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Marc Dion: Can’t Fall River bring in more panhandling entrepreneurs?



Fall River has failed to regard panhandling as an economic engine.

Instead, we send cops out to move the panhandlers along, and the American Civil Liberties Union files a lawsuit, which they are likely to win.

Does Fall River NEED another court case?

We’ve already got the one trying to collect rent from an economic development agency that is as gone as that last tenant of yours who skipped on the rent, and we just had one about how angry we are at the charter for which we voted, and, of course, we have the imminent trial of Jailhouse Jasiel Correia, a man whose claims of innocence are believed by about 40 percent of the voters. If you’re trying to stay out of jail, that’s a landslide.

I’ve probably forgotten a couple of court cases because, if you have to work every day, it’s tough to keep up with Fall River’s blizzard of legal paperwork.

The ACLU is likely to win their case because, oddly enough, the same bright, shining freedom of speech that allows you to stand on a street corner with a sign reading “Vote for Mayor Felony,” allows some greasy bum to stand on the same corner with a sign reading “Homeless Vet. Anything Helps. Jesus Bless you.”

Of course these days, as the churches close, Jesus has become more political. He no longer says, “Suffer the little children to come unto me.” These days, he says, “Let the little children suffer if their parents are welfare bums.” Jesus is a Republican now. Stand for the cross. Kneel for the flag. Or is it the other way around? Doesn’t matter. They mean almost the same thing.

I think that, if we just recognized panhandlers as independent business people, we’d all be better off in the positivity department.

Panhandlers are, after all, the most independent of all small business people. They smell too bad to get into a Chamber of Commerce board meeting but, like all good Americans, they’re out trying to make a buck.

Even though they have no tools, no place of business and, sometimes, no regular address, they’re running small businesses. And what’s the big deal about an address anyway? SnoOwl never really had an address. No one is sure where Mayor Jasiel Correia lives, and he’s the very model of youthful achievement.

All a panhandler really does is sell you the idea that he’ll do something good with the money you give him, like buy a sandwich. Then, then he keeps the money for himself, and buys nips, or cigarettes, or heroin. On the street, that’s what you call a “lavish lifestyle.”

Perception is everything. We used to hate weed dealers when they hung around the park, but we love them when they contribute to the right politician and get a letter of non-opposition for their new smoketeria.

Panhandlers, like other small businesses, shouldn’t be “burdened” with “unnecessary regulations.” That’s socialism!

Once we recognize panhandlers as a regular part of the business scene, like barrooms, liquor stores, weed emporium, tattoo parlors, and warehouses that pay minimum wage, we’ll want MORE of opportunities in the panhandling field.

“What’s his/her plan to get some panhandling jobs in here?” we’ll ask each other when someone runs for office.

Sure, panhandlers suck up a lot of city money, what with shoo-ing them off traffic islands and all, but so do big businesses that routinely talk Fall River out of multi-million dollar tax giveaways. We love those big businesses, and we cry when they leave, which is usually right after they run out of our money.

I’ve always been on the little guy’s side, and you don’t get any “littler” than the guy out there with a sign, looking for change on a highway off-ramp.

Leave ‘em alone. They’re an “economic engine,” and once something has been called an “economic engine,” it is as sacred as “market rate housing,”

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