Ananish Chaudhuri: Ban those beggars - starve some sense into them

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What is up with free meals for kids in schools? If the parents cannot feed them, then let them go hungry. Photo / Michael Craig
What is up with free meals for kids in schools? If the parents cannot feed them, then let them go hungry. Photo / Michael Craig

I wish to express my whole-hearted support for the proposed bylaw making begging illegal. I am surprised it has taken the council so long to introduce this eminently sensible measure.

Really! The nerve of these people; begging for money outside fancy restaurants while I am trying to enjoy my beef bourguignon!

Why can't they get a job like the rest of us hard-working folks? And, come to think of it, why stop at begging? Why not declare poverty illegal? Round up all the poor folks sucking away at society's teats.

For example, what is up with free meals for kids in schools? If the parents cannot feed them, then let them go hungry. Why should my hard-earned tax dollars be used to help out poor moochers who are too lazy to work and earn a good living for themselves and their kids?

Also, I read in the Herald that shoplifting is a major problem. Around $2 million worth of goods are being stolen weekly, probably by those same moochers who are too lazy to feed their own kids.

I am not saying we should chop off their hands like they do in some Middle East countries (although I never quite understood why people get so upset about it; no hand means no appendage to shop-lift with) but could we at least publicly flog them?

I am sick and tired of all the abuse of tax-payers' money. Look at me; I come from fairly humble beginnings, but pulled myself up by my boot-straps. Yes, I went to taxpayer-funded public universities and work at one, where I sit in my plush top floor office and stare out at the verdant expanse of the taxpayer-funded Auckland domain. Yes, I drive over taxpayer-funded roads on my way to my sumptuous abode in one of the leafy suburbs of Auckland. So what? I do not owe my success to anyone other than me. I deserve everything I have and I worked hard for it. No one gave me any handouts like these moochers constantly expect.

I am tired of this liberal welfare-state namby-pamby that we have an obligation to help out the less fortunate. Of course not! Have you guys never heard of Social Darwinism, survival of the fittest? Admittedly I have never actually read Darwin, but I am sure that is exactly what he said. They are unfit and they deserve to be winnowed out.

There are way too many takers; people who are dependent on the Government and believe that the state has some kind of obligation to provide them with food, with shelter, with housing and healthcare.

I am also heartened by the maturity demonstrated by Aucklanders. Initially I was apprehensive that some would be up in arms against this bylaw because it does violate a number of fundamental rights, including the right of peaceful assembly. But clearly our citizens realise that tough times call for tough measures - clearly not every right is important and not everyone deserves to have their rights protected.

I commend the council for showing the fortitude of implementing something that we only talk about in hushed whispers behind closed doors in fancy soirees with no plebeians around.

What a brilliant solution to an entrenched social problem. Declare it illegal. I don't know why no one thought of this before.

Now that it is no longer legal to beg, I bet the lazy buggers will get off their bums, find jobs and become productive members of society like the rest of us.

Ananish Chaudhuri is professor of experimental economics and head of the Department of Economics at the University of Auckland Business School.

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