Crowdsourcing, a Close Cousin to Panhandling

March 17, 2015

There was a time when people saved up to go on a vacation, to travel, to pay bills, to do just about everything. Apparently, that is no longer the custom.

Nowadays, the new way of getting money quickly is by crowdsourcing, going to the public and asking for help on the Internet which, if you want to call a spade a spade, is another way of saying people are panhandling to large groups of people.

It was one thing when someone had an emergency and had enormous medical bills and virtual strangers put out a plea on the Internet, setting up a website, for people to donate money to help the family pay those bills. But now it has gone way beyond that. Now, people who are living beyond their means are setting up websites asking strangers for money to pay their bills.

I’ve seen several of those pleas on the Internet asking people to donate money to fund their wedding. Who sets up a website asking strangers to pay for their wedding? You don’t have the money, either don’t get married or get married in your home or at the courthouse, but it takes a tremendous amount of nerve to ask people to pay for your wedding. And to set up a website for these donations! That really takes the cake!

Now I’ve heard one that goes even further. A twenty-one-year-old girl set up a website asking people to donate money so that she can go on a vacation to Japan. What happened to getting a job and saving up for that trip? Why would anyone want to fund her vacation? This is nothing more than a con job. She might just as well be on the street panhandling. And, by the way, she is physically healthy so there is nothing to stop her from getting a job other than laziness and a sense of entitlement.

When the economy was terrible and unemployment had hit record highs, it was one thing to see people standing on corners with signs asking people for money to feed their family, or signs that said will work for food. Those are extenuating circumstances and most of the people who did that were desperate and had nowhere else to turn.

But this crowdsourcing, this setting up websites asking for donations to help support a lavish lifestyle, leaves a sour taste in my mouth. If this is a sign of the times, then we are in serious trouble. It’s like the body of society is being ripped apart by a cancer that has metastasized, and is dying a slow, painful death. Have we become a nation of beggars? How can we have pride in our country if we have no pride in ourselves?

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