December 10, 2007

How Much Do Beggars Make?
Lima, Peru

This was the question posed by the CEO of the multi-million dollar Web site hosting company, HostGator, that also happens to manage

The homeless problem isn't just around the HostGator building; it seems that anywhere I travel to in Houston there's a homeless man begging for money nearby.

Anytime I look out my window, I can see at least one or two bums working the street. I've been watching the same faces work the same corner for over a year now. Being the businessman that I am, it was impossible to look at them without wondering how much money they were making. I asked around… I read a bunch of websites… and all I could find was meaningless statistics without any real field-testing being done.

So I did the only thing that any self-respecting CEO would do. I became homeless myself.

The man gathered up a few volunteer employees, and they each took turns panhandling cars using various slogans written on cardboard. The results of their daily two-hour sampling: Some earned an hourly wage greater and many University graduates.

Although perceived as an insensitive stunt by many—and told as much by some of the negative feedback he's received—I give a thumbs-up to his antics. It proves a point that I've known for much too long: It's profitable to be a panhandler in the United States.

Read the full story, 'Lifestyles of the Rich and the Homeless', on the HostGator company blog.



December 11th, 2007

Of course, there's a giant gap between being a freeway panhandler and actually homeless.


Craig |

December 11th, 2007

Agreed, MB

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