you've never specialized in anything.

Stuff.
[ Parent ]

Knows A Little Bit Of Everything (none / 0) (#98)
by AndrewW on Wed Oct 09, 2002 at 01:43:27 AM EST

Well, he'll always have a job in web hosting technical support :)

[ Parent ]
Club PA (3.75 / 4) (#7)
by evilpenguin on Sun Oct 06, 2002 at 08:54:33 PM EST

I'm a member of Club PA over at Penny Arcade. Why? Well it's not because of the perks -- I could live without a PA desktop image (though the occasional exclusive comic is especially nice). What I absolutely cannot live without is the delicious humour delivered thrice weekly in the potent form of a comic strip. It is the best comic online. It is the best comic...EVER. So I send them a few bucks a month. They keep the comics coming, and that's all I can ask for in return.

Of course, I'm under no obligation to send them anything. I could send them a penny if all I was after was the membership perks. I appreciate their work, and my membership is the best way to tell them so. I don't give a shit if it's "panhandling", because the handlers of the colloquial pan are damn cool, and entertain me in the process.
--
# nohup cat /dev/dsp > /dev/hda & killall -9 getty
Not begging. (none / 0) (#8)
by Arkayne on Sun Oct 06, 2002 at 09:45:42 PM EST

I wouldn't define PA as panhandling. They're providing a service/product, and a quality one at that, and simply allowing the customer to decide the costs. The majority pay nothing more then hits to their site, (which in turn increases the value of their ad spaces) but some prefer a more direct route.

[ Parent ]
Hahahah (2.50 / 2) (#11)
by delmoi on Mon Oct 07, 2002 at 02:05:38 AM EST

Penny Arcade might be funny, but it's certanly not the best commic ever.
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
Penny Arcade (none / 0) (#61)
by ethereal on Tue Oct 08, 2002 at 01:49:35 PM EST

I might give them money someday, but first they should prove that they can get the comic and the associated rant posted at the same time. Does anybody else notice this problem?

--

Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
[ Parent ]

I don't much mind (none / 0) (#80)
by evilpenguin on Tue Oct 08, 2002 at 06:59:04 PM EST

It ends up working out that I read the comic in the morning, then read the rantings when I come home from school at night.  It's probably better that way, as Gabe seems to not post until the late afternoon (EST).  I clock Tycho in at around 10:30 (again, EST).  The comic itself is generally up at around 7:00, which makes me think that Tycho writes his diatribe after the fact and posts it when he's done.

I really don't care, as long as the posts are up by the time I get home, as their ratings tend to make up my dinner-time reading (along with K5 -- yes, I eat all my meals in front of a computer).
--
# nohup cat /dev/dsp > /dev/hda & killall -9 getty
[ Parent ]

Maybe that's my problem (none / 0) (#101)
by ethereal on Wed Oct 09, 2002 at 12:21:28 PM EST

I read all the comics first thing in the morning (08:00 CDT), so perhaps I'm just falling in between the two. I thought most web comics folks used some sort of timed release thing, so that the strip was prepared ahead of time and made available right at the stroke of midnight or something like that. If that were the case, you'd hope that the rant would be done along the same lines.

Any more, the rantage tends to be as funny or funnier than the strip anyway.

--

Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
[ Parent ]

new panhandling site! (2.50 / 2) (#13)
by ebatsky on Mon Oct 07, 2002 at 02:43:10 AM EST

I've made a quick panhandling site Think it will work?!?!

Hey dude. (none / 0) (#57)
by tkatchev on Tue Oct 08, 2002 at 01:38:00 AM EST

I like your nickname.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

I'm tearing my wallet open (nt) (none / 0) (#96)
by khallow on Wed Oct 09, 2002 at 12:44:07 AM EST


Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

Poll Responses: The Lost Episodes (1.00 / 1) (#19)
by Perianwyr on Mon Oct 07, 2002 at 05:55:49 AM EST

How about: If they can tell me who Elijah is.

I dunno... (4.80 / 5) (#23)
by Matt Oneiros on Mon Oct 07, 2002 at 07:33:23 AM EST

I doubt you could bring in the cheese quite as well with online panhandling. I mean, on the street I often give money to panhandlers (here in portland, I swear to god, their capitol) because when I see a panhandler in real life I can better asses their situation, even then sometimes I don't give them money.

I just can't imagine giving money to someone like karyn, who I personally think is as nutty as a walnut tree. It would require an awful lot of trust to do that, and I don't think the majority of the people who are even on this side of the tracks in the internet really would do it, let alone have the trust to do it. Maybe it flies real well in aol-ish land.

Now when it comes to something like killingmachines.org or kuro5hin the money comes because I like it there.

Lobstery is not real
signed the cow
when stating that life is merely an illusion
and that what you love is all that's real

No kidding (4.00 / 2) (#24)
by delmoi on Mon Oct 07, 2002 at 07:56:20 AM EST

I mean, how can you give money to someone who isn't even willing to show you their face. She expects us to trust her, but she dosn't trust us.

Also, she sucks in general.
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
agree completely (5.00 / 4) (#44)
by mikpos on Mon Oct 07, 2002 at 04:09:31 PM EST

Speaking personally, it's hard to trust someone unless you have a good idea of just how hot she is.

[ Parent ]
idea (5.00 / 1) (#49)
by ROBOKATZ on Mon Oct 07, 2002 at 09:04:56 PM EST

hot chick picture + send me money please? = profit

[ Parent ]
That idea's not exactly new. (5.00 / 1) (#86)
by Verminator on Tue Oct 08, 2002 at 09:58:16 PM EST

Porn sites are still the only real profit to be made on the internet. And they don't even have to ask nicely to get your money.

Fear leads to anger, anger leads to misery, misery links to Satanosphere.
[ Parent ]

Face of the stupid bitch (4.00 / 1) (#50)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Mon Oct 07, 2002 at 09:25:47 PM EST

She's not even that much of a hottie.

Were I to meet her, and were I not a man of non-violence, I would surely kick her in the face and neck for such rank stupidity.

Read some of the e-mail responses she posts on her site. They are hilarious, in a disgusting sort of way.

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

Exactly (5.00 / 1) (#76)
by jmzero on Tue Oct 08, 2002 at 06:16:39 PM EST

in real life I can better asses their situation

They have better asses real life then would change it me.  Money production, !shakey!
.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife
[ Parent ]

I am the only one? (4.33 / 3) (#30)
by Tezcatlipoca on Mon Oct 07, 2002 at 09:38:02 AM EST

Or the last line disclaimmer sounds suspiciously panhandlingish in nature?
-1 anyway. Lost the Nigeria reference.

0wr F4th3R, wh0 0wnz h34\/3n, j00 r0x0rs!
M4y 4|| 0wr b4s3 s0m3d4y Bl0ng t0 j00!
M4y j00 0wn 34rth juss |1|3 j00 0wn h34\/3n.
G1v3 us th1s
No Other Way (none / 0) (#42)
by LaNMaN2000 on Mon Oct 07, 2002 at 01:23:09 PM EST

There is no other way to prevent people voting the story down because of concerns about plagiarism.  Rusty should let us indicate in sidebar "fine print" disclaimers if we are syndicating an edited version of a story that we publish elsewhere on the web.

I used "sup" tags to try to create fine print, but the spacing is the same as normal size text.  Sidebar disclaimers would ensure that "spam-ish" links are not part of the main article while ensuring that somebody does not comment that the article was stolen and modified from another site.  Rusty could probably also get more guest submissions from other site's authors who, in the absence of a formal attribution policy, may have concerns about how Kuro5hin's copyright policy treats syndication.

And, if you read the original article on my site, you will see that money is the LAST thing that I want from my visitors; I am using pMachine Free for CMS and requesting any form of financial renumeration would put me in violation of their license agreement.
----------------------

-----------------
Lenny Grover -- link-spamming to make Google give me my name back!
[ Parent ]

A not-so-subtle difference. (4.25 / 4) (#31)
by aphrael on Mon Oct 07, 2002 at 09:48:57 AM EST

'Panhandlers' are people that denizens of any urban area run into on the streets. In Santa Cruz, they're a constant presence in the downtown area --- you can't go anywhere without being stopped and asked for change, a cigarette, a joint, what have you.

I haven't noticed this density on the web. Hell, aside from k5, I haven't noticed it at all.

You have to go more out of your way to find online panhandlers than live ones; I therefore doubt they are equivalent problems.

but karyn did work (4.57 / 7) (#32)
by biggs on Mon Oct 07, 2002 at 09:50:48 AM EST

That site looks like it took a bit of work... Several days of work... I mean, is the problem with the work/profit ratio? If so Karyn should be the least of your worries... big shot business people and CEO's should terrify you.

Or maybe you mean the value the work provides to others?? In that case Karyn's stuff is pretty benign entertainment... She isn't poluting the earth and sending campaign money to buy out public trust...

--
"Rockin my 'hell I made it' wetsuit stitch so I can swim in elevators crazy wet through piss" -Cannibal Ox

But CEOs do work (3.20 / 5) (#39)
by hamsterboy on Mon Oct 07, 2002 at 12:57:53 PM EST

"[B]ig shot business people and CEO's" are some of the hardest-working people there are. They often sacrifice their family and personal/social lives for their careers.

At most companies, the CEO usually puts in 10+-hour days, 5-6 days a week, and is on call 24/7 for company emergencies. His/her 'job' is to act as a figurehead, wine and dine potential business partners, close deals, and generally provide a strategy for the company to move forward. Just because they don't write code or work on the manufacturing floor doesn't mean they don't work.

The same goes for big shot business people. These people (like, say, Donald Trump) may be rich, but they earned every cent of what they've got. All of the business owners I know work harder and longer than I do. They've put 10-20 years of their lives into building the company they work for, and are rewarded by making more money.

Now, granted, receiving $5 million/year in salary may not seem fair (that's $1600/hr!). But the benefit of hiring a good CEO is the fact that 10,000+ people still have jobs. Most companies get their money's worth. If you pay $5 million/year for your CEO, and he/she makes $20 million in sales deals over the first two years (a not unlikely number), you just made a 100% ROI, plus the publicity from those large deals.

-- Hamster

Hamster
[ Parent ]

no doubt (none / 0) (#40)
by biggs on Mon Oct 07, 2002 at 01:06:57 PM EST

They are some very hard working people, and as far as I'm concerned Karyn is a business person herself, though they can and do work hard their money is earned through ideas, not work... My point was that the assertion that Karyn didn't work for her money is false unless I was to read into the assertion with the "work/profit ratio" issue. In which case she's rather unsuccessful compared to the Big shot business peops... that's all I meant. I mean... As far as what I see here around California, and if a low work/profit ratio is a measure of virtue.. then Mexicans (especially illegal) in CA wins hands down.

--
"Rockin my 'hell I made it' wetsuit stitch so I can swim in elevators crazy wet through piss" -Cannibal Ox
[ Parent ]
Then again, maybe not (4.00 / 1) (#43)
by rantweasel on Mon Oct 07, 2002 at 03:06:49 PM EST

According to this Washington Post article, the current thinking is that A) the high pay is too high and B) the outside "hired guns" don't actually do that good a job compared to people who have been with a company long term and worked their way up.

mathias

[ Parent ]

Donald Trump (none / 0) (#55)
by jcolter on Tue Oct 08, 2002 at 01:09:03 AM EST

If I remember right, he owes much of his success to his father's real estate concerns.

[ Parent ]
Real Estate is "earned" income? (none / 0) (#64)
by dipierro on Tue Oct 08, 2002 at 02:31:10 PM EST

Someone better notify the Feds! Donald Trump may have earned some of what he's got - but the vast majority of it is interest, rent, royalties, and capital gains - not earned income.

[ Parent ]
Earned indeed (none / 0) (#103)
by hamsterboy on Wed Oct 09, 2002 at 02:57:11 PM EST

This isn't an example of earned income, where one works in exchange for pay. This is an example of capital investment, the idea that you can take that pay and put it to work for you. This is the central ideal of capitalism.

Say I have some money. Instead of stuffing it into the cushions on my sofa, I decide to buy some stock in, say, Intel. I'm putting my money to work for me, and it (hopefully) earns more money. The only difference between me and Donald Trump are the scales involved; I'm working with thousands, where Trump works with millions.

The fact that Trump's wealth isn't directly earned as a salary or wage doesn't mean that he didn't earn it.

-- Hamster

Hamster
[ Parent ]

I understand capitalism (1.00 / 1) (#108)
by dipierro on Wed Oct 09, 2002 at 04:23:01 PM EST

And it is based on rich people like Trump making money without earning it. You said it yourself. "I'm putting my money to work for me, and it (hopefully) earns more money." The money is doing the earning, not you.

The fact that Trump's wealth isn't directly earned as a salary or wage doesn't mean that he didn't earn it.

The fact that he sits on his ass and does nothing to earn his rents, interest, and capital gains does.

That's why they call it "unearned income".



[ Parent ]
You made baby Rusty cry! (2.50 / 2) (#37)
by HereticMessiah on Mon Oct 07, 2002 at 11:38:24 AM EST

Sorry, but I just couldn't help it :-)

--
Disagree with me? Post a reply.
Think my post's poor or trolling? Rate me down.
Online is better than in real life (4.33 / 3) (#45)
by kphrak on Mon Oct 07, 2002 at 04:29:03 PM EST

Online panhandling is better than regular panhandling because it can be shut out; you need only keep from surfing to the site in question. I would much rather know that there's a site on the Internet, with someone asking for my money, than have some lazy fellow who's my age (i.e. not too old to work) yelling to me or banging on my window at an intersection if I ignore him. It's a lot easier to ignore someone on the Internet.

This article raises some interesting discussion points, so I'm voting it up...but the warning's not necessary; for most people, the author is preaching to the choir, and the people who need to hear this won't pay attention anyway. The world has plenty of people with a great talent for rationalizing their spending and too much money for their own good. Luckily for them, they have people like Karyn, who provide the valuable service of relieving them of it.


Describe yourself in your sig!
American computer programmer, living in Portland, OR.


Same as State 'welfare' programs (2.00 / 5) (#46)
by duncan bayne on Mon Oct 07, 2002 at 05:35:22 PM EST

Do not allow yourself to reward greed in the absence of productivity. Support sites that offer something in return for your contribution and help keep your favorite community sites alive.

I agree with your admonition. Now, lets try rewording it just a teensy bit:

Do not allow yourself to reward greed in the absence of productivity. Support people that offer something in return for your contribution.

Then, apply it to State welfare. What's the difference between not wanting to give money to a leech like Karyn, and not wanting to give money to a State welfare system? None, except that you haven't been conditioned to view need as a claim when expressed explicitly over the internet.



BS (4.33 / 3) (#47)
by fhotg on Mon Oct 07, 2002 at 08:25:19 PM EST

What's the difference between not wanting to give money to a leech like Karyn, and not wanting to give money to a State welfare system ?
In one case, your money goes to leech Karyn, in the other, it contributes to sustain a kind of society you like, or at least the majority of your countrymen deem a good thing (except you live in a non-democracy with a welfare system, a special case I will treat seperately in a footnote).

[ Parent ]
I disagree (4.00 / 1) (#51)
by duncan bayne on Mon Oct 07, 2002 at 11:37:14 PM EST

it contributes to sustain a kind of society you like

I disagree, because I don't want to sustain a society of sponges like (and worse than) Karyn, and because the State pays for 'welfare' with money taken by force from its citizens.

I don't give willingly to such a system - I 'give' because I fear the alternatives, which are bankruptcy, imprisonment, and death. If I could choose the nature and extent of my own contribution (to charities, say the Red Cross or the Salvation Army, or to no-one if that was my choice) then it'd really be charity, and I'd have no problem with it.

As it stands, I am forced to give my money to a Government agency, which then distributes much of it to people who are even further down the scale of humanity than Karyn - people who don't beg for charity, but demand that people steal on their behalf.



[ Parent ]
welfare (none / 0) (#102)
by fhotg on Wed Oct 09, 2002 at 02:41:07 PM EST

I disagree, because I don't want to sustain a society of sponges like (and worse than) Karyn
It is not the idea of a welfare system to sustain a society of sponges. That might be the effect, sometimes, somewhere, b/c of welfare fraud, bad organization etc., but it also works fine often enough to prove that the principle is not flawed.

The principal idea is, that a society where everybody has guaranteed food and shelter and health care to not having to worry aboput his very existence, the whole society, you too, profits.

No difference to the money 'taken by force' from you to build roads, provide you with water, subsidize your energy demands, clean up your garbage and educate your children.

[ Parent ]

Go start your own country (1.00 / 1) (#52)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Mon Oct 07, 2002 at 11:50:35 PM EST

Call it Libertarian land or something. Don't build roads, don't regulate markets, don't have public education. See how your country is doing in twenty years.

Remember humans have always been social animals which survive by cooperating in groups. Hey, why don't you yell at wolves and mokeys who share their food with each other.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]

Sigh (none / 0) (#53)
by duncan bayne on Mon Oct 07, 2002 at 11:57:57 PM EST

Remember humans have always been social animals which survive by cooperating in groups. Hey, why don't you yell at wolves and mokeys who share their food with each other.

My problem isn't with sharing or giving - I give to a number of charities, in addition to the fact that I pay about 50% of my income in various taxes. My problem is with the concept of taxation, that is, involuntary 'charity'. I also have a problem with your assertion that humans survive by co-operating; fundamentally, they survive by thinking.



[ Parent ]
Involuntary? (1.00 / 1) (#72)
by dipierro on Tue Oct 08, 2002 at 04:31:55 PM EST

My problem is with the concept of taxation, that is, involuntary 'charity'.

Taxation is voluntary. You don't have to work.



[ Parent ]
Theft is theft (none / 0) (#77)
by duncan bayne on Tue Oct 08, 2002 at 06:32:15 PM EST

Taxation is voluntary. You don't have to work.

You can steal from others, you can beg from others, you can work, or you can die. Don't take this to mean that taxation is voluntary - it's theft from those who are working to support themselves, the creators.



[ Parent ]
Income tax (1.00 / 1) (#83)
by dipierro on Tue Oct 08, 2002 at 09:53:13 PM EST

You can steal from others, you can beg from others, you can work, or you can die.

You can make plenty of money to not die without paying any taxes. $2900/year is plenty for food and clothing, and mortgage interest is deductible. You're only taxed on excess income.

Don't take this to mean that taxation is voluntary - it's theft from those who are working to support themselves, the creators.

I'd like to see you earn money without using at least some federal government services. Unless you barter or get paid in gold you're probably at least using the federal monetary system. And if you barter or get paid in gold chances are that the government isn't going to bother you for your taxes anyway.



[ Parent ]
Injustice (none / 0) (#92)
by duncan bayne on Tue Oct 08, 2002 at 11:06:57 PM EST

I'd like to see you earn money without using at least some federal government services.

So, you're saying that the government creates 'services' by theft, forces people to use them, and then cites said use by the people as justification for continued theft? Oh wait, they do :-)

Unless you barter or get paid in gold you're probably at least using the federal monetary system. And if you barter or get paid in gold chances are that the government isn't going to bother you for your taxes anyway.

Indeed, and it's possible that maintaining a monetary system is a valid role for government. That doesn't make compulsory taxation morally acceptable - you're assuming that the only way to pay for a government activity is by compulsory taxation.

Furthermore, even if the government did overlook my own activities and steal from others, why should that effect my position on compulsory taxation? Injustice is injustice, regardless of whether or not it effects my life.



[ Parent ]
fair (none / 0) (#94)
by dipierro on Wed Oct 09, 2002 at 12:13:31 AM EST

Indeed, and it's possible that maintaining a monetary system is a valid role for government. That doesn't make compulsory taxation morally acceptable - you're assuming that the only way to pay for a government activity is by compulsory taxation.

No, I'm merely assuming that's the only fair way to pay for a government activity.



[ Parent ]
fairness != theft (none / 0) (#104)
by duncan bayne on Wed Oct 09, 2002 at 03:50:52 PM EST

No, I'm merely assuming that's the only fair way to pay for a government activity.

That's quite an assumption. Surely it's fairer to say that if people want it, they'll pay for it, and if not, forcing them to pay for it is simply theft?



[ Parent ]
anarchy leads to (1.00 / 1) (#107)
by dipierro on Wed Oct 09, 2002 at 04:19:38 PM EST

Surely it's fairer to say that if people want it, they'll pay for it, and if not, forcing them to pay for it is simply theft?

No, because without government protection of what they "own" they wouldn't have it to begin with. If you want to build your own defense system, police, etc., then you can declare independence and stop paying taxes.



[ Parent ]
National vs. Local (none / 0) (#54)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Tue Oct 08, 2002 at 01:00:40 AM EST

At least in my mostly libertarian beliefs, there should be much more power given to the local government vs. the national government. Power should be given strictly along Constitutional lines, with no abuse of the "interstate commerce" bit.

This would allow the people of an area to have a greater say in how they want their area to be governed. For example, road building should be entirely outside the jurisdiction of the federal government, and should be a power of the states generally delegated to the municipal government. Local roads would be built by municipalities, intrastates by the state, and interstates through agreements between the states or private enterprise. In fact, any kind of road could be built by private enterprise if they wanted to and saw a profit in it. The local people could even decide they want no government roads at all.

The same for everything else, as long as the Constitution is not broken - do you want to have socialized health care? Vote for it in your town, but don't impose it on the rest of the nation.

I suppose what I would really like to see is an anarcho-capitalist society such as the one in Snow Crash and The Diamond Age. Governments don't even exist there, except as private enterprise. That's not happening for a while though.

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

money (1.00 / 1) (#71)
by dipierro on Tue Oct 08, 2002 at 04:30:01 PM EST

Exactly. Let's get rid of these Federal programs, like copyright laws and money.

[ Parent ]
But... (none / 0) (#81)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Tue Oct 08, 2002 at 07:13:54 PM EST

...those are set out in the Constitution.

Tim

[ Parent ]

So is... (none / 0) (#85)
by dipierro on Tue Oct 08, 2002 at 09:56:48 PM EST

interstate commerce, general welfare, taxation, etc. Yeah, intrastate drug trafficking is stretching it, but there's a huge gap between being merely anti-drug-war and being libertarian. The Green Party, for instance, is anti-drug (and also anti-central government).

[ Parent ]
Interstate commerce and General Welfare (none / 0) (#90)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Tue Oct 08, 2002 at 10:53:00 PM EST

"Interstate commerce" is horribly abused, and "general welfare" is very vague. I also don't know if the preamble is supposed to have legal power or just serve as an introduction.

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

general welfare (none / 0) (#95)
by dipierro on Wed Oct 09, 2002 at 12:42:35 AM EST

Interstate commerce is abused, but I wouldn't say horribly. I mean yeah, we have a relatively small number of intrastate drug traffickers in California hit with an injunction, but I don't see it as an issue which is abused in that many areas. "General welfare" is vague. So what? If you want to fix the constitution to be less vague then you need to ammend it.

In any case, after doing a little research, it seems the "general welfare" clause is actually used to specify the scope of the "Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises." It is most certainly not preambular, though.

"[T]he laying of taxes is the power, and the general welfare the purpose for which the power is to be exercised. They [Congress] are not to lay taxes ad libitum for any purpose they please; but only to pay the debts or provide for the welfare of the Union. In like manner, they are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare, but only to lay taxes for that purpose." - Thomas Jefferson (from FindLaw)

Of course the 16th Amendment arguably repeals the necessity to provide for the general welfare (or pay the debt).



[ Parent ]
The difference between Karyn and Gov't (none / 0) (#58)
by upsilon on Tue Oct 08, 2002 at 10:54:35 AM EST

Karyn is just out for herself. The gov't (allegedly, at least) is there for everyone. Recently I spent a number of months unemployed, and simply could not have made it through without unemployment checks. I do not begrudge that portion of my taxes; there are much larger government expenditures that I do have issues with.
--
Once, I was the King of Spain.
[ Parent ]
Think about it (none / 0) (#67)
by duncan bayne on Tue Oct 08, 2002 at 03:31:25 PM EST

If you weren't paying tax to a welfare system, how much would you have saved to cover periods of unemployment? Would you have been able to afford (and motivated to purchase) income protection assurance? Likewise, if your family and friends weren't paying tax to a welfare system, would they have been able to support you?



[ Parent ]
Depends on the welfare system... (4.00 / 1) (#63)
by dipierro on Tue Oct 08, 2002 at 02:17:09 PM EST

If it just doles out money to anyone with credit card debt, there's no difference. If it doles out payments to murder victims so that they won't sue negligent airlines, that's another thing. And if it doles out food to starving families, that's yet another thing.

Personally I like giving my donations to something like Goodwill Industries. Not to Karyn, not to the Feds, and not to Rusty. I'd rather help someone get a job then help someone live without one.



[ Parent ]
Sorry (none / 0) (#66)
by duncan bayne on Tue Oct 08, 2002 at 03:28:52 PM EST

Sorry, I wasn't clear - I was referring to compulsory welfare systems, not voluntary. I myself give freely to charity, but only 'give' to the State under threat of bankruptcy, imprisonment or death.



[ Parent ]
Fine (none / 0) (#70)
by dipierro on Tue Oct 08, 2002 at 04:21:43 PM EST

But even compulsive welfare systems come in many different forms. And even voluntary charities are supported by the federal government, by tax deductions.

[ Parent ]
!stealing == support ??? (none / 0) (#78)
by duncan bayne on Tue Oct 08, 2002 at 06:33:19 PM EST

Let me get this straight - you're saying that the government supports charities by not stealing from them?!?



[ Parent ]
Yes (none / 0) (#87)
by dipierro on Tue Oct 08, 2002 at 09:58:46 PM EST

That's exactly what I'm saying.

[ Parent ]
Damn (none / 0) (#91)
by duncan bayne on Tue Oct 08, 2002 at 10:58:03 PM EST

Damn. That's the strangest definition of support I've ever heard. Wouldn't it be closer to the mark to say that, in this case, the government is victimising everyone except charities?



[ Parent ]
No (1.00 / 1) (#97)
by dipierro on Wed Oct 09, 2002 at 12:44:33 AM EST

Because the government doesn't exist in and of itself. If the government were an entity separate from the people, then yes, there would be a difference between stealing from one and giving to another. But in reality every dollar stolen is a dollar given away.

[ Parent ]
Group accountability (none / 0) (#105)
by duncan bayne on Wed Oct 09, 2002 at 03:53:08 PM EST

You have a strange definition of theft. Does group inaccountability apply only to theft, or to other group activities as well? Say, if rather than employing police and IRD (IRS in your case) to steal money, the government employed an army to pillage and rape. Would you consider those who had been raped by the army really raped, or because there was a group perpetrating the crime, that the victims were really offering their bodies freely?



[ Parent ]
No, rape is different (1.00 / 1) (#106)
by dipierro on Wed Oct 09, 2002 at 04:16:12 PM EST

because rape isn't zero-sum, like money.
In capitalism, man exploits man. In socialism, it's the other way around.
[ Parent ]
Definitions (none / 0) (#109)
by duncan bayne on Wed Oct 09, 2002 at 04:47:11 PM EST

Eh? Are we using the same definition of zero-sum? AFAICT, what you're saying is that one can only gain money by someone elses loss, but both groups profit from rape? I'm pretty sure you mean rape is zero-sum, either that or our definitions are vastly different.

So, to clarify my understanding of your argument - members of a group cannot be held accountable for initiating force against another individual or group, if the activity might be considered not to be zero-sum. So, in other words - it's alright to harm someone if it's done in their interests?



[ Parent ]
Zero Sum (none / 0) (#110)
by dipierro on Wed Oct 09, 2002 at 05:29:42 PM EST

Of or relating to a situation in which a gain is offset by an equal loss. (dictionary.com)

AFAICT, what you're saying is that one can only gain money by someone elses loss, but both groups profit from rape?

I'm not saying both groups (the raped and the non-raped) profit from rape, I'm saying neither group profits from rape.

I'm pretty sure you mean rape is zero-sum, either that or our definitions are vastly different.

No. Rape is not zero-sum.

So, to clarify my understanding of your argument - members of a group cannot be held accountable for initiating force against another individual or group, if the activity might be considered not to be zero-sum.

No, I didn't say anything about accountability. My thesis is that "voluntary charities are supported by the federal government, by tax deductions."

So, in other words - it's alright to harm someone if it's done in their interests?

Again, I fail to see where I said anything about what's alright.



[ Parent ]
panhandling is a normal buisness (4.00 / 2) (#48)
by fhotg on Mon Oct 07, 2002 at 08:34:50 PM EST

The panhandler sells a better concience to the buyer. His story/appearance is his commercial. As opposed to the nigerian-money transfer or pyramid schemes it's honest, nothing is promised, no fraud can occur. What's the fuss about ? About what stupid desires people are willing to spent money to satisfy ? Giving to panhandlers isn't the most idiotic to start ranting about.
~~~
Gitarren für die Mädchen -- Champagner für die Jungs

Would this qualify? (4.00 / 1) (#56)
by el tito on Tue Oct 08, 2002 at 01:09:13 AM EST

Walters Mission.Not asking for money but for hits so he can get laid.Aparently he made it.(warning:the picture of the guy on the front page may startle you.)
I remember some german guy had a page like that before this guy but I cant even find a google cache of it.

There was also the guy who was asking for donations on his site through paypal so he could buy a ferrari.Dunno what happened to that though.My guess is that he didn`t get the ferrari but took some money anyways...

Selling On Ebay (4.00 / 1) (#60)
by Lagged2Death on Tue Oct 08, 2002 at 11:54:22 AM EST

In fact, [Karyn] is even trying to raise money by, you guessed it, selling items on Ebay.

You say that like you think it's a bad thing.

Make no mistake: Karyn strikes me as a shallow, selfish, irresponsible husk of a human being and I think she sets a bad example.

But what's wrong with raising a little cash by selling off the fancy designer crap that she can't really afford? It sounds like that's one of the most responsible things she's done.

Starfish automatically creates colorful abstract art for your PC desktop!

Karyn is a good thing for the Internet (4.75 / 4) (#62)
by ethereal on Tue Oct 08, 2002 at 01:52:40 PM EST

"A fool and his money are soon parted". The more this gets demonstrated to the 'net community at large, the quicker they'll quit falling for savekaryn, Nigerian fortunes through the mail, etc. As long as she's not using force to take people's money, and it's their own choice to send her some, then there's nothing wrong with it. It doesn't hurt the rest of us who already know not to encourage her, and it will eventually teach a lesson to those who do.

--

Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State

What's in a name? (4.00 / 1) (#65)
by Jeff Coleman on Tue Oct 08, 2002 at 03:18:57 PM EST

It's funny this should run now. Steam Powered Studio just picked up another sponsor today. In exchange for... what? The free music we post anyway?

While it's true that I intend to offer special things to sponsors (once I can afford a server), I don't really question anyone's motives. It's their option to do what they want.



Steam Powered Studio

Benefactory (4.00 / 1) (#68)
by dTaylorSingletary on Tue Oct 08, 2002 at 03:39:14 PM EST


I wish the prospect on on-line panhandling was more feasible and organized in a specific context: benefactory. A system that matches novelists, painters, installation creators, and the such with people looking to dump some financial backing on more experimental products and without going through the motions of establishing grants, or through the system of university--but instead, a system that simply matches people with money with people who need money in order to complete a cultural task that they otherwise would not be able to do without money.

This could be tax-deductible (I think, if I understand the nature of deductability) and also prospectivly, an anonymous mechanism as well. There is a pool of people looking to give money away for whatever reason, they want it to go to artistic causes, and they pool their money in to the source organization. That organization then reviews the projects of the "artists" and matches the money they need to complete those tasks.

Of course, I recognize that this idea is probably infeasible with the nature of at least Western culture's view of a "work ethic" and profit, the view of artists as freeloaders.

Oh well, pipe dreams.

d. Taylor Singletary
http://techra.elephantus.com

Just a question. (5.00 / 1) (#69)
by mindstrm on Tue Oct 08, 2002 at 03:51:30 PM EST

If it turns out Karynn does not have $20,000 in credit card debt due to ebay.... is she guilty of fraud?

Resubmit to Adequacy (4.00 / 1) (#75)
by Fon2d2 on Tue Oct 08, 2002 at 06:04:27 PM EST

and file under "Elitism"

Honestly though. I've always liked Karyn's site, although I'll never contribute. It always seemed straightforward and honest and asks for help with a problem that commonly afflicts college students and twenty-somethings. A problem that is usually not fully understood by the victim. I choose not to see anything malicious in it. These other two sites you've posted however turn me off in a way. They have less of an excuse for their present situations, and less certainty about the effect of the donation. What concerns me about Penny is why should others pay to bail her out of a loveless relationship she bound herself to? One that's not at all abusive, just horribly paired. Financial ignorance I can see. But love you should understand whether you've been taught about it or not. People know when they entering a relationship for convenience. Also, Karyn's plan is concrete. There are X amount of dollars and she is out of debt. Penny's on the other hand is totally vague. And finally, why is it bad that Karyn sells her items on ebay? If she were striving for financial responsibility shouldn't she be letting go of the objects of her affliction? Well, she is, and she's doing it in the wisest possible manner. What do you want her to just throw it all away? That would be stupid.

eh? (5.00 / 3) (#79)
by Danse on Tue Oct 08, 2002 at 06:54:06 PM EST

A problem that is usually not fully understood by the victim.

How does spending lots of money that she knows she doesn't have make her a victim? Might make her a moron, but not a victim.






An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
Read How Home-Schooling Harms the Nation (none / 0) (#82)
by Argel on Tue Oct 08, 2002 at 07:30:03 PM EST

Read How Home-Schooling Harms the Nation. Maybe she is just a really good student and learned consumerism too well! It's not like our schools teach good finance or fiscal responsibility (until college, at least). The case can be made that she's a product of the system. Though I suppose the implication of that is that she is indeed a moron....

[ Parent ]
That's sort of it (none / 0) (#100)
by Fon2d2 on Wed Oct 09, 2002 at 10:56:59 AM EST

It's more than just not teaching financial responsibility. It's not teaching finances at all. When I read Introduction to Personal Finance, that's what it was to me. An introduction. But let's be real. Credit card companies don't want college students to be financially responsible. How many people understand that large amounts of debt can actually increase by only paying the minimum? How many understand that the first few payments on a loan are mostly interest? How many balance their checkbooks every month? Only once on my campus did I ever see an informational seminar on financial responsibility. But credit card companies are there all the time handing out t-shirts and candy for credit card applications. Or if you fill out ten applications you get a "free" pair of sunglasses. Give me a break. Now what are the chances that somebody doesn't fully understand the consequences? Very high. The credit card companies know that. People like you and me are pretty lucky for knowing the game and how to play it. Some people aren't so lucky. Just a little bit too much faith I guess. Not enough knowledge. Just the idea that as long as you got a job to cover the minimum you're fine. Then every once in a while somebody like Karyn actually crunches the numbers. Shit, I'd probably be pissed, or apathetic, or some combination of the two. But Karyn doesn't appear to be either. That's pretty amazing to me.

[ Parent ]
Resubmit to Adequacy (none / 0) (#114)
by Bal Rog on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 04:05:30 PM EST

The internet is the Swiss army knife of this generation. Controversy such as this is refreshing when compared to Enron, Iraq, and pornography. Perhaps there are individuals collecting money for terrorism and other clandestine activities; buyers beware. As with all human activity, taking the good requires looking out for the bad and pitying the ugly. My own site lacks any special flash or charisma, which may be its failure. http://www.ameritech.net/users/savesteve/savesteve.html

[ Parent ]
Karyn the mighty (4.00 / 1) (#99)
by khallow on Wed Oct 09, 2002 at 02:55:42 AM EST

The pioneer in the burgeoning panhandling industry is generally believed to be Karyn,

First, she's apparently hasn't been doing this for very long. I see stuff from June of this year. I know people have been pushing hard luck stories longer than that. There's got to be some real history. Probably someone on the old USENET did it first.

One can't argue with success. She's actually raised $12,000? That'll get the panhandling going. For a few days of effort, you too can skim the cream.

Stating the obvious since 1969.

I'm not sure about what the risk is (none / 0) (#112)
by dani14 on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 10:15:31 PM EST

Unless you're a 12 year that still falls for the Christian Children's Fund type commercials, most people I know are quite suspicious of the internet to begin with.

Karyn's own site actually helps prove that:

"This week, almost 80,000 people visited the website. Pretty good. On the money front, I received about $432 from nice people."
Only 0.54% of the people visiting her site sent her money. While I will admit she's still getting enough to nicely pay off that debt, and that's one heck of a turnout for a pretty lame website, at least its not a great deal of people buying into her "predicament."

I agree that you should always perform due diligence about where your money is going if you're going to donate to someone or an organization. Using a charity evaluation service or simply looking at an organization's tax filings can help you see if an organization is using its donations in a manner you approve of.

--------------------

Oh, and don't take this as any sort of a statement about "Christian Children's Fund." According to their website, their goal is to spend 80% of donations on programs to benefit their youths. I'm just cynical about any charity that advertises so heavily on TV.

--


"The samaritans parable obviously missed the bit where jizzbug ... kicked the crap out of the guy "just to see if he could do it, you know, to test if the law was perfect and all"." -- Craevenwulfe
It's none of your business. (none / 0) (#113)
by Blackknight on Fri Nov 15, 2002 at 05:56:51 AM EST

People are free to make a site about anything they want. I don't agree with what she's doing, but it isn't illegal, and it isn't harming anyone. If you don't like it, change the channel. So to speak.

The Rise of Online Panhandling | 114 comments (95 topical, 19 editorial, 0 hidden)
Display: Sort:

kuro5hin.org

[XML]
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. The Rest © 2000 - Present Kuro5hin.org Inc.
See our legalese page for copyright policies. Please also read our Privacy Policy.
Kuro5hin.org is powered by Free Software, including Apache, Perl, and Linux, The Scoop Engine that runs this site is freely available, under the terms of the GPL.
Need some help? Email help@kuro5hin.org.
My heart's the long stairs.

Powered by Scoop create account | help/FAQ | mission | links | search | IRC | YOU choose the stories!