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Sure Beats Workin'

By

Begging is big business.

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Police learned that panhandlers outside a Wal-Mart (WMT) in Coos Bay, Oregon can make $300 a day. That's about seven times more than what actual Wal-Mart employees make. On one hand, it's a testament to Americans' penchant for charitable donations; with over $300 billion donated annually, Americans are one of the world's most generous people. On the other hand, the news doesn't bode well for Wal-Mart, who has come under criticism for its low wages and insolvent health care policies.

Either way you slice it, it remains to be said that some panhandlers and street performers can actually do quite well. Panhandlers in New York City's Upper East Side, working outside of Saks (SKS) or Nordstrom (JWN), routinely bring in over a dollar a minute. At 40 hours a week, that's about $125,000 annually. Busking-a.k.a. street performing-is one of the oldest professions out there, with the earliest accounts dating back to Roman times. Were it not for the traditions of troubadours, we'd be without suck folk greats as Bob Dylan and Joan Baez

Join Hoofy and Boo as they report on the big business of panhandlers.

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