Magazine September 1, 2021, Issue

Stop Encouraging Panhandlers

A homeless man rests on a sofa after police and sanitation workers cleared people from a homeless encampment in Los Angeles, Calif., July 1, 2021. (Bing Guan/Reuters)
Welcome to the Hobopocalypse

It is getting crusty out there, in America.

Across the country, practically every gas station and convenience store, every prominent intersection and some less prominent ones, every entertainment-and-nightlife district, every bus stop, every other Starbucks, the drive-thru line at Wendy’s, and, at times, the front porches of homeowners have been converted into a 1970s-Calcutta-style gauntlet of beggars, some hungry and half-mad, many of them bombed out of their minds and dangerous, and a surprising number of them clocking $100 an hour just for putting their hands out. Partly driven by genuine economic crisis during the COVID-19 lockdowns and partly driven by

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This article appears as “Don’t Feed The Bears” in the September 1, 2021, print edition of National Review.

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