Is begging good for some people and bad for others?

This story about white expats begging in Ho Chi Minh City got me thinking. Why is it okay for a Vietnamese to beg but terrible for a white or expat to beg? This is what I call double standard played by most people from the west.

Whether white westerner, expat, or VN citizens beg, it's still begging. It doesn't matter who or which race does it.

The circumstances that lead a person to beg differ from one person to other. Maybe some of these beggar expats are conducting research to test reactions and treatments they would get from the locals and from their own expat community. Or maybe they just have real needs.

Whatever you think, know that begging is not reserved or suitable for one particular group of people. It is circumstances that lead someone to beg in Saigon streets. Of course whenever I leave my Chicago home to step in the plane, I have more than enough money on my debt card and in my pocket which is my pre-planned budget for the trip.

Here is the story.  VnExpress International: Expats outraged as American man begs on Saigon streets.

https://e.vnexpress.net/news/news/expat … 31558.html

Shameless ? Certainly
But at least there is one less beggar in New York. We already have enough.

FYI It was reported a number of years ago, that at the time, a beggar in New York was making $100 a day.

I hope the police arrest him, but to be fair, NY was better when the police under Bloomberg arrested beggars too.

I'm not a sociologist so I can't explain it well here, but there is something called a social contract.

Indigenous beggars are likely accepted because they are recognized as having a certain, "authorized" position in local society.

However, interlopers and carpetbaggers and simple freeloaders from elsewhere--not considered to be a party to that contract--are rejected.

Unlike the United States, where there is often a misguided attempt to homogenize Society from sea to shining sea, here in SEA, there is a greater appreciation for what might be called "tribal" values.

Just because we can afford the visa and the airfare here, we don't have a "right" to equal opportunity in the gutter.

I think the expat beggar is assumed to have made some bad choices in their recent past including going to an underdeveloped country without the funds for or an actual  ticket home.   The Vietnamese beggar is assumed to be a victim of circumstances beyond his control, which may or may not be true.

I don't think expat beggar good no matter what race he/she is. Unless he/she is invalid, he/she should find some better way to solve his/her problem on foreign soil. Just personal opinion  :)

Used to congregate in their hundreds around expat bars in Shanghai. All lying, fake scum.

Still remember some dumb yank handing out to each and every little brat sent by their scum parents, then turned around to find they had knicked his wallet, hah

In my opinion, the problem with the expat beggar is that he has at least some skill set that is advantages for him to make a good living in Vietnam. Teaching English alone whether in class or online to China can provide a good quality of life here.

The fact is, this guy is just lazy and he sees an opportunity to sell the sob story to locals and expats for fast money. This guy is not down on his luck. He would not accept help from the US consulate as they surely help him out if he really wanted. What he really wants is a free ride. And to complete his full arm tattoo. This guy is nothing but a scam artist and I will let him have it if I see him around HCMC.

Even the poor people in Vietnam sell lottery tickets to get by. For every lottery ticket they sell for 10,000 VND, they pocket 1,000. Imagine how many tickets you have to sell a day to get by, yet people still do it.

I am quite strictly against begging. Also don't like it, if Vietnamese do. However, many local people here in Vietnam falling, to catch up with the real life.
Vietnamese, like all nations, give the them, for living tol little, but it helps them to coope for now.
If now a foreigner, begpacker takes the money, it;s gone. Not available to support their Vietnamese beggars/poor people.
It's that simple, as I see it.

I would not give a single dong, to a begging  foreigner. Most and sure, I would do, help them, to reach a police station or their embassy or a safe surrounding, NOTHING ELSE or more I would invest.

I neither give to  beggars, but will accept  to buy something, if they trade, whatever or just give them a "tip" for useless products like lottery tickets ..

Also, I do/I did invite to a meal, when I am eating or having a drink.
A lot of the "beggars" are employed by some  kind of "mafia". They will not profit anyway by te given money. It's an industry, similar to the common scams.
Also real needy people, yes, there plenty of them, they have their channels to go "public" and some help poors in.
As for all good samaritans.. no, you can't change it. It takes more than a small note and no, as foreigners, we are pretty much unable to distinguish between a real need or a scam. Neither we can fix that.

But we can say NO to a an obvious begpacker and give instead to a a local needy.

I agree, that foreigners can end up in ugly situations, run out of fuel, phone or wallet being lost/stolen at ugly places or times/ Even there, a lift or a  pone call will be the maximum

CoderX10 :

Even the poor people in Vietnam sell lottery tickets to get by. For every lottery ticket they sell for 10,000 VND, they pocket 1,000. Imagine how many tickets you have to sell a day to get by, yet people still do it.

Coming back from my cafe this morning, it finally struck me why I was so offended by this begging westerner.
Then, Coder beat me to the punch!

People new to HCMC from the countryside sell lottery tickets to get by until areal job comes along.
Also, since I live on the west side of HCMC, I seldom see any westerners, let alone begging ones.
then I saw this girl, limping along the street, going from store to store selling lottery tickets.

And I realized that the only Vietnamese I ever see actually begging are so crippled, they are dragging themselves along the pavement.
So, to see a healthy westerner begging is offensive to me as an foreigner living here as a guest AND to the Vietnamese who work, so something, whenever they can.

I hope the police pick him up and kick his ass out of the country.

Once I was eating a soup on a road aside. An old skinny man crouched below the table next to me and picked up from the dirt floor a small peace of banmi and stuffed it in his mouth, not even chewing and looking already for another one.
He was not asking, but I just showed him to sit down and ordered another soup.they only had soup, one kind.
He finished up his bowl well before me. Clearly hungry.and then he smiled, shakes my hands and went off.
Not begging, but he had sure more reason to do so than a healthy, young foreigner

Everybody has pretty much expressed my opinion.  We don't know the situations of the thousands of local beggars but this one specific guy sounds fishy.

I do not buy lottery tickets because I am retentive but I do feel sorry for the people.  Instead I donate to the church and hope the church is helping people out in some way that leads to an overall improvement in society.

When I was in Shanghai years ago I was told not to give anything to the beggars because a lot of them had handlers that would take cuts.   I've seen some of it in Vietnam too.  It does seem to be improving though as twenty years ago there were just masses and masses of children massing around the tourist areas begging and I don't see that now.

Whenever possible, if someone is begging if I have food or snacks on me I will give them some but never straight up money.  Both overseas and back home in the US.

Fun Fact : when we were in Shanghai in 2005 we wondered what people would do if it was a caucasian begging so one of our classmates went around and did it.  All the chinese people just froze like a deer in the headlights they couldn't imagine such a concept as a "poor" caucasian.

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Moderated by Bhavna 6 days ago
Reason : inappropriate
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videriant :

(snip)

I do not buy lottery tickets because I am retentive but I do feel sorry for the people.  Instead I donate to the church and hope the church is helping people out in some way that leads to an overall improvement in society.

(snip)

Whenever possible, if someone is begging if I have food or snacks on me I will give them some but never straight up money.  Both overseas and back home in the US...(snip)

So...

I'm hearing you say you would trust "the church" to do the right thing with your money, and somehow, in "some way" improve society, but, you wouldn't trust an individual to know what they need and how best to use the money, without a middle man taking a cut?

Bless you, my son...

The weird thing is I saw fewer beggars in Vietnam than I did in Los Angeles! Almost every off ramps, there's a beggar or couple taking turns. Sometimes I see the beggars right next to a Hispanic person selling flowers or fruits at the off ramps. One is working for their money and one is asking for a handout. The worse ones are the ones with little toddlers/babies or with a dog.

There are a lot of lottery seller in Vietnam but at least they're trying to earn a living.

I think I will buy more lottery tickets, at least from those obviously impaired. At last they are working, trying and it is a job.
My GF sold lottery tickets when she first moved to HCMC from the country. She simply can't stand not being productive.
When we were at her mother's house in the countryside last Tet. She would go to her little plot of land, cut some vegetables, go to the market and then hours later, return home and proudly show me the 20k vnd she earned.
Being in Vietnam has certainly re-calibrated by attitude towards pennies.

I'm hearing you say you would trust "the church" to do the right thing with your money, and somehow, in "some way" improve society, but, you wouldn't trust an individual to know what they need and how best to use the money, without a middle man taking a cut?

Bless you, my son...

For many reasons, yes.
1)  There are too many beggars.  You give to one and the rest swarm you.
2)  There are things the church can do better I'm aware.  The devil I know vs the ones I don't.
3)  I've never had the church turn down food donations.  Yes, I've had beggars do that.
4)  The middle man concept is only a bad thing when the middle man takes a cut without providing adequate service.
5)  As stated, a lot of beggars and sellers have middle man too and I definitely do not trust those guys.

Wxx3 :

I think I will buy more lottery tickets, at least from those obviously impaired. At last they are working, trying and it is a job.
My GF sold lottery tickets when she first moved to HCMC from the country. She simply can't stand not being productive.
When we were at her mother's house in the countryside last Tet. She would go to her little plot of land, cut some vegetables, go to the market and then hours later, return home and proudly show me the 20k vnd she earned.
Being in Vietnam has certainly re-calibrated by attitude towards pennies.

There's this impaired guy on this stretch of 2-3 restaurants selling lottery tickets where I'm at.  At first I thought that it was crazy and irresponsible that his family would let him do that but it's been a year now and he's still there and okay.  I don't buy lottery tickets but that doesn't mean I'm not conflicted.

I saw a girl dragging herself across a bridge in crazy traffic, I went back to help her across thinking she was trying to get to the other side then I realized she was trying to sell lotto tickets. I felt real bad and gave her 500k... didn't worry about the tickets. Horrible way to live.

I also often buy lottery tickets, although it is sometimes annoying when they hold the tickets in front of your nose in a very intrusive way and you have both hands full and only cumbersomely come to the wallet.  :)

But I differentiate from whom I buy tickets.  I rather buy from old and/or frail people who can be seen to have a hard life than from well-groomed younger ticket sellers.

Sometimes I also give some money to old and/or frail beggars.

But e.g. I don't give money to women with their sleeping toddlers on their arms begging on the big streets.  I was told that these women stun their children to create more compassion for the sleeping children.

PS
I won 200k Dong once.  However, my wife bought new lottery tickets from the ticket seller for the whole prize when she redeemed the tickets.  :)

I don't buy lottery tickets. But then and when, I just give a 20k to one of the sellers, who seems to have a particular hard life. Also, I get frequently rid of the pile of 1k and 2k notes near my home on a corner. A woman selling chicken feet and stuff. What leave there, she gives some street kids then chicken feet and drinks. She knows for sure those, who really deserve

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